Monday, July 11, 2011

Conflict, Strife and Tzaddikim

Art: Jacek Yerka

Source: Rebbe Nachman's Wisdom by Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov

The Talmud teaches "In the future, G-d will grant 310 worlds to each Tzaddik".

Each Tzaddik builds his 310 worlds through conflict. Every word of strife is a stone. The letters of the words are called "stones". Thus the Sefer HaYetzirah states: "two stones build two houses...."

Words of strife are built of slippery stones.
Strife is maChLoKes. Slippery is meChuLaKim.

Stones created through strife are therefore slippery and cannot be joined. However, a Tzaddik can join these slippery stones. He can then build them into houses.

He makes peace between these stones, arranging them and joining them together until a house is built. This is the peaceful home.

The Tzaddik builds a peaceful home out of these slippery conflicting stones. Out of these houses he then builds a city, then a universe, until all 310 worlds are completed.

It is written [Prov. 8:21] "That I may give those who love Me substance".

"Substance" is YeSH [yud shin] - adding up to 310. These are the 310 worlds.

A Tzaddik inclines to the side of kindness. He even presumes the merit of those who oppose him.

The world cannot endure the light of a Tzaddik. Those who oppose the Tzaddik obscure his light enough so that the world can hear it.

A truly great Tzaddik must also face many judgments and accusations on high. Those who oppose him silence these judgments and accusations.

A man is on trial for a serious offence. Suddenly, another person becomes filled with zeal and says "I will judge him myself and take vengeance on him".

The others who wanted to bring the defendant to judgment are then silenced.

There are times when the defendant would find it impossible to endure the judgment of his original adversaries. The one who wishes to take personal vengeance is then actually doing him a favour.

It is better for him to endure the judgment of the individual than that of the many. He can bear the former, but the latter would be too much for him.

It is written [Num 25:11] "Pinchas.... turned My wrath away from the children of Israel when he took my revenge among them, and I did not destroy them."

Pinchas killed the sinner Zimri, taking the judgment into his own hands. Had he not done this, the Jewish people would have been sentenced to annihilation. But because Pinchas took G-d's vengeance into his own hands, the accusation against the Jews was silenced.

A man stands up against a Tzaddik. He says "I will act against him! I will show him my strength and revenge!"

This man is actually silencing all other judgments against the Tzaddik.

There is another benefit that comes from such conflict. Before a Tzaddik can rise from one level to the next, he is first tested. [Sh'mos Rabbah 2:3] Those who can advance are called "those who have the power to stand in the King's palace".

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