This week is the Yarzeit of Reb Nosson of Nemerov, the prime disciple of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. As such, I would like to share one of his teachings that greatly impacted my own life. He teaches that every single fall, or descent, in our lives, is for the ultimate purpose of an ascent. The same way that when a person takes a bicycle downhill, he will almost inevitably have greater strength to rise uphill.
Chazal coined this as a "Yeridah l'tzorech Aliyah". For example, if someone is driving on a road and takes a wrong turn, the ascent can be that he can know for next time not to go that route. Alternatively, he can assist someone stuck on that road that he otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to help. Very often we don't get to see the ascent, but the rule is that every single fall is for the purpose of a rise. However, the caveat is that it is our mission is to prove this rule to be true. Our goal becomes to take every mistake and prove that it is really for the purpose of a greater success. The same is true by business, if someone has a bad investment, then a good businessman will take that mistake and learn from it for the future, which will impact all his future investments and business strategies.
This is a concept that we see in this week's Torah portion. With Yaakov and his family moving to Mitzrayim, the Jewish people begin their descent into the 49th level of impurity. The Jewish nation was collectively enslaved and they fell to a very low level. However, this was all for the purpose of the ultimate rise to Kedusha and standing at Har Sinai to receive the Torah.
What seemed in everybody's eyes as such a terrible, brutal fall, ultimately led to the ascent to the greatest levels where we received the Torah and were born as the Chosen Jewish nation.
We see this same idea by the Creation of the world. "Vayehi Erev Vayehi Boker" - first it was evening, and only then was it morning. Before any light comes darkness. Every sweetness is surrounded by a klipah. To get to the fruit, we must first remove the outer shell. The actual descent is only a sign of an ascent. It is not something that one should get downtrodden about, it's actually something that he should feel great simcha about. Our descents serve as a proof of the greatness that we will ultimately achieve.
My blessing to all of us is to realize that all of our falls are really for the greater purpose of a rise. And furthermore, we should have the wisdom and understanding to prove it to ourselves.
~ Shmuel Grossman is an alumni from Lev Zion in 2014-2015, and is currently learning in Yeshivas Mirr in Yerushalayim.