Go Softly…

26 Aug

There is a word in the Chasidic lexicon that is most difficult to translate into English, even though it is vital to understand. When the holy sources give us advice on how to approach life, we want to know what exactly they are telling us. In this case, we are admonished to pursue a character trait called hishtavut, or “equality.” At first glance we might think that the advice applies to civil rights, telling us not to discriminate or exercise bias against someone else of a different race or religion. But no, this is spiritual advice, telling us to take all that happens to us with “equal weight,” or perhaps, with “equanimity.” It’s not a common word, but in Chasidic terms it is vital. It means, “know that all comes from Above. Whether for the good or seemingly the opposite, it is all commanded and directed from one source Above, and therefore, “don’t get excited.” Not easy advice, but we have a lifetime to put it into effect. For more on the subject, go to http://jerusalemconnection.org/weekly And if you like this line of thought and want to pursue it in the context of prayer and meditation, go to www.jewishspiritualbooks.com. Finally, for a little information on Chabad in Jerusalem, go to www.chabadjerusalem.org   Have a great sof-summer!

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