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Reb Nosson recorded in Torah 25 that after Rebbe Nachman taught the lesson, he said “now we need to call the Evil One by a new name. It’s time to call it the כּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה (the power of imagination)”. Reb Nosson writes that even though the Rebbe said it jokingly, he understood that there was a serious intention there, which Reb Nosson admits he didn’t know.

In the book Kochvei Ohr (p.129), Rav Avraham Chazan brings from the Talmud (Sukkah 52a) that the Yetzer Hara (the evil inclination) has seven names. These seven attributes of the Evil One contend with the seven attributes of of the seven shepherds, (Chessed, Gevurah, Tiferes etc. known as Z’er Anpin). Until the birth of Rebbe Nachman, says Rav Chazan, there were only these seven attributes. But with the revelation of Rebbe Nachman there is now an eighth attribute called Binah Ila’ah (higher understanding), so the opposing force has to fight back with a new name, the כּחַ הַמְדַמֶּה.

I’m sure if you’re not the fabrente Breslover that I am, you’re probably rolling your eyes. Rebbe Nachman, the 19th century chassidic master from the Ukraine is the eighth attribute? So, hold on a minute and let me explain something.

Everything the Rebbe taught can be summarized in two words – simple faith. He foresaw the atheism that was starting to spread and he taught like no other to believe in ones self, believe in the tzaddikim and believe in Hashem.

By renaming the yetzer hara I think Rebbe Nachman taught us something amazingly unique about faith. We must use our imagination to believe. We have to paint pictures in our minds and hearts and dream with certainty. Believing in Moshiach, in world peace, and in our personal salvation seems impossible. And you know what? With mere cerebral faith it is. It’s incumbent upon us to see past what we can understand and believe in our imagination as if it is reality. Because once we do, it will be the reality.

This is the faith of Rebbe Nachman and the belief in miracles, which he spoke about often. Chanukah is all about miracles. How did the maccabees go out and fight with the Greeks? Are they nuts? Why were they relying on a miracle? They must have imagined they could win. They weren’t relying on miracles, they were living in a different reality, the eighth reality, the eight candles, the higher understanding of the Rebbe.

Why now? Why did Rebbe Nachman appear on the scene now? Because we all feel so stuck. We’re stuck in our jobs, in our bad behaviors, in our unhealthy relationships and in our poverty. But we’re really only stuck in our limited minds. We’re so pessimistic that even the optimists have to cover up their enthusiasm with negativity, in fear that they’ll be wrote off as irrational.

Miracles. Believe in the miracles of your imagination. Strongly believe in it and that changes everything. With that belief, the fire will burn for eight days against all odds. That’s just one example. These miracles are happening all the time. Let go of your hangups, start dreaming and begin living in the eight dimension.

 

נחמן = ימי חנוכה

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Believe it!

  1. Hi Davy. Chanukah sameach! I don’t understand how you are explaining Torah 25, or what Rav Chazan’s esoteric words are trying to bring out, although I am sure that he is saying something very deep. What I see in torah 25 is that Rebbe Nachman is contrasting the power of illusion which he explains is equal to what is called the yetzer hara with the power of the sechel–pure intelligence. I don’t remember Rebbe Nachman saying in this Torah that you should fight the power of illusion by trusting in your own imagination. Perhaps that could be illusion too! Rather he says that someone who is stuck in the realm of illusion has a heart of stone. He only sees and feels what his thoughts tell him and doesn’t suspect that there could be an element of illusion in them. As a result he could be very misguided, cruel, destructive, etc. while in his own mind everything he thinks and does makes perfect sense and is based on logic and justice and truth. The way to get above this is through sechel and daas. There are 3 types of sechel. Potential, active, and acquired. the more a person cultivates the sechel the more he breaks out of the power of illusion. He does talk about shecting korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash which is definitely an example of using the imagination to break out from the power of illusion (amimals are guided by the power of illusion. When you shecht them in that context it is like you are shechting the power of illusion.) but the goal is to get back to sechel and logic–not to believe in your own imagination. I think that even the faith in miracles needs to be based on a certain type of logic and reason, not on blind faith or giving reign to the imagination in general. Could you explain more what you are hearing in this Torah and how you are hearing it?

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