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Hassidic mysticism

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I n free space there is neither right nor left. In the same way, there is reward and punishment only in this, and not in the Messianic world.




Judaism / Hassidism 2788 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.116 







W e read in the psalm: "If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in the netherworld, behold, here Thou art." When I consider myself great and think I can touch the sky, I discover that God is the faraway There, and the higner I reach, the farther away he is. But if I make my bed in the depths, if I bow my soul down to the netherworld, there, too, he is with me.




Judaism / Hassidism 2787 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.104 







T hey say that the proud are reborn as bees. For in his heart the proud man says: "I am a writer, I am a singer, I am a great one at studying." And since what is said of such men is true-that they will not turn to God, not even on the threshold of hell-they are reborn after they die. They are born again as bees that hum and buzz: "I am, I am, I am."




Judaism / Hassidism 2786 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.103 







T here is no room for God in him who is full of himself.




Judaism / Hassidism 2785 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.102 







D o not tell yourself in your heart of hearts that you are greater than your neighbor, because you serve God so very fervently. You are no different from the rest of the creatures who were created for the service of God. And how could you be more admirable than the worm? For it serves its Maker with all its power and strength.




Judaism / Hassidism 2784 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.101 







H e who learns the Torah and is not troubled by it, who sins and forgives himself, who prays because he prayed yesterday-the worst scoundrel is better than he!




Judaism / Hassidism 2783 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.96 







W hat counts is to restrain the blaze in the hour of desire and let it flow into the hours of prayer and service.




Judaism / Hassidism 2782 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.95 







R abbi Abraham said:
"I have learned a new form of service from the wars of Frederick, king of Prussia. It is not necessary to approach the enemy in order to attack him. In fleeing from him, it is possible to circumvent him as he advances and fall on him from the rear and force him to surrender. What is needed is not to strike straight at evil but to withdraw to the sources of divine power, and from there to circle around evil, bend it and transform it into its opposite."





Judaism / Hassidism 2781 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.95 







G od relationship to the wicked may be compared to that of a prince who, besides his magnificent palaces, owns all manner of little houses hidden away in the woods and in villages, and visits them occasionally to hunt or to rest. The dignity of a palace is no greater than that of such a temporary abode, for the two are not alike, and what the lesser accomplishes the greater cannot. It is the same with the righteous man. Though his value and service may be great, he cannot accomplish what the wicked man accomplishes in the hour when he prays or does something to honor God, and God who is watching the worlds of confusion rejoices in him. That is why the righteous man should not consider himself better than the wicked.




Judaism / Hassidism 2780 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.92 







I n the story of the Creation we read: ". . . And behold, it was very good." But, in the passage where Moses reproves Israel, the verse says: "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil." Where did the evil come from?
Evil too is good. It is the lowest rung of perfect goodness. If you do good deeds, even evil will become good; but if you sin, evil will really become evil.





Judaism / Hassidism 2779 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.89 







Q uestion: The Talmud says that the child in the womb of his mother looks from one end of the world to the other and knows all the teachings, but that the instant he comes in contact with the air of earth an angel strikes him on the mouth, and he forgets everything. I do not understand why this should be: why first know everything and then forget it?
Answer: A trace is left behind in man through which he can reacquire the knowledge of the world and the teachings, and do God's service.
Question. But why must the angel strike man? If he did not, there would be no evil.
Answer: But if there were no evil, there would be no good, for good is the counterpart of evil.
Everlasting delight is no delight. That is how we must interpret what we are taught: that the creation of the world took place for the good of its creatures. And that is why it is written. "It is not good that the man" - that is to say the primal man God created-"should be alone," that is, without the counter effect and the hindrance of the Evil Inclination, as was the case before the creation of the world. For there is no good unless its counterpart exists. And further on we read: "I will make him a help meet for him" - the fact that evil confronts good gives man the possibility of victory: of rejecting evil and choosing good. Only then does the good exist truly and perfectly.





Judaism / Hassidism 2778 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.89 







I f you want to raise a man from mud and filth, do not think it is enough to stay on top and reach a helping hand down to him. You must go all the way down yourself, down into mud and filth. Then take hold of him with strong hands and pull him and yourself out into the light.




