it Torah thought for 01/13/98
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Reb Yekusiel

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi sought to bless Reb Yekusiel Liepler with long life, whereupon Reb Yekusiel replied, "But not with peasant years, peasants who have eyes but do not see, ears and do not see, and do not see nor hear the Divine."

Why was it so important to Reb Yekusiel to stipulate that his long years be a certain way? Wouldn't there be some benefit to a long life in any case?

According to Kabbala, there is a level of a Jewish soul called Yechida which is by definition union with the Essence of G-d. This level of the Jewish soul cannot allow for a life devoid of perception of G-dliness.

It was this level called Yechida that motivated Reb Yekusiel to reply to the opportunity for a blessing from Rabbi Shneur Zalman with the stipulation that his days be days of true life, life which consists of perceiving, seeing, and hearing the Divine.

Adapted from "on the Essence of Chassidus" by R. Menachem Mendel Shneerson z'l

In this week's parsha, G-d tells Moses to that from that time on He will be called by the Ineffable Name (Yud Kay Vov Kay). It also states later in the story of Exodus that the Jews were all given prophecy at the giving of the Torah. It is interesting that R. Aryeh Kaplan teaches that prophets prepared for prophecy by meditation, and that the Ineffable Name is used in Jewish meditation. It is conceivable that the Jews of the time of the giving of the Torah practiced Jewish meditation.


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