Friday, June 17, 2011

The Tikkun of the Heart and Rav Ginsburgh Shlita


For the refuah shlema for HaRav Yitzchak Feivish Ginsburgh ben Brainah Malka Shlita who suffered a mild cardiac arrest this week during a speaking tour in Spain. The Rav is now out of the hospital and feeling better and will return to Eretz Yisrael next week. Before Shabbat the Rav said that the idea of Parshas Shlach is to explore הארץ (the land) which in Yiddish also means 'heart' (dos 'hartz'). His student further directed those interested in the Tikkun of the Heart to read Likkutei Torah of the Alter Rebbe on this week's Torah portion. 

This shall be fringes for you, and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord to perform them, and you shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes after which you are going astray.
Numbers 15, 39)

The Alter Rebbe explains (my translation):
To understand the matter of the heart: When thought emerges from the mind, it comes suddenly. When thought is still in the mind, it is so obscure and concealed that even the person himself cannot grasp it. But when it begins to emanate from the mind, right before it is revealed, it becomes very excited from its imminent revelation. The heart is the existence of a thing, because when something takes root firmly in the heart, it will never depart from there. Not so the case when the thought is only in the mind--it can depart from him suddenly. The heart is rooted in the physical passions because she is closer to the body. Therefore, even if a person grasps with his mind that he must cleave himself to God with all his soul, and that this is the purpose of everything, nonetheless, the heart can still lead him after his bodily desires, as the our sages said '[the eyes see] and the heart desires'. Therefore a person must be keen to fight the battle of the mind and the heart, to turn the heart as well, using the full strength of his mind's grasping of God's greatness, until the heart too will desire to cleave to Him.
This is the meaning of the two levels, tzaddik and chasid. A tzaddik is the one about whom it says 'Who is strong? He who conquers his inclination,' that one must always fight his battle, and be called a tzaddik. Not so the case of one who makes a practice of contemplating [God's greatness] so strongly that the thing is rooted in the heart too, such that he is completely surrendered by nature, and will not under any circumstances move from there. This one is called a chasid.

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