A Ripple of Grass in the Wind Means Something to G‑d
One day in the summer of 5656 (1896), I was strolling with my father in a field in the country resort of Bolivke, near Lubavitch. The crops were almost ripe; the grain and the grass rippled in a gentle breeze.
“Behold G‑dliness,” my father declared. “Every movement of each single ear of grain and blade of grass was included in the Primeval Thought of Adam Kadmon, He who watches and gazes until the end of all the generations. Divine providence causes this thought to be realized for the sake of a specific G‑dly intent.”
As we walked on, we found ourselves in a forest. [I continued, proceeding] deep in contemplation of what I had just been told concerning Divine providence, overwhelmed by the gentleness and earnestness of my father’s explanation.
As people often do, I plucked a leaf from a tree that I passed by without taking particular notice and held it for a while in my hand. As I walked on engrossed in thought, every so often, I tore off small pieces from the leaf and tossed them to the ground.
My father then said: “The AriZal teaches that… every leaf… is a created being with Divine vitality which G‑d created with a specific intent and role in the ultimate purpose of creation….
“We were just discussing the subject of Divine providence and without any thought at all you plucked a leaf, held it in your hand, played with it… tore it up into little pieces, and scattered it in various places.
“How can a person act so lightmindedly in relation to one of G‑d’s creations?… One must always remember the mission and Divine intent of every created being: what is the task a plant has to fulfill in the world, and what is the task a person has to fulfill in this world.”
These words so pregnant with feeling, touch on several fundamental themes of our faith: the all-encompassing nature of Divine providence and the unique manner in which man must interact with it. They also reflect the distinct approach of Chassidus , and the revolutionary ideals which the Baal Shem Tov integrated into Jewish thought and life.
From the writings of the Previous Rebbe Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson on 19th of Kislev Yud-Tes Kislev, 5694 (1933)
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