Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When Yaakov sent Messengers


Describing the history and the customs of a chassidic group is one thing. However, within all those years dealing with haredi society I learnt one important thing:
When you want to understand a chassidic group, you have to know their teachings. Only then you are becoming aware of the ideology. It doesn't help when you know all the in - laws of the Rebbe but what you need to know is their Torah and how to internalize it.

I found an interesting Torah teaching of the DIVRE BINAH, Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowicz who died in 1905. Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov was a former Rebbe of Chassidut Biale, and the Bialer Rebben are direct descendants of the Przysucha Movement.
Not too much literature exists about the topic why the Przysucha Movement separated itself from the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin. Nevertheless,  I found some great material and, for a long time, have been planning to write about it. Also about the Seer of Lublin itself who died in a rather precarious way and there is a claim that he committed suicide. 

Basically the, later on, Przysucha Movement split off from Lublin because Lublin had become too lofty and up in the air. Famous chassidic and maybe more down to earth groups from the Przysucha Movement are Gur (Ger) or Biale, including the Kotzker Rebbe.

The DIVRE BINAH commentated on Yaakov sending the messengers:
"When Yaakov sent messengers" (Bereshit 32:3). Rashi, quoting the Midrash Rabbah 75, states that they were real angels. Every time a man performs a Mitzvah, he creates an angel in the heavenly spheres. If, however, the Mitzvah is performed without any real Kavanah (intention, concentration), the newly angel is defective and does not survive. All the Mitzvot that Yaakov performed were perfect and wholehearted, and all his angels survived. Hence, the Midrash says, "real angels, living entities, angels who survive".


"Hasidism in Israel"
by Tzvi Rabinowicz

I just want to add a brief personal thought:

Isn't it an amazing that our Mitzvot can have an internal influence on this world ?
Nevertheless, I rather avoid thinking about the other way around.  


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