מַעֲשֶׂה אֶחָד הָלַךְ מֵאָבִיו וְהָיָה בִּמְדִינוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת יָמִים רַבִּים אֵצֶל אֲחֵרִים וְלִזְמַן בָּא לְאָבִיו וְהִתְפָּאֵר בְּעַצְמוֹ שֶׁלָּמַד שָׁם אָמָּנוּת גָּדוֹל לַעֲשׂוֹת מְנוֹרָה הַתְּלוּיָה וְצִוָּה לְהִתְאַסֵּף כָּל בַּעֲלֵי אָמָּנֻיּוֹת הַזֶּה וְהוּא יַרְאֶה לָהֶם חָכְמָתוֹ בְּזֶה הָאָמָּנוּת וְכֵן עָשָׂה אָבִיו וְקִבֵּץ כָּל הַבַּעֲלֵי אָמָּנֻיּוֹת הַזּאת לִרְאוֹת גְּדֻלַּת הַבֵּן מַה שֶּׁפָּעַל בְּכָל הַיָּמִים הָאֵלּוּ שֶׁהָיָה בְּיַד אֲחֵרִים וְהַבֵּן הוֹצִיא מְנוֹרָה אַחַת שֶׁעָשָׂה וְהָיְתָה מְגֻנָּה מְאד בְּעֵינֵי כֻּלָּם וְאָבִיו הָלַךְ אֶצְלָם, וּבִקֵּשׁ מֵאִתָּם שֶׁיְּגַלּוּ לוֹ הָאֱמֶת וְהֻכְרְחוּ לְהוֹדִיעַ לוֹ הָאֱמֶת שֶׁהִיא מְגֻנָּה מְאד וְהַבֵּן הִתְפָּאֵר: הֲלא רְאִיתֶם חָכְמַת אָמָּנוּתִי וְהוֹדִיעַ לוֹ אָבִיו שֶׁלּא נִרְאָה יָפָה בְּעֵינֵי כֻּלָּם הֵשִׁיב לוֹ הַבֵּן: אַדְּרַבָּא ! בָּזֶה הֶרְאֵיתִי גְּדֻלָּתִי כִּי הֶרְאֵיתִי לְכֻלָּם חֶסְרוֹנָם כִּי בְּזאת הַמְּנוֹרָה נִמְצָאִים הַחֶסְרוֹנוֹת שֶׁל כָּל אֶחָד מֵהַבַּעֲלֵי אָמָּנוּת הַנִּמְצָאִים כָּאן הֲלא תִּרְאֶה שֶׁאֵצֶל זֶה, מְגֻנָּה חֲתִיכָה זוֹ אֲבָל חֲתִיכָה אַחֶרֶת יָפָה אֶצְלוֹ מְאד וְאֵצֶל אַחֵר לְהֵפֶךְ אַדְּרַבָּא, זאת הַחֲתִיכָה שֶׁהִיא מְגֻנָּה אֵצֶל חֲבֵרוֹ הִיא יָפָה וְנִפְלָאָה בְּעֵינָיו, רַק זאת הַחֲתִיכָה מְגֻנָּה וְכֵן אֵצֶל כֻּלָּם מַה שֶּׁרַע בְּעֵינֵי זֶה הִיא יָפָה בְּעֵינֵי חֲבֵרוֹ, וְכֵן לְהֵפֶךְ וְעָשִׂיתִי מְנוֹרָה זאת מֵחֶסְרוֹנוֹת לְבַדָּם לְהַרְאוֹת לְכֻלָּם שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם שְׁלֵמוּת וְיֵשׁ לְכָל אֶחָד חִסָּרוֹן כִּי מַה שֶּׁיָּפֶה בְּעֵינָיו הוּא חִסָּרוֹן בְּעֵינֵי חֲבֵרוֹ אֲבָל בֶּאֱמֶת אֲנִי יָכוֹל לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּתִקּוּנוֹ
אִם הָיוּ יוֹדְעִים כָּל הַחֶסְרוֹנוֹת וְהַנִּמְנָעִים שֶׁל הַדָּבָר הָיוּ יוֹדְעִים מַהוּת הַדָּבָר, אַף שֶׁלּא רָאוּ אוֹתוֹ מֵעוֹלָם
(from an exchange of letters with Reb Yehoshua Wiseman, hy”v:
Dear R David, shlita
yshar K ! again for your minhalev vhadaas comments.
By the way, I read a story by Rabeinu about a week ago about a father who sent his son to learn umanus of the hang-lichter and when the son cam back to the town and showed off his work, all the craftsmen of the town found fault w something particular in the work– and in this the son praised himself in that each one was only finding his own fault however miclall divrehem, it was manifest (at least, to the wisen son,) that his work was fabulous. I am interested to here your interpretation – as well as your help in referring me where i can find useful commentaries by hachmei anash.
(my humble commentary is that the candelabrum is the brieah (tair aretz) and that even though every one in the world mitztad atzmo is deficient, however if we would recognize that our shortcomings exist so that we can rec haslamah from mibahotz then the world truly is a magnificenly harmonious intsr. for Or Hashem.) (however , this commentary doesn’t fit 100%, to my humble op.)
Shalom uv’racha. thanks for sharing with me the story of Rabbenu Hakadosh. this story has for me extreme personal resonance; b”h I look forward to trying to communicate my understanding of it. It is not based on anything I have read of interpretations of it–rather, as I say-it ressonates extremely strongly with me and I need no one to explain me it’s meaning. I just hope, halavai, that i can communicate this.
My time is not with me now, I hope, b”h, soon.
Reb Yehoshua. I see that time is still not in my domain. I very much want to write about this story, b”H; but still it isn’t the time. In the meantime I attach from a blog from my website where I touched upon this story in relation to my work. Maybe you will get something from it.
I see to write: my artwork is my taking my Torah knowledge (and whatever else I have inside of me) and sketching and refining it in chulin–on a surface, according to the principles of visual organization and expression. That is: to take all my thought and to try to express it in the most simple structures that are possible. One needn’t know any Kaballah or even Mishnah or Talmud, or even Chumash or even know how to read Aramaic or Lashon haKodesh or even English; he can just look and experience, and receive that which I have to impart, even the highest concepts. All this to make Torah accessible to anyone whose soul desires to drink and be nourished.
More than this; I seek to include my mistakes and lacks in understanding in the the picture themselves, to share my process of thinking through, sorting out thoughts, struggles to separate correct from false, holy from profane, etc. to admit to myself and to others: “where I am at”–for example: even though I may understand a piece of Torah nicely, still, perhaps,, it is not yet absorbed in all my being; and this reality I want to represent in the pictures—both what I know in my mind and what I still am in myself, which is not yet coincident with that knowledge. This: in order to make true pictures in the fullest sense to which I am able, for my own good and for the good of others.
It should be, it seems to me, that these pictures should be accessible to all, for I am lowering myself, very very much, to put Torah into geometric shapes and colors, etc. and furthermore to admit and even to proclaim out loud, so to speak, all my failings ( even though there is a limit to this—out of respect to the Torah which is in me and in the pictures—understand this.) Yet I see that even these pictures are difficult for most people to “understand”, and I’ve wondered a lot about this.
It seems, that even this, the fact that I seek to lower the Torah in me to express it is such simple ways, and that I seek so much honesty In my representation and expression—this itself is a high medrega which most people can’t relate to, and therefore the picture cannot enter into their hearts. And, it seems, the more that I try to lower myself and see and reveal more truth and honesty, paradoxically, the more remote the pictures become from people’s understanding. I see this happening.
And me, I cannot remain on the same medrega, or go lower, Heaven forbid—only to go higher. And I become very separate from the world, even after I’ve come out of pure Torah, and come into pictures, still, etc., as above.
So for some years now I’ve seen the only recourse, in light of this serious problem, is to uplift the generation, even if it is for my own benefit—so that I can continue to live—for if I am not able to go to a higher medrega there is no purpose in living at all.
I haven’t seen so much success in this, but perhaps it is only not visible—and testimony to this (that the generation has in fact been raised up, even though it is not visible) is the fact that I am still alive—for if I were unable to continue to ascend, I would pass away, as said above. Enough of this, for now.
