Today’s learning is dedicated to the refuah sheleima of Simcha Nosson ben Zissel.
We previously quoted Rebbe Nachman’s lesson where he states that by emulating Hashem’s kindness, we bring forgiveness and mercy to the world.
As we discuss the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, we will be learning from the first chapter of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero’s classic work, Tomer Devorah (Rabbi Cordovero was the Arizal’s teacher). We will be following Rabbi Shmuel Meir Riachi’s commentary on Tomer Devorah.
As Rabbi Riachi explains in his introduction to Tomer Devorah, “The underlying theme is the premise that when a person has been offended or harmed, and utilizes that Attribute to overcome his anger and act mercifully towards the offender, this brings a corresponding flow of blessing from heaven.”
Rebbe Nachman teaches that each person is an olam katan, a microcosm of the entire world. Every action yields great impact on our surroundings; every action has tremendous ripple effects.
As Rabbi Riachi explains, “The world mirrors the deeds of man, which means that we have great power to shape and improve everything that transpires… The events that occur in the world are closely intertwined with the events that occur inside of us, in our hearts and minds, and in our daily activities. A small change in our inner world, for better or for worse, makes a great change in the world around us.”
In this way, we try to better the world by bettering ourselves. Similarly, the story is told of the Chafetz Chaim zt’l who dreamt of perfecting the entire world. “When he saw this was beyond his ability, he narrowed his horizons and aimed on perfecting just his country. This too proved beyond his reach, so he settled on perfecting just his small village of Radin. Finally, he concluded that he would at least perfect himself. By perfecting himself, he succeeded in his original goal of effecting the entire world.”
Tremendous reward and salvation are promised to those who study Tomer Devorah each day. The Divrei Chaim, Rav Chaim Halberstam of Sanz, states that learning these teachings will save one from serious illness.
The Shela, Rav Yeshayah Horowitz zt’l, said that one who is accustomed to reading (and implementing) Tomer Devorah, is guaranteed a portion in the World to Come.
Similarly, Yoel HaNavi revealed that those who emulate Hashem’s mercy, will merit to see the ultimate Redemption.
Rabbi Moshe Cordovero bases his interpretation of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy on the verse in Michah (7:18-20) that states, “Who, Hashem, is like You? He bears sin and removes iniquity to the remnant of His inheritance. He does not maintain His anger forever, for He desires kindness. After repentance, He will have mercy on us. He suppresses our sins. May you cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Give truth to Yaakov, kindness to Avraham, as You swore to our forefathers from days past.”
As we delve into each of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, we will begin to see that Hashem’s tolerance, benevolence, and love are truly incredible.
TO BE CONTINUED…
If you’d like to receive these messages via Whatsapp, please message me at 845-641-2648.
As always, comments are more than welcomed!