Hasidim of the shtetls shared wonderful tales of their Rebbes, “lofty souls” sent from Heaven to “illumine the darkness of exile*:”
…who led other souls to Gd.
They didn’t just teach Torah,
they turned lives into Torahs,
and showed others to see
the divinity that infuses all things.
. . . I once met a Zaddik
who could set aside her ego.
She turned my life into Torah
and walked me back to Gd.
What a blessing it is to know
Gd still sends lofty souls
to illumine the darkness of exile**!
Shabbat shalom, jen
*Both of the phrases in quotations were taken from page 16 of Rabbi Louis Jacobs’ book Hasidic Prayer (Schocken Books 1972).
The ‘exile’ to which Rabbi Jacobs refers is the physical exile from Jerusalem.
**The exile to which I refer is spiritual exile from Gd and/or from one’s own soul (the root of which is Gd).
The photo is of a yarmulke or skull cap worn by Hasidim who follow the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, who was the great-grandson of the Baal Sham Tov.