The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues



Volume VI, Issue 10

Vayeitzei, November 2001

Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2001 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (

* The Society for Positive Mindfulness (continued)
--by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro (the Pieszesner Rebbe)

* Rivers of Tears
--by Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner

* A True Path --by Avraham Stern

* Amidst Dry Stones
--by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro (the Pieszesner Rebbe)

Music has always been a riddle to you. What are the different notes? What are the ascents and descents of melody, and why are there sometimes very long notes and sometimes very short notes?

But now you see everything. Through the sound of music, your soul pierces upward toward the heights. And in heaven, it is as if your soul were seized by its sob and drawn by its tongue. Its heart, bowels and all its inner being emerge with its tune, and rises upon the path of notes. And your soul's ascents, falls, and all the perambulations of its path are carved into its melody, and the movement of the melody is engraved in its voice, and the tune is woven, and your soul bears the tune in its bowels to pour it forth and bring your soul close to God.

And at times, without even noticing what you are doing, you will speak before God. At first, your words will express the will of your body, but the more you are filled with feeling and the more your soul will come forth from its sheathe to fly to the heights, the more will you leave this world, and from the depth of your heart, your soul will cry out a pure prayer to God, such as this: "Master of the world in heaven, have pity on me and help me in everything. Woe and lament! Where have I been cast, Master of the world? Save me!" A person begins with asking for help in all his endeavors, and he ends with an outcry to save him from where he has fallen, and the like. And do not disparage such words, for they are quarried from your soul.

At others times, words will not come to you, and you will not feel any request. Yet nevertheless, you will feel something that you cannot describe: a type of cuddling. It is like a child nestling into his father. He doesn't want anything from his father, yet he moans, "Father, Father." His father asks him, "What do you want, my son?" "Nothing," the boy answers, and then again he moans, "Father, Father!"

Be aware that many times we can learn about the ways by which the soul manifests itself from a child: none of his actions are premeditated; instead, his soul of its own volition manifests itself in various ways, and this child moves and acts in accordance with the movements of his soul. And also this cuddling is an outpouring of his soul to the soul of his father. In your melody, you will also at times feel a type of moaning and nestling, without speech, without words and without any request. Only your soul is singing and pouring forth, and exclaims only the words, "Master of the world, Master of the world!"

And this does not necessarily occur only with a broken-hearted tune. It can also take place with a joyful tune. You can use all of these to manifest your soul. And this is the way of the Hasid: at times he weeps with a joyful tune, while dancing; and at other times he dances with the tune of Kol Nidrei.

And so when you are in the company of Hasidim who are singing–whether in prayer, at a meal or in some other manner–sing with them; not in order to make your voice heard, roaring "as the lioness" (Yermiahu 12:8), but only to bring your soul forth and to lift it up, as "when the musician played, the spirit of God came upon him" (Melachim II 3:15). It is a type of wedding tune that unites the groom and bride (and this suffices for the knowledgable). But this does not have to be limited to when you are with other Hasidim who are singing. At home as well, whenever you feel that the time is right, you can sing; and you do not have to cry out loudly, for a person can sing in a moaning hush, and his voice is heard in the heights.

Bnei Machshavah Tovah

by Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner

On the first Simchat Torah following the pogroms of 1929, Rav Kook directed that Harninu Goyim Amo be sung with a special tune composed by R. Chaim-Zev Finkel, the son of the gaon R. Eliezer-Yudl, rosh yeshiva of Mir). As they did so, Rav Kook danced and sang these verses with great feeling, and rivers of tears streamed from his eyes.

Shivchei Harayah, p. 236

by Avraham Stern

The first Husyatiner rebbe, R. Mordechai Shraga (a son of the Rizhner) told the following story.

In Berditshev, there lived a Jew named R. Meir Melamed. He was a person of considerable spiritual attainments who experienced divine inspiration. Suddenly, it was revealed to him from heaven that he must seek a rebbe, and that rebbe must be one of the revealed tzaddikim–i.e., a student of the Baal Shem Tov.

At that time, R. Pinchas Koritzer had been revealed. R. Meir went to Koritz by foot. When the two met, R. Pinchas said, "R. Meir! I would offer you something to eat, but I know your secret: that you fast from one Sabbath to the next. Therefore, I am not offering you anything, for to do so would be disingenuous." R. Meir made nothing of this, and he returned to his lodgings.