Another point: my pictures confront a viewer—and the viewer may say, my daughter can do that, etc. or similar; they don’t see the artistry, etc. but if they CONTINUE to look, to see if, indeed, the picture recoils at their rebuke and hasn’t what to answer to their reproof, they will see that, in fact, the picture does answer them back and shows its artistry and wisdom that was hidden behind its apparent simpleness, and if they continue to question they will continue to see answers to their questions, until in the end my picture will triumph and show them its wisdom and that, in truth, the picture was a mirror to them—showing them their superficiality. See the story of Rebbeinu Nachman of the son who returned with his chandelier. (in English, “The Chandelier” in Rabbi Nachman Stories, additional stories 14, page 441)
well put – both defacing and honest and commendable
by the way
we know that every thing that the olam speaks about in ymei sfirah is a rflktion of that sf.
today being tif’ shbm’
I want to ask you about a theme\word that appears so many times in sipure m’ : hitpaer
especially in 7 Butl.
if anavah is so ikar- why so much hitpaarut?
i will also try to provide some commentary- the q has dwelled w me many yrs- but not the solution
other than to simple state that the hesed of the Tzaddik is to reveal to others his tiferet- howvr i shall think more
if i understood your analysis of the chandelier- i would paraphase:
that deficiencies are part of an antithesis-sort of somthing like negaye batim that it istruly a pgam of the house hwver when the person removes the stoees and finds a treasure
then bdieved he understnds that col yeridah hee for the sake of an aliyah
I enjoy your words very much. I am not m’yushav enough now to write the way i would like, but to not respond at all is also not ok.
if anavah is so ikar- why so much hitpaarut? great question. in simple, one can answer. anavah is concealment of hitpaarot. that is, the person understands that he really has what to be praised for. yet he prefers to hide it, for he understands that this is even a greater acheivement. This is walking in the way of Hashem (Cavod M’alchim l’hastir davar). In truth, this world is not worthy of seeing the pe’er of the tzaddikim, just as lais scar b’hei alma–this world has no way of paying the reward of mitzvoth. (see beginning of Mesilat Yesharim- bas Melech, the soul, has no pleasure in gifts of this world.) Similarly, this world is not a beautiful enough stage, so to speak, to display the true pe’er of the tzaddikim. Therefore to mastir their peer- anavah, is actually for the sake of and out of the recognition of the true value of their pe’er; that such beautiful treasures not become revealed in such an unclean place. That which is revealed of the pe’er of the tzaddikim (and truly kal echad m’clal Ysrael–who are called tzaddikim and are the bechina of tzaddikim) is actually only a very tiny part of their true pe’er, and in the World to come, their true greatness will be seen, as Rabbenu HaKadosh writes in several places and in different forms…etc. Thus in short…
I like how you understand what I wrote in brief allusion to the chandelier.
In simple, I see the idea of the story is that we are all mirrors to one another. This is the aspect of the moon, to whom Clal Yisrael is analogized, who only reflects the light of the sun, and the aspect of malchut, d’lais la migarmi clum. Thus we all reflect one another, the good one sees in another is also a reflection of his own good, and vice versa. Thus Chazal said: ?? ???? ????? ????. the deficiencies one sees in another are his own definciencies. Rav Dessler, z”l has a ma’amar shalaim on this. Also the Baal Shem Tov HaKadosh spoke of it; it is part of Hashgacha pratit- Hashem causes you to see a ba’al avera to help you to see/think about yourself, how this blemish is shiach to you…thus the uman in the story–he was the bechina of Malchus, (which is what an artist is all about) who is completely m’vutal and has nothing of himself, he only pictures that which is around him. Thus all saw in his work their own blemish for he was a perfect mirror; this is the tzaddik (I saw a note on the story of the 7 betlers: in an imperfect world the tzaddik cannot be seen for his perfection is too exalted, even to where appears as crippled, blind, deaf etc. but the truth is that the world is seeing their own deficiencies.) this is the same inyan.
Related: Mashich Tzidkaiynu, is called Tzemach. Of course there are many remazim, but I heard one ask; Mashiach is a vegetable? But this is the same inyan. In this world, Mashiach seems as a vegetable, mamash helpless sad soul (see the gemara in Helek; that he appears as if Hashem has abandoned him, etc.) But he is actually carrying all the sickness and sins of clal and everyone is seeing their own deficiencies in him. This is the same inyan.
Again in short, on one foot.
kal tuv sela. ta’aleh v’titzlach!
אדם מועד לעולם בין בשוגג בין במזיד בין באונס בין ברצון
(תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין ע”ב:)
A person is always accountable, whether (he damages) accidentally, intentionally, beyond his control, or willfully.
(Talmud Bavli, Tractate Sanhedrin 72b)
Oil on canvas
ציור שמן על קנבס
45 x 55 cm.