The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” -Albert Einstein. Although he was Jewish, this philosophy is not based on the Torah and Einstein certainly wasn’t a Breslover chossid! In countless places, Rebbe Nachman and Reb Noson teach us that a Jew needs to be ‘insanely’ stubborn in his holy efforts. Even after days or years of trying, we have to constantly believe that Hashem can answer our prayers and help us accomplish our goals at any moment.
This constant renewal of ourselves and our hopes (‘hischadshus’) is clearly not a simple task. If we tried so many times and failed, how are we to honestly believe that this time will be different?
Reb Noson says that if we were to simply look at the world with an open mind, we would see the reality that every moment is a new creation. The position of the sun and moon, along with our specific mazal based on our birth time/day/month, creates infinite combinations which change each moment. When we say “who renews the creation in his goodness every day constantly”, we mean that the world is actually constantly renewing itself. So even if we have failed a thousand times before, that is really not an indication that we won’t succeed in the future.
What is stopping us from recognizing this truth and confining us to our past experiences, is our old memories that make us feel like we are destined to repeat our past. Rebbe Nachman clearly warned us about this and said “it is forbidden to be old!” (Sichos Haran 51)
In order to prevent this mindset and open ourselves to all the new possibilities in this moment’s creations, we need to shut down that part of our consciousness, chase away the “old” mindset that tells us we can’t change, forget our past, and move forward with all the hope of an inexperienced youngster. This is not only true to areas that we have failed in the past. Even in the areas where we have succeeded, we shouldn’t keep on repeating our services like an old experienced person, but rather approach each service like an enthusiastic and inexperienced beginner.
In last weeks Parsha (Ki Seitzei) we are given the mitzva of Shiluach HaKan, chasing away the mother bird before removing the young chicks: “You shall send away the mother, and you may take the young for yourself” (Devarim 22:7)
The Zohar Hakadosh says that the young fledglings represent those who are distant from the Torah and need to be returned to the proper path. The “mother” represents the built in “old” consciousness, instilled in us from the original sin of Chava who is called the mother of all life.
In order for us to recapture the young fledglings, which is our youthful optimism towards change, we need to chase away our old consciousness that keeps us locked in our past failures. Once we rid ourselves of that mentality, we can take the young for ourselves and be open to the new realities of every moment, the key to true repentance.
We can now understand this weeks parsha’s mitzva of Bikkurim. Bringing the first fruits of the year represents renewal. We acknowledge everything we have been through in the past, but then focus on our present (Hayom/today, Atta/now) and recognize the constant renewal of the creation in our favor.
Likutey Halachos YD Basar V’Chalav 4:1-2