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Jerusalem – The Place of Memory

by Dovid Mark

Rebbe Nachman teaches that every morning a yid must strive to attach himself to “a memory of Olam HaBah.”  This memory is a mere imprint of a moment in a person’s cosmic and eternal existence when he was aware of his true root, his true home.

We have been sent down to this world countless times to uplift the mundane and reveal the Kingship of the Creator within the Creation. The very nature of our lofty consciousness coming into a lowered state of existence produces a type of spiritual forgetting likened to sleep.

The collective Jewish mission is one of memory.  We are meant to remember our deep connection to the Creator as both a vehicle for his Divine presence and a tool to bring the world closer to its true identity.  Yet, even us, whose entire lives and beings are, in a subconscious sense bound with the oneness of the Creator, require a place which reminds us of our real national mission.

This place is Jerusalem.

Deep inside, we know our world is transient and yet we are often caught up in living in a sort of permanence in this world. We forget who we are and why we are here. However in Jerusalem, despite the Holy of Holies being in a state of destruction, there is still a vibration of memory of the truth that dwells within us.  Rebbe Nachman and Reb Noson teach that this is the role of the Tzaddik, who is analogous to the Temple.  The Tzaddik, like Jerusalem is the source of our memory of a world we have forgotten while transversing in this one.

The more we are attached to both Jerusalem and the Tzaddik, the more our memory of who we are and our mission will become accessible to each one of us. This is the point of Tisha B’Av – to recognize how little we truly remember who we really are and why a rebuilt Jerusalem constantly eludes us. Without attachment to a true Tzaddik our path back to who we are and our true mission is dimmed and convoluted. The Tzaddik is our guide back home and back to the Temple in Jerusalem.

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