(...) But I too think that when one speaks in truth and one receives in truth, one word is enough to lift up and purify the entire world. Buber, Ecstatic Confessions, P.147.

It is said of one master that he conducted himself like a stranger (...). He does not think of honor or of anything for his own benefit. He thinks only of returning home to the city of his birth. Ibid., P.148.

A man can speak idle words with his mouth, and the teaching of the Lord is in his inner being at the same time; he can pray with whispers, and his heart cries out in his breast; he can sit in the company of men and walk with God, mingling with the creatures, yet detached from the world. Ibid., P.194.

(...) whosoever desires and receives God in truth beholds in all the things of the world only the power and the pride of him who shaped them at the primal beginning, and who lives in things.(...). Ibid., P.149.

When it is granted to man to hear the song of the herbs - how every herb speaks its song to God without any alien will or thought - how beautiful and sweet it is to hear their singing. And therefore it is very good to serve God in the midst of solitary walks over the field among the plants of the earth and pour out one's speech before God in truthfulness. All the speech of the field then goes into your speech and heightens its power. With every breath you drink the air of paradise(...). Ibid., P.149.

As the hand held before the eye covers the greatest mountain, so this little earthly life conceals from sight the tremendous lights and secrets of which the world is full. Ibid., P.149.

But if he serves with his might, then he clings to the great might and elevates himself in his mind and breaks all at once through all the firmaments and transcends angels and hypostases and seraphim and thrones: That is the perfect service. Ibid., P.149-150.

The creation of heaven and earth is the unfolding of something out of nothing, the descent of the higher into the lower. But the saints, who detach themselves from being and cling to God constantly, see and grasp him in truth, as if the nothingness were as it was before the creation. They turn something back to nothing. And this is the more wonderful thing: to uplift what is below. Ibid., P.150.

Without telling his teacher anything of what he was doing, a disciple of Rabbi Barukh's had inquired into the nature of God, and in his thinking had penetrated further and further until he was tangled in doubts, and what had been certain up to this time, became uncertain.  When Rabbi Barukh noticed that the young man no longer came to him as usual, he went to the city where he lived, entered his room unexpectedly, and said to him:  "I know what is hidden in your heart.  You have passed through the fifty gates of reason. You begin with a question and think, and think up an answer--and the first gate opens, and to a new question! And again you plumb it, find the solution, fling open the second gate--and look into a new question.  On and on like this, deeper and deeper, until you have forced open the fiftieth gate.  There you stare at a question whose answer no man has ever found, for if there were one who knew it, there would no longer be freedom of choice. But if you dare to probe still further, you plunge into the abyss."  "So I should go back all the way, to the very beginning?" cried the disciple.

"If you turn, you will not be going back," said Rabbi Barukh.  "You will be standing beyond the last gate:  you will stand in faith." Martin Buber, "Tales of the Hasidim," P. 92.


Last updated: 2002/07/31