All of us sense something is missing. Our lives lack a completion.  The world is in free fall.  True, we have our homes, jobs, and families, and yet we are still yearning and striving for more.  But we can never be truly satisfied.

Rebbe Nachman teaches that the more Israel runs from its responsibilities, the more the Tzaddik, the one that holds the true path will be hidden. The more he is hidden, the more our own world appears to be disorganized and in a state of lacking, no matter how comfortable our loves may seem from a physical standpoint.

When Yosef HaTzaddik was thrown into the pit by his brothers, he eventually descended deep into the depths of Mitzrayim, Egypt. Mitzrayim is connected to the Metzarim, confinement or constriction. Yosef HaTzaddik may have appeared to be falling further and further into the darkness of exile, but he never lost hope.

Ain yeush b’olam clal, there is no despair in the world.

Yehuda, was a different matter.  His descent brought tragedy and despair for he sold the tzaddik, his brother into slavery.  Yehuda’s actions shut out the light of the true Tzaddik in the world and for that Yehuda fell.  He fell into a spiritual fall so deep it was as if he too was in exile.

Rav Noson teaches that now, as we draw close to the end, the Kingdom of Amalek has spread its darkness throughout the world and in turn hidden the light of the true Tzaddik (Likutey Halachot, Tefillin, Halacha 7).  It was this klipah of Amalek, which confused the brothers and led them to turn against Yosef HaTzaddik.

Yehuda represents the Kingdom, the Nation of Israel.  Each one of us must strive to “see the [Divine] intellect in everything,” (Likutey Moharan Lesson 1) and reveal its root, which is God, but our sight is hazy and our path is blurred. We have fallen into a deep galus, exile.

Our souls know there is an answer, a way out of this descent.  However, we cannot do it alone. The Tzaddik, whose light is dimmed due to our actions is standing with a bright torch ready to lead the way, only if we return and follow him.




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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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