The Sixties Radical-Azriel Living in the Past

This is a biggie. “After Moses shattered the first set of tablets, he pleaded with G‑d to forgive the Jewish people. G‑d did forgive them, and instructed Moses to prepare two replacement tablets upon which G‑d would inscribe the Ten Commandments again.

[G‑d told Moses,] “I will inscribe on the [second set of] tablets the words that were upon the first tablets. . . . ” Deuteronomy 10:2

Moses shattered the first tablets when he saw that the Jewish people had fashioned the Golden Calf. These shattered tablets were kept in a special wooden box, which G‑d instructed the Jewish army to take with them whenever they went into battle. But how could the eternal testimony that the Jews had sinned by making the Golden Calf have been of any help – or of any merit – when they were risking their lives in battle?

Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Golden Calf because at that moment they became worthless. The Torah “flew” out of the tablets and returned to heaven, rendering them two “lifeless” stones. G‑d Himself had indeed carved them, but they were now nothing compared to what they had become when G‑d chiseled the Ten Commandments into them. Thus, the lesson of the shattered tablets is that we should never be satisfied with our inherent worth; we should always strive to maximize our potential.

The same lesson applies today. Rather than being content with past achievements, we must continually strive to fulfill our personal potential and our Divine mission, recognizing that without it, we are but a lifeless, shattered stone.1 Likutei Sichot, vol. 14, pp. 30–36.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel Assuming the Blame

Moshe was the ultimate leader. He put his own life on the to save us from our sin. G-d let me be like Moshe. Put my life on the line to save my people and my family.

As an example of G d’s willingness to forgive the Jewish people for their misdeeds, Moses recounted the incident of the Golden Calf.

[Moses said to the Jewish people, “When I saw that you had made the Golden Calf,] I grasped the two tablets and hurled them from my two hands, shattering them before your eyes.” Deuteronomy 9:17

Moses was already carrying the two tablets, so he had no need to “grasp” them in order to break them. He grasped them as a gesture of ownership; he wanted to acquire them as his own personal property in order to assume the full blame for breaking them.

We see here Moses’ selfless devotion to the Jewish people. Not only did he break the tablets in order to “destroy the evidence” of the Jewish people’s covenant with G‑d that they had just broken. Not only was he willing to give up his life in order that G‑d forgive the Jewish people. He even took upon himself the blame for breaking the tablets. And let us recall that Moses had absolutely no part in the incident of the Golden Calf – he was not even “guilty” of not trying to prevent it, since he was not present when it took place!

Moses’ example is a lesson for all of us, for we are all leaders. We all are responsible for each other – whether in the circle of the family, of our friends, of our associates, of the Jewish people, or of all humanity. We should be ready and willing to give up whatever necessary – our resources, our reputations, even our lives – in order to ensure the survival of the Jewish people and the furtherance of our Divine mission to transform the world into G‑d’s true home.1 Likutei Sichot, vol. 34, pp. 56–58.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel True Reward

On the surface this lesson does not make sense.  When one delves into this lesson it makes total sense. “Moses told the Jewish people that if they would be careful to perform all of G d’s commandments, even the seemingly minor ones, G‑d would provide them with all the material means that they would need to fulfill His will.

[Moses told the Jewish people,] “If you heed [G‑d’s] ordinances, safeguard them, and perform them. . . . ” Deuteronomy 7:12

If G‑d were to bestow His goodness on us even when we do not deserve it, He would not be doing us any favors. First, we would feel like little children whose parents overlook their infantile behavior because adult behavior cannot be expected of them. Worse yet, it would undermine our belief in Divine justice. We would thus live lives of shame and confusion.

The rewards for observing G‑d’s commandments are so great that they are out of proportion to the effort required to fulfill them. Nonetheless, for the above-stated reasons, G‑d made the bestowal their reward dependent upon our efforts, and the bestowal of their infinite reward dependent upon effort that specifically mirrors their infinite, unlimited nature.

Therefore, we must take care to fulfill the seemingly less-important commandments with the same devotion with which we fulfill the seemingly more-important ones. This shows that what matters to us is that G‑d wants us to observe these commandments, not our own evaluation of which ones are important. G‑d then bestows His goodness upon us beyond the strict dictates of what we have earned.1 Likutei Sichot, vol. 9, pp. 71–75.”

The Sixties Radical-Azriel The Nefesh

Nefesh is the soul. This is very life force that keeps us alive. Nefesh means life and person.  The nefesh is the very breath that G-d breathed into us to give us life.  Thus, this is G-d’s gift to us.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel The Very Breath of Life!

The soul of man was not given by the word of G-d like the animals, the sky, the sea and the very earth.  Soul of man was blown into his body by the breath of G-d.  G-d gave us the very breath of life when HaShem breathed the breath of life and our soul into us.

What a gift from G-d.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel Spiritual Atomic Fission

When my ego is broken. When I die to the idol of self then and only then can G-d’s divine essence shine through me so I can become a true vessel for G-d to do HIS will.

Moses then encouraged the Jewish people to remain loyal to G‑d under all circumstances, even though this would mean that they would have to confront the opposition of nations more numerous and powerful than they were.

[Moses told the Jewish people,] “For you are the least of all peoples.” Deuteronomy 7:7

The Jewish people have almost always been a small minority. This may prompt us to wonder how we can be expected to fulfill our Divine mission. Even if we can survive, how can a tiny minority influence the majority? Moreover, assimilation and war have continued to erode our population, and the demands of modern life leave the rest of us progressively less time for spiritual pursuits and less sensitive to spirituality.

But now that scientists have learned to unleash the power of the atom, the world has learned that size is not always an indication of power. Once we learn how to access its latent energy, even the smallest particle of matter can release incredible force.

The basic process used to release atomic power is nuclear fission, in which the atom is broken down into smaller components. As Jews, this teaches us that the key to releasing our latent, infinite potential is by breaking our egos, thereby allowing our inner, Divine essence to shine through. The better we master this “spiritual technology,” the less we need be intimidated by being an apparently insignificant minority or by having only limited time and energy to devote to holy endeavors. Within us lies the power to change the entire world for the good!1 Hitva’aduyot 5711, vol. 1, pp. 313–319; Igrot Kodesh, vol. 8, p. 168, vol. 11, p. 422.