The next day, when R. Meir came to pray in R. Pinchas's kloyz, R. Pinchas told him, "R. Meir! I can tell you the dream you had last night. You had a revelation of Eliahu. I can also tell you what Eliahu said to you." R. Meir was not impressed by this either. Sensing this, R. Pinchas lost hope of gaining R. Meir as a disciple. Although R. Meir remained in Koritz for the Sabbath, during the prayers greeting the Sabbath on Friday evening and later that night at the ceremonial tisch, R. Pinchas did not even have him in mind.

But the next morning, after prayers R. Meir went to R. Pinchas and greeted to him, "A good Sabbath, rebbe."

R. Pinchas asked him, "When I called you by name without knowing you and also revealed that I know about your week-long fasting, this did not impress you. And the next day, when I told you that Eliahu had revealed himself to you in your dream, you took no notice of that either. And so what did you see in me today that you are calling me ‘rebbe'?"

R. Meir answered simply, "Today, when the rebbe sang Kel Adon, I saw in heaven the ministering angels together with the entire heavenly family singing along and dancing. That is why I call you ‘rebbe.' I do not want to achieve high attainments and divine inspiration, but a true path in serving the good God."

We have here related a story told by the first Husyatiner rebbe.

Let us add that he was once shown the rabbinic certification that R. Yaacov Yosef of Polonoy (the author of Toldos Yaacov Yosef and a great disciple of the Baal Shem Tov) received from the Noda Biyehudah. The document contains a specific clause stating that R. Yaacov Yosef should not arrange any divorces, for he did not answer any questions regarding the laws of divorce.

The rebbe of Husyatin explained, "Since R. Yaacov Yosef was perfect in everything, he was also brilliant regarding the laws of divorce. However, because he used to bring about divine unifications with his words, it was hard for him to respond regarding the laws of divorce, which indicate separation, and only dealt with laws where it was easier for him to make a unification."

Chasidishe Maasiyos

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

"Today he had a skin graft-
ing." The blue sky was an intense
Eye, and ecstasy leaked from its flat, brushed clouds.
"He is out of ICU and making good progress."

And Feiga Tzippora bat
Sheindal Reizel, "the woman who
was shot in Hebron, had successful surger-
y," and the grass sprouted amidst dry stones, and olive

Trees grew their slow, dusty lives,
Vines on low trellises, Arab
Farmers walking slowly, and "her mother thanks
All of you for your prayers." Miriam Sarah bat Es-

Ther Malka, "whose sister was
Murdered in the Sbarro bomb blast,"
In her mind perhaps a black fly is crawling
Across a green sky, a white ceiling–how ponderous

This elephant-earth spins in
Its zodiac shawl–"was badly
Burned on the legs and stomach, she is out of
The hospital." The crocuses are a city of

Cells, a river of mole-
Cules. These yellow patterns flash be-
Neath her eyelids, and the justice of the Lord
Is an outstretched sword in the air above Jerusa-

Lem. "Shai ben Mazel, of Nok-
dim, whose wife was murdered in a
drive-by shooting," has walked on the hills of Ju-
Dah, and their soft convolutions have slept in his eyes.

"His wife's parents are with him
Taking care of the children." On
These hills, the lions once roared, in pain, in love.
The wind from the south is still the prophecy of word-

Lessness. The prince is made of
Diamonds and the river flows in-
To the sea. And Yaffa Yehudit bat Bat-
sheva "has torn and crushed limbs, but her spirits are good."

And I am here, yet I am
Also flying, I cannot see
The angel carrying me, but I know that
He is from the side of good. "Here are the names of the

Three women soldiers who were
Seriously wounded." The silence
In the core of the day never ceased, "when the
Arab bus driver rammed into them at the bus stop."

How silent it was in hea-
Ven when the Egyptians were drown-
Ing. Now, almond trees, cease singing; now, boulders.
The vast silence echoes up to the Throne of Glory.

Class for Men: Hakhsharat Ha'avreikhim ("Spiritual Training"), step-by-step guidebook on how to develop an awareness of our souls and of God, by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro (the Pieszesner Rebbe), Sunday night. For information, call (410) 358-8771.

To subscribe by e-mail (free) or to sponsor an issue ($18.00), please contact:
Yaacov Dovid Shulman 410.358.8771;

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues
Jerusalem, Israel