Let My People Know

"Everything depends on how it is used"


A Chasidic treatise on the day called Second Passover teaches us that nothing is ever lost.

Even if one did not perform the Passover Ritual Feast as prescribed, or if there was some spiritual deficiency in the doing, or whatever-there is always the chance for Tikun, fixing and making restitution. 

One may spoil something, seemingly beyond repair-perhaps commit awful deeds or say unforgivable things-but nothing is ever really a Lost cause. 

As has been described in Scripture, the children of Israel entered the Wilderness and stood before Mount Sinai on the first of the month, the time of the new moon, when the moon's light is so faint as to be almost nonexistent. 

The symbolism is clear. This is the mere initiation of a process, the preparation for receiving the Torah, corresponding to the three days of inner restraint and renewal imposed on the people (at Mt. Sinai) in order to receive the Keter or Crown.

Preparation is here used in the sense of doing something to become an instrument or a receptive vessel. 

The choice of Keter as the objective is based on its superiority to all the other Sefirot, and the fact that there is no possibility for hostile forces to enter there.

Every Sefirah has its own essence, which becomes the very factor that invites the opposite side. 

Only something that has no sides, no defined character, can be free of this danger. 

As has been explained about Abraham and Isaac, the chief attribute of each leaves room for failings and weaknesses, even unto a great fall.

Thus in contrast to the precise lists of Christian virtues and vices, the Jewish tradition does not define attributes as being one thing or another. 

Even the attribute of Chesed, for example, which is the source of love, has to be adjudged as to whether it comes from the holy or the unholy. 

The same thing is true of fear of God, Gevurah. 

Everything depends on how it is used. 

There is an old saying, attributed to Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Pshische, to the effect that a Jew should be good, God-fearing, and wise, but since a merely good man is liable to be lustful, a merely God-fearing man becomes a priest, and he who is only wise is open to heresy, a Jew has to be all of them together.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From In the Beginning by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz