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Unread 07-18-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
noahidelaws
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Asking for a brocho in avodah

See here.
Quote:
From the Tzemach Tzedek's aphorisms:

"For the P'nimi ("inward" person), asking for a blessing for Avoda epitomizes, "Let them not pay attention to vain words."
What is needed is to "make the Avoda heavy on the people."
Does this mean literally, that one shouldn't ask for a brocho from a Rebbe in one's avodas Hashem? Wasn't that always what chassidim would davka do when they would go to the Rebbe in Yechidus (as the Rebbe relates, how the Chabad chossid goes into Yechidus and typically asks for ruchniyus and forgets about asking for gashmiyus)? Or does it mean asking the Rebbe to do the avoda for you--"Tzaddik be'emunoso yechayeh"?

And why would asking for such a brocho "vain words"?

And I find it hard to understand that we should ask for more difficult avodah--wasn't Dovid Hamelech punished for asking Hashem to test him, and it was davka that test that he asked for that he failed?
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Unread 07-18-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
Torah613
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Perhaps: 1) We are dealing with a "pnimi", not "stam" a person.
2) An "eitzo" in avodah - is not not (merely) asking for a brocho.
3) In a sense - what does asking for a brocho even mean? A brocho that i should become an oved? A medakdek b'Mitzvos? Have ahavo v'yiro? Such a bakosho - might be "divrei hevel".
Maybe ask a pnimi...
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Unread 07-18-2012, 10:41 PM   #3
emes m'eretz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
And I find it hard to understand that we should ask for more difficult avodah--wasn't Dovid Hamelech punished for asking Hashem to test him, and it was davka that test that he asked for that he failed?
i think that there is a difference between the test by dovid hamelech, and avoda.
when we say 'al tivienu lidei nisoyon,' this generally means a test like a stumbling block, obstacle, or challenge, like by dovid.

avoda in the chasidic sense means learning chasidus, thinking deeply about it, analyzing oneself, and davening b'avoda.

i think that the reason why asking for a brocho for avoda is in vain, is because avoda is the process of working with oneself until one changes oneself in a positive way. and this is hard work. and asking for a brocho for avoda is an oxymoron, because the only way to change oneself bipnimius, is by working hard on bettering oneself.

to put it another way, avoda means work. if you don't work at it, then it's not avoda
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Unread 07-19-2012, 02:03 AM   #4
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Thanks for your responses.
T613: 1. So this is not practical for us?
2. What, chassidim would only ask a Rebbe for an eitza, not a brocho? I find that hard to believe.
3. I agree. But why not ask for the avodah not to be so hard, to be more in a kav of va'asei tov than sur meira, to have fewer obstacles, and the like. Why davka ask for it to be more difficult?

And what about the Tzemach Tzedek's statement that he wishes he'd accepted a brocho for lomdus from the Alter Rebbe, which he had refused because he wanted his accomplishments to come through his own efforts, because he'd have taken the brocho and done far more? According to that, why not ask for a brocho for ruchniyus takkeh, with the intent of taking it and going far beyond it?

It is clear from the quote below that one should davven for ruchniyus'dike brochos. Why should asking for a brocho from a Tzaddik, which is the same concept (because he's just acting as a channel for Hashem's brochos, of course), be any different?
Quote:
It is written: “For it [Rosh Hashanah] is a decree for Israel, a [day of] judgment for the G-d of Yaakov” (Tehillim 81:5). “Decree” refers to Hashem’s judgment concerning material blessings, while “judgment for the G–d of Yaakov” refers to the judgment concerning the amount of G–dliness and spiritual blessings the person will receive in the coming year (Likkutei Torah, Rosh Hashanah 55d ff.; Sefer HaMa’amarim 5710, p. 15).
EM: Avodah also means ibud oros--breaking and transforming yourself from being a grob yung to being an ohev Hashem. Is this something we want to make at least a little bit easier or even more difficult?
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Unread 07-19-2012, 12:12 PM   #5
emes m'eretz
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i think that there is a difference between asking for a brocho for general hatzlocho in yiras shomaim, to be a chayil, etc., and asking for a brocho in avoida.

avoida by it's very definition means working. internal change requires working on oneself.

a warm feeling to G-d, a chayus, inspiration etc, these are all things that a brocho, or seeing a rebbe, or listening to stories etc can provide.

but when we are talking about a pnimi, we are talking about working on the inner dimensions of a person. grabbing the bull by the horns, and redevelop and rechannel and refine one's inner faculties. if one doesn't work hard on oneself, then it's just an outside help that is helping, it's not internal.
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Unread 07-19-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
emes m'eretz
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perhaps another way to say it is, when we are talking about internal change, then it needs to come from internally, from oneself.

on the other hand, perhaps one can say that asking for a brocho for avoida is fine, since it can provide extra help in one's avoida.

so how then would be understand the hayom yom?

maybe we can say as follows: the tzemach tzedek didn't say that a pnimi shouldn't ask for a brocho. he says, that with regard to asking a brocho, one should not rely on it. in other words, a pnimi realizes that the important thing is the hard work.

it's perhaps a bit doichek, since the plain meaning seems to be a shunning of asking for a brocho for avoida. but it might fit a bit.
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Unread 07-19-2012, 01:07 PM   #7
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Nu, someone who is truly oisek in avodah al pi derishas Toras Chassidus Chabad, an oived amiti mit an ayin--he would be able to be mechavein to truly answer the question, instead of giving boich sevoros. (Present company excluded.)
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Unread 07-19-2012, 01:11 PM   #8
emes m'eretz
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but a pnimi is someone who constantly analyzes and chews things over, (like the rebbe explains the inyan of maylaeh gerah, chewing cud, in avoida)
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