A Sacred Time – Adar #10
Simple Success – Parashat HaChodesh (the New Moon)
“Rav Yitzchak said: If a person makes himself simple, Hashem is simple with him. Rav Oshaya taught, ‘When a person is simple with Hashem, the hour stands for him.'” (Masechet Nedarim)
Rebbe Nachman taught: “The main spiritual work is simplicity…. Although one should not be a fool, he should be simple.” (Likutey Moharan II:44; Sichot HaRan, #51)
Rav Noson, z”l, explains that Parashat Hachodesh alludes to “Yaakov Ish Tam“–Yaakov Avinu who is called the “simple man” in the Torah. The word tam indicates wholeness but also simplicity, in the sense of being free of complications. Many people wind up far from their spiritual goals because they try to rush their growth. They want to move from level to level as quickly as possible. But everyone has an hour of redemption–a time of Divine favor when the way forward is open to them. Usually, when one tries to rush his time, he fails; as we find in Avot: “Anyone who presses the hour, the hour presses him back.”
But why isn’t our progress just made easier? Why do we have to be so patient and overcome obstacles? The sages taught that we don’t progress at will because Hashem desires our prayers. And even while waiting and praying, it is forbidden to attempt to force matters. If we are simple and wait, Hashem delivers us. But if we come with claims to the Almighty we demonstrate a lack of trust. Don’t we know that our loving Father would never needlessly inflict pain? We need to wait and pray, working on simple emunah that everything is for the best and that our relief–whether it is from physical hardship, deep pain, or spiritual difficulty–will eventually come. The time will come when our darkness will be illuminated and we will see the world and our pain in a different context. For today, I wait and trust that Hashem will deliver me from my personal bondage in Egypt to the freedom of the Torah…in exactly the right time.
(Based on Likutey Halachot, Nezikin, 5
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