Day 43 - Feeling Inspired - Living in Harmony
Many of us live with a gnawing feeling that hovers just below our consciousness. Periodically it surfaces and we feel its presence.
Every day is just like the previous one and I am not inspired. Life, and particularly my Yiddishkeit, feels hollow. In fact, what makes it worse is that I am most aware of this feeling when I am involved with the very things that should inspire me, like davening and learning. I do what I have to because I know it’s right, but the inspiration I expect to feel is just not there. Something is very wrong.
What you are experiencing is nothing new.
In fact, this feeling is so commonplace and has been around so long, that it spawned a movement that revitalized Yiddishkeit, the movement of Chassidus. Chassidus is not about a mode of dress, a relationship with a Rebbe, or even ahavas Yisrael.
Rather, as the Piascezner Rebbe, Rav Klonymus Kalmin Shapiro, explains, at the core of Chassidus is the notion that everyone can feel d’veykus - a sense of attachment and intimacy with Hashem, and steps should be taken to facilitate this emotion. Chassidus has certainly taken on many external manifestations, but the central notion is this - that each person, on his own level, can be davuk, connected, to the Creator.
It is therefore not surprising that kedushah plays such a central role in Chassidus - because to feel closeness to Hashem, to feel attached and inspired, it is critical that one maintain kedushah.
The following is excerpted from the final chapter of Mesillas Yesharim (“Explaining the Meaning of Kedushah”), where Ramchal defines kedushah:
Even in the midst of performing those physical acts necessary to sustain his body, he never strays from the highest intimacy ... One who is kadosh, however, and clings constantly to Hashem ... - such a person is walking before Hashem in the Land of the Living even here in this world ... In summary, holiness consists in one clinging so closely to his God that in any deed he might perform, he does not depart or move from the Blessed One, until the physical objects of which he makes use become more elevated because of his having used them.
A line from the Mashgiach R’ Shlomo Wolbe provides further insight:
“Kedushah preserves the unity of the worlds, and tumah is the agitator that separates close ones.”
That is, ideally there should be complete harmony between one’s neshamah and his body. When that state exists, a person is in fact inspired by the soul within him. As described in Mesillas Yesharim, the truly kadosh person lives with that harmony and is constantly attached to Hashem. Tumah, however, is the troublemaker that interferes with this relationship.
If you wish to feel the intimacy and meaningfulness of being connected to Hashem, it is essential to maintain kedushah.