Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Weeping is thus lodged in one side of the heart and joy in the other.”

Every man is a contradiction in this sense, a combination of the holy and the trivial.

One has to integrate it all into some sort of workable unity – by building life as though it were an annex in the court of the Holy Temple, the inner chambers of which one can never be sure of enterin

Weeping is thus lodged in one side of the heart and joy in the other.

Man lives with both.

He knows the joy that sustains him in Divine worship.

And, at the same time, he can be stricken with grief and a sense of profound inadequacy concerning his own life. In particular, the Benoni, the person of the middle way, lives out this contradiction on various levels all through the years of his earthly existence.

“It is well known that the Patriarchs themselves constitute the Chariot.” They are the vehicle for the Divine. The Patriarchs are spoken of as the wheels or legs of the Chariot, in the sense that the Chariot is an implement used by God to get from one place to another. The personal essence of the Patriarchs has been used as an instrument to bring out the holiness of the world.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz