Crying for Freedom

Our souls yearn to be free, so much so that it is as if they are weeping for redemption. Dovid Mark continues his class on the Lost Princess by Rebbe Nachman.

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Discerning the Good from Within the Darkness

Our world is designed to be confusing – so much so that we are often pulled onto paths that effectively draw us away from our mission here. How do we draw out the good from within all the darkness? Dovid Mark discusses this in reference to his ongoing class on Rebbe Nachman’s story “The Lost Princess.”

Creating the Divine Space

Join Dovid Mark on a journey we can all relate to – a journey we all share and yet is unique to each one of us. In our modern world, where money drives our lives and the products we are shown grab at our senses, we yearn for something more. In this episode, which is a continuation of Rebbe Nachman’s famous story the Lost Princess, we learn the secrets of our Created space and its Divine root embedded within. Why are we here? And what is our mission?

The End of Sleep and the Defeat of the Kingdom of Haman-Amalek

Originally published on BRI

Galus is more than a physical separation between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel –  it is a state of mind; a loss of conscious awareness of the Creator’s providence. To be in Galus is to be in a spiritual slumber.

This is our reality.

This was and has been the Jewish people’s predicament since the destruction of the first Temple and it is the paradigm in which the Purim story unfolds.

We are in a continuous state of Purim – an unfolding drama woven within the tapestry of politics and the mundane and yet when we stir from our slumber for just a moment we see the lost princess, Esther, the Shechina that was hidden from us. We are reminded in those moments that it is possible to awaken from our perpetual sleep.

As the Kingdom of Haman-Amalek grows, we remain asleep. It strengthens, inundating us with ambient information, uncontrolled desires, and false yearnings. However, we can awaken, we can reclaim our lives and authentic selves, but we have to cling to the Tzaddik – only he has the key to the story we need to hear.

Which story is that? Our story – special to each one of us. When we hear it – we awaken.

The Jews clung to Mordechai and were saved.  They recognized that Esther was theirs and freed the “lost princess” from the confines of the palace of the “no good” – ruled by Achashverosh – destroying Haman descendent of Amalek.

We too, must hold fast to the teachings and stories of the Tzaddik.  His stories and advice are specific to our generation – the generation meant to awaken and destroy the Kingdom of Haman-Amalek forever.

(Based on the Lost Princess; Likutey Halachot Purim Halacha Alef)

Reclaiming Our National Soul

The final struggle over the Land of Israel is not rooted in the physical. While it’s true that Yishmael appears to be the violent opposing force to the yidden’s ability to draw closure to the galus, exile, the fact that we could crush our enemies in a matter of days or hours means that the key to the final redemption is not found in our military might.

So what’s holding us back?

Most of us have heard the famous gematria where the letters making up Amalek (עמלק) equal Safek (ספק) or doubt. While this concept has been applied to our personal relationship with the almighty in a daily sense for thousands of years – it is important to to see its connection to the current national predicament in the Land of Israel at the End of Days.

Rebbe Nachman teaches that the Kingdom of Haman/Amalek will use as its weapon the insatiable desire for money and material success. This weapon hangs over each of us and has penetrated the very makeup of our national enterprise. All of us have become pulled into its clutches and it has turned us from a nation of idealists to an extension of the Western consumer empire.

This safek, doubt about where we are heading flows from our fear of losing the material goals we have grown accustom to setting for ourselves. Zionism has in effect become pacified by its material success. Amalek has gained control. It is this pacification that prevents us from finishing the journey home, because home is not just a piece of land, but rather a recognition that the Land is above the material equation so often used when sizing the value of whatever it is one wants. The Land of Israel and the Nation of Israel are not quantifiable. We seek quiet and “normalcy,” but the more we seek these things the more Yishamel rises and pushes against us.

Amalek uses material pursuits not as a means to build vessels for holiness in our world, but rather as an end to themselves. This shift creates the space for doubt and the malaise that exists within us and the world. This doubt causes the perception that there is a disconnect between the divine and the physical world, which has caused us to pull back leaving us to clutch the material as the only meaning we feel we have created in our lives.

We can only rescue the Lost Princess from the castle and restore the Divine Presence to our Land by first removing the desire for the “castle of pearls on a mountain of gold” in its entirety. Doing this, will restore the pursuit of material wealth to just a means to create real holiness. This will naturally fill our national collective with a unifying Divine goal reclaiming our soul and Land forever.