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When Less Is More
"I know my son, I know. Also he shall become a nation, also he shall be great; but his younger brother shall be greater than he…" (48:19)

The wholesome simplicity of a simple Jew touches upon the utterly simple essence of G-d.

Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov

The two men were among the privileged few to be granted an audience with the king. At the appointed hour the first man arrived at the palace; but as soon as he entered the anteroom he froze, awestruck. A wealthy man himself, he was in a position to truly appreciate the grandeur which lay before him. For hours he stood, reveling in the finery and opulence which intoxicated his rich-man's soul. For hours he stood, and the king… he never did quite see the king.

The second man also arrived at the same entrance hall, but he was a man unaccustomed to such riches. His impoverished taste failed to appreciate what so enthralled his more sophisticated fellow. Much to the wealthy man's dismay, the pauper made straight for the king's door.

Says the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

A great man1once said: "I pray with the mind of a child." A child's perception of G-d, he felt, is, in a way, truer and purer than the accomplished kabbalist's deepest comprehension of the Divine attributes and manifestations.

The spiritual connoisseur who approaches G-d with an eye to the 'experience' of this or that nuance of divinity, can lose sight of what the point of it all is. Only by acknowledging our basic spiritual illiteracy can we truly relate to the all-transcendant essence of G-d.

 

FOOTNOTES
1. Rabbi Yaakov bar Sheishes, the 'Rivosh'.

 

 


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