Sunday, April 25, 2010

A "Jewish Heart" Is Not Enough

Penetrating words from Reb Kalonymos Kalman Shapira, the Piaseczna Rebbe:

Many people console themselves by saying, "Well, if I am not serving God as I should and am not as refined as behooves me, at least I have good aspirations. Many times my heart cries out in the pain of my distance from Him."
But would the drowning person console himself with his desire to rescue his life and with his heart's cry facing imminent death? What use is it if he doesn't act to save himself and try to get out of the water?
The above passage can be found in the Rebbe's personal diary, Tzav V'Ziruz. Each entry packs a punch, and while the Rebbe's wordings may be spare, they are rife with meaning and depth. In all honesty, I can say that there hasn't been a single entry that didn't contain a message that pertained specifically to me; the Rebbe's candor and frankness concerning his own struggles in life resonate with me and hopefully with others as well.

As for the subject matter mentioned in the entry I quoted above, more on that topic later.

Tzav V'Ziruz is usually printed in the back of Hachsharas Avreichim, the Rebbe's second book which deals with education and growth through Chassidus (you may notice the title from the sidebar...). It has also been translated into english by Rabbi Yehoshua Starrett under the title To Heal The Soul: The Spiritual Journal Of A Chasidic Rebbe; I used the translated version of the excerpt for my quote above.

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