Within Parshat Shoftim, various laws are discussed, including one concerning seeking advice from the top Rabbinical Council. To put it simply, when you have questions, the directive is to consistently consult the leading Rabbinical Council. The verse “tzedek tzedek tirdof” – run after and seek the greatest justice – underlines the pursuit of righteousness and justice. This entails actively seeking to clarify the law and proper conduct.
The Ohr Hachayim HaKadosh derives from these words that pursuing the correct halacha (Jewish law) is akin to a chase. In essence, one must strive to access the expertise of the finest Rabbinical scholars and seek their counsel. Aim for nothing but the best, as emphasized by the Ohr Hachayim.
Every Jew should strive for the guidance of the most esteemed tzaddikim of his time
Rebbe Nachman echoes this idea in Likutey Moharan lesson 30. He asserts that every Jewish individual should aspire to be closely connected with the most accomplished Rebbe and Tzaddik. Settling for less is not advocated. Even if you have a local Rabbi or teacher, Rebbe Nachman discourages the mindset of contentment when it comes to spiritual guidance. Rather, he urges seeking the best.
Rebbe Nachman draws a parallel with seeking medical assistance: When selecting a doctor, the inclination is to choose the most qualified. Similarly, every Jew, regardless of their current level, should strive for the guidance of the most esteemed tzaddikim. This is especially important if one recognizes their own spiritual shortcomings. In such cases, aiming for the highest level of guidance is imperative. Just as a severe illness requires a specialist, a person struggling deeply should not settle for a lesser guide.
Rebbe Nachman’s guidance extends to those at higher levels as well. Even if you’ve surpassed the capacity of a standard tzaddik or teacher, you still need an extraordinary guide. His advice consistently emphasizes the pursuit of the most accomplished tzaddikim. It aligns with the notion that the presence of individuals like Moshe Rabbeinu can be found in each generation, acting as representatives. Therefore, settling for anything less than the highest caliber of guidance doesn’t align with the goal of deepening one’s connection with Hashem.
In summary, the verse “tzedek tzedek tirdof” stresses the importance of seeking the highest level of righteousness and justice. Rebbe Nachman’s teachings resonate with this principle, advocating a proactive approach to finding the most qualified tzaddikim for guidance and growth in one’s spiritual journey.