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Our exile has been long. The princess within has been lost for what seems like an eternity and now lies motionless after being poisoned by the arrows of Edom.  This is the poison of consumerism, endless information, broken families, and selfish desires.

Yet there is hope.

Along the rocky hillside, deep within the Land of Israel there is a shepherd, ancient, timeless, and free of the present.  He is young and old at once, a treasure of the past holding the key to the future.  He plays his flute while his sheep graze.  The song he plays is of ancient days overtaking everything around him, enlivening the blades of grass and shrubs.

They are infused with the source of holiness that the song brings.  The sheep eat the grass and are nourished, the Land expands, the song spreads outwards. The song is eternal, penetrating our hearts as it did our forefathers as they worked endlessly in Egypt – the land of constricted consciousness.  It was this song played by the Avos that called the Jewish people home.  This song is the same song calling us home now.

Some of us hear it and so we have returned.  Yet, even those of us who have returned have lost our ability to hear the song of Yaakov, the song of Redemption.  We are here, but the song remains beyond us.

It takes a special Tzaddik to remind us to listen – to remind us that this Land is ours, not because of our might but because of the covenant the Creator made with Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov.  That is the purpose of the song – to give us the memory we so desperately need. Yet first, we must find the Tzaddik who teaches us to listen to the song that has been playing for thousands of years. For he has learned the song and amplified it for our generation.

When we do we will be able to hear once again and remember who we really are and why we are here.

(Based on Likutey Moharan Tinyana 63; the Story of the Seven Beggars – Sixth Beggar)

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Author

David Mark or "Reb Dovid" as many call him is a prolific writer and informal educator, focusing on the merger of Chassidic thought and the Land of Israel. He received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Brovender and Rabbi Nechemia Goldberg. He is currently one of the writers and editors at Breslov Research Institute. He teaches Breslov Chassidus in the American program in the Hesder Yeshiva of Otniel as well as in various settings in Jerusalem and the wider Judea and Samaria area.

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