Judaism / Hassidism 2777 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.85 







W hat you must do is love your neighbor as yourself. There is no one who knows your many faults better than you! But you love yourself notwithstanding. And so you must love your neighbor, no matter how many faults you see in him.




Judaism / Hassidism 2776 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.83 







T o love God truly, one must first love man. And if anyone tells you that he loves God and does not love his fellow-man, you will know that, he is lying.




Judaism / Hassidism 2775 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.82 







W e should also pray for the wicked among the peoples of the world; we should love them too.




Judaism / Hassidism 2774 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.82 







R abbi Mikhal gave this command to his sons: "Pray for your enemies that all may be well with them. And should you think this is not serving God, rest assured that, more than all our prayers, this love is indeed the service of God."




Judaism / Hassidism 2773 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.82 







Q uestion: We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. How can I do this if my neighbor has wronged me?
Answer: You must understand these words rightly. Love your neighbor as something which you yourself are. For all souls are one. Each is a spark from the original soul, and this soul is inherent in all souls, just as your soul is inherent in all the members of your body. It may come to pass that your hand will make a mistake and strike you. But would you then take a stick and chastise your hand because it lacked understanding, and so increase your pain? It is the same if your neighbor, who is of one soul with you, wrongs you because of his lack of understanding. If you punish him, you only hurt yourself.
Question: But if I see a man who is wicked before God, how can I love him?
Answer: Don't you know that the primordial soul came out of the essence of God, and that every human soul is a part of God? And will you have no mercy on man, when you see that one of his holy sparks has been lost in a maze and is almost stifled?





Judaism / Hassidism 2772 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.82 







M an is like a tree. If you stand in front of a tree and watch it incessantly, to see how it grows, and to see how much it has grown, you will see nothing at all. But tend it at all times, prune the runners and keep it free of beetles and worms, and all in good time-it will come into its growth. It is the same with man: all that is necessary is for him to overcome his obstacles, and he will thrive and grow. But it is not right to examine him hour after hour to see how much has already been added to his stature.




Judaism / Hassidism 2771 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.74 







W hen a man grows aware of a new way in which to serve God, he should carry it around with him secretly, and without uttering it, for nine months, as though he were pregnant with it, and let others know of it only at the end of that time, as though it were a birth.




Judaism / Hassidism 2770 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.74 







H e who desires to become aware of the hidden light must lift the feeling of fear up to its source. And he can accomplish this if he judges himself and all he does. For then he sheds all fears and lifts fear that has fallen down. But if he does not judge himself, he will be judged from on high, and this judgment will come upon him in the guise of countless things, and all the things in the world will become messengers of God who carry out the judgment on this man.




Judaism / Hassidism 2769 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.73 







Q uestion: Why is the sacrifice of Isaac considered so glorious? At that time, our Father Abraham had already reached a high rung of holiness, and so it was no wonder that he immediately did as God asked him!
Answer: When man is tried, all the rungs and all holiness are taken from him. Stripped of everything he has attained, he stands face to face with God who is putting him to the test.





Judaism / Hassidism 2768 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.72 







N o limits are set to the ascent of man, and to each and everyone the highest stands open. Here it is only your personal choice that decides.




Judaism / Hassidism 2767 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.71 







G od said to Abraham: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee." God says to man: "First, get you out of your country, that means the dimness you have inflicted on yourself. Then out of your birthplace, that means out of the dimness your mother inflicted on you. After that, out of the house of your father, that means out of the dimness your father inflicted on you. Only then will you be able to go to the land that I will show you."




Judaism / Hassidism 2766 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.70 







T he world is a spinning die, and everything turns and changes: man is turned into angel, and angel into man, and the head into the foot, and the foot into the head. Thus all things turn and spin and change, this into that, and that into this, the topmost to the undermost, and the undermost to the topmost. For at the root all is one, and salvation inheres in the change and return of things.




Judaism / Hassidism 2765 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.69 







I shall teach you the best way to say Torah. You must cease to be aware of yourselves. You must be nothing but an ear that hears what the universe of the word is constantly saying within you. The moment you start hearing what you yourself are saying, YOU must stop.




Judaism / Hassidism 2764 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.66 







Q uestion: In the Sayings of the Fathers we read: "Who is wise? He who learns from all men, as it is said, 'From all my teachers I have gotten understanding."' Then why does it not say: "He who learns from every teacher"?
Answer: The master who pronounced this dictum is intent on making it clear that we can learn not only from those whose occupation is to teach but from every man. Even from a person who is ignorant, or from one who is wicked, you can gain understanding as to how to conduct your life.
"You can learn from everything," the rabbi of Sadagora once said to his hasidim. "Everything can teach us something, and not only everything God has created. What man has made has also something to teach us."
"What can we learn from a train?" one hasid asked dubiously.
"That because of one second one can miss everything."
"And from the telegraph?"
"That every word is counted and charged."
"And the telephone?"
"That what we say here is heard there."





Judaism / Hassidism 2763 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.65 







Q uestion: It is written: "And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." Rashi, our teacher, comments: "These are the words, no more and no less." What does he mean by that?
Answer: Moses was good. He wanted to reveal more to the people, but he was not allowed. For it was God's will that the people make an effort of their own. Moses was to say just these words to them, no more and no less, so that they might feel: Something is hidden here, and we must strive to discover it for ourselves. That is why, further on, we read: "And he set before them all these words." No more and no less.





Judaism / Hassidism 2762 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.62 







I nfinity shall he contained in every deed of man, in his speaking and seeing, listening and walking, standing still and lying down.




Judaism / Hassidism 2761 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.55 







I t is impossible to tell men what way they should take. For one way to serve God is by the teachings, another by Prayer, another way by fasting, and still another by eating. Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.




Judaism / Hassidism 2760 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.54 







T his is the secret of the unity of God: no matter where I take hold of a shred of it, I hold the whole of it. And since the teachings and all the commandments are radiations of his being, he who lovingly does one commandment utterly and to the core, and in this one commandment takes hold of a shred of the unity of God, holds the whole of it in his hand, and has fulfilled all.




Judaism / Hassidism 2759 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.54 







M an should serve God with all his strength, for all of it is needed. God wants us to serve him in all ways. And this is what is meant: It sometimes happens that a man takes a walk and talks with one person or another. And since, during this time, he cannot study, he should cling to God and join the Names of God with his soul. And when a man goes on a journey and cannot pray as usual, he should serve God in other ways. Let him not grieve because of this, for God wants us to serve him in all ways, now in this way and now in that way, and it is he who bade the man talk to people or undertake a journey, so that God might be served in these ways as well.




Judaism / Hassidism 2758 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.53 







I t is written in the psalm: I shall not die, but live." In order really to live, man must first give himself to death. But when he has done so, he discovers that he is not to die, that he is to live.




Judaism / Hassidism 2757 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.53 







I t is written: "And Abel, he also brought." The "he" is what he brought: he brought himself. Only when a man brings himself, too, is his sacrifice valid.




Judaism / Hassidism 2756 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.53 







I n order to perfect oneself, one must renew oneself day by day.




Judaism / Hassidism 2755 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.51 







M an is always passing through two doors: out of the world and into the next, and out and in again.




Judaism / Hassidism 2754 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.40 







T his is how: when man studies or prays with reverence and devoutness begotten of
love, and fastens and binds his spirit to God and remembers that nothing is void of him and with out him, but that everything is filled with life granted by the Creator, then, in all he sees, he sees the living power of the Creator and hears his living voice.





Judaism / Hassidism 2753 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.39 







B efore the soul enters the air of this world, it is conducted through all the worlds. Last of all, it is shown the first light which once-when the world was created-illuminated all things, and which God removed when mankind grew corrupt. Why is the soul shown this light? So that, from that hour on, it may yearn to attain the light, and approach it rung by rung in its life on earth. And those who reach it, the zaddikim-into them the light enters, and out of them it shines into the world again. That is the reason why it was hidden.




Judaism / Hassidism 2752 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.38 







T o commune with your Maker in solitude and silence, to recite psalms and pray to him-this it is good to do with your whole heart, until you are overwhelmed with weeping and weep to God as a child weeps to its father. But to weep according to plan in the midst of prayer-that is unworthy! He who does so can no longer say what he says with a whole heart, and the truly great weeping will not overwhelm him. Even thoughts about prayer are like "alien thoughts" which hinder the soul from fixing itself wholly upon God.
There are people who can utter words of prayer with true fervor, so that the words shine like a precious stone whose radiance shines of itself. Then again there are people whose words are nothing but a window that has no light of its own, but only lets the light in and shines for that reason.





Judaism / Hassidism 2751 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.30 







I t is written: "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me . . . And if thou make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones, for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast profaned it."
The altar of earth is the altar of silence, which pleases God beyond all else. But if you do make an altar of words, do not hew and chisel them, for such artifice would profane it.





Judaism / Hassidism 2750 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.30 







T he psalm reads: "For singing to our God is good."
It is good if man can so bring it about that God sings within him.





Judaism / Hassidism 2749 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.30 







W hen a Jew is about to say: 'Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the world," and prepares to utter the first word, the word "blessed," he shall do so with all his strength, so that he will have no strength left to say "art thou." And this is the meaning of the verse in the Scriptures: "But they that wait for the Lord shall exchange their strength." What we are really saying is: "Our Father in heaven, I am giving you all the strength that is within me in that very first word; now will you, in exchange, give me an abundance of new strength, so that I can go on with my prayer."




Judaism / Hassidism 2748 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.29 







H e who prays in sorrow because of the bleakness which burdens his spirit, and thinks he is praying in the fear of God, or he who prays in joy because of the radiance in his spirit, and thinks he is praying in the love of God-his prayers are no good at all. For his fear is the burden of sadness, and his love is nothing but empty joy.




Judaism / Hassidism 2747 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.28 







F aith is a very strong thing, and if a man has faith and a simplicity that does not rationalize, he will be found worthy of reaching the rung of grace which is even higher than that of holy wisdom. He will be vouchsafed great and overwhelming grace in God in very blissful silence, until he will be able to bear the greatness of this silence no longer, and will cry aloud out of the fullness of his soul.




Judaism / Hassidism 2746 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.24 







T his whole world is a cloak for the lowest rung of holiness, for its feet, as it were. As it is written: "And the earth is my footstool." God limits the godliness he has in infinity, and narrows it down to the focus of the material world in which man exists. And there he assigns every man his thought and word and deed according to the day, the place, and the person, and hides therein the signs to lead men to his service.
And so a man should immerse himself in the task of understanding the signs which are cloaked in thought and word and deed and so given to him in particular, in his work and his affairs, and in everything God appoints for him day by day.





Judaism / Hassidism 2745 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.23 







T here are two kinds of love: the love of a man for his wife, which should manifest itself in secret and not where there are spectators, for this love can be consummated only in a place apart from other beings; and there is the love for one's brothers and sisters and children, a love which does not require secrecy.
And there are two kinds of love for God: the spent in learning and praying and fulfilling the commandments, which should be shown in and not in the presence of others, lest it tempt to glory and pride; and the love shown in the company of other human beings, when one bears and speaks, gives and takes, and, in one's secret heart, clings to God and never ceases dwelling upon him.





Judaism / Hassidism 2744 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.21 







M an himself is the source of all his troubles, for the light of God pours over him eternally. But through his all-too-bodily existence man comes to cast a shadow, so that the light cannot reach him.




Judaism / Hassidism 2743 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.20 







I n the psalm we read: "How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart by day? "
As long as I take counsel in my soul, there must be sorrow in my heart all day. Only when I know of no further counsel that can help me, and I give up taking counsel, and know of no other help but God, will help be vouchsafed me.





Judaism / Hassidism 2742 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.20 







I n the Scriptures we read: "When any man of you bringeth an offering unto the Lord !' Only he who brings himself to God as an offering may be called man.




Judaism / Hassidism 2741 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.19 







I n the Scriptures we read: "I stood between the Lord and you." The "I" stands between God and us. When a man says "I" and presumes to use his Maker's word, he is shutting himself off from him. But there is no dividing wall before him who sacrifices his 'I" For of him it is written: "I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me!' When my "I" comes to belong to my beloved, then his desire is toward me.




Judaism / Hassidism 2740 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.19 







Q uestion: Why is it written: "In the day that God created a man on earth," and not "in the day that God created man on earth"?
Answer: You shall serve your Creator as if there were only one man in the world, only you yourself.





Judaism / Hassidism 2739 | 
Martin Buberís ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.18 





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