Faith of the Heart
Rebbe Nachman says, emunah (faith) is the most important principle. We all need to search and strengthen ourselves in emunah. This is the secret key to everything in our life. The gemara at the end of the tractate makkot says that Hashem made 613 arrangements with the Jewish nation. The gemara then ends with Chavakuk (Habakuk the prophet) who emphasized just one point, from all 613 arrangements, and said that everything stands on this. “A righteous one, in his faith, will live”. That all the mitzvot (commandments) and the entire torah, was only given to us in order to achieve emunah – complete faith in Hashem.
We now have to clarify and understand what exactly is emunah.
There is a concept called emunah sichlit, logical emunah, that a person believes with his logic. Logically, he understands and believes in Hashem. This is an exterior aspect to emunah. Then there is an interior deeper aspect to emunah and it is measured based on how much the light of emunah is illuminated in our hearts.
These are two aspects that stand alone and are very different from each other. A person is able to have a lot knowledge and wisdom in terms of logic, but in terms of the aspect of his heart, it isn’t illuminated as much. It can also be the opposite. There can be a person that does not have a lot of knowledge in the aspect of emunah, but rather, the emunah illuminates greatly in his heart. If the emunah doesn’t illuminate in the heart, then no matter how much wisdom and abundance of knowledge he has in the concept of emunah, it doesn’t mean the he completely obtained emunah.
There can be a test that comes, a small test of emunah, and in this test the wind can send us soring to the other end of world. The most important work we have to do, is to see how all the events and anything that happens to us, is all for the best.
How can we know where we are holding in our emunah?
It all depends on the amount of happiness we get from acceptance of what we are going through. According to our ability to be happy and to accept our challenges in life with love and happiness, it is the ultimate sign of the level of our emunah. When a person merits to see how all his events were for his own good, Rebbe Nachman tells us, that he already obtained an aspect of the World to Come.
It’s important to know that Hashem gave us two vessels to work with.
With these two vessels, one is the power of the mind and thought and the second is the power of speech. Our thoughts and speech have tremendous effect, but in this world, we don’t see it. In this world we see all different kinds of things as much looks skewed. We don’t see the action of our thoughts and speech. But in truth, the main strength of a man, lies in the power of thoughts and speech.
A person can think to himself; I am in a lot of pain and sad, maybe even scared of something. And yet, within all of these thoughts, all he does is think that Hashem must be hidden within all this, Hashem is orchestrating all of this and that it is all for the best – even if he had 10 hours of feeling fear or sadness – if during that time he had two moments of thoughts like these that Hashem is doing everything and it is all for the best. And each time it took only 3 seconds, these thoughts have brought about a great tikkun (rectification) and redemption.
In actuality it is the work of just thinking, and instantly Emunah begins to illuminate in our heart. Because it is said that ‘thoughts of desire bring about corruption’ and at the same time, we know that a small good trait becomes multiplied ad rectifies. Even more so if we merit to just think thoughts of emunah, that in itself caused a tremendous tikkun inside of us.
We need to know that even though we cannot see or understand anything, each time we think ‘everything is from Hashem, everything for the best, and there is none other than Hashem,’ we begin to bring about a great redemption to our soul. Not only that but a separate action is accomplished here too, and that is the illumination of emunah in our hearts. All of this, just from the power of thought. This is one aspect.
Rebbe Nachman explains that the second aspect of the power of speech, is referred to in a pasuk in tehillim. “I believed and so I spoke.” Rebbe Nachman teaches that emunah is according to our speech. One of the advices and paths that Rabbenu gives over to us, is to speak words of emunah. Each word that we speak to Hashem with, is called ‘words of emunah’ and they shine divine light in our hearts.