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Even now

At times we might find ourselves in very dark places. We feel miles away from Hashem, like we reached the point of no return. We harbor strong doubts, we feel confused and we can't believe that we've sunk this low.

What can we do in those devastating times?

Rebbe Nachman says (Tinyana 12) that some questions are unanswerable. He explains that even the klippos, (the forces of evil), which cause this doubt and confusion, only exist because Hashem wills them into existence. Without getting in to the depths of his lesson, he teaches that this darkness gets its life-force from a place that is utterly unknowable to us. We can't possibly understand it. It's a locked door;  the depths of hiddenness.

Reb Nosson (Tchumin 6:8) explains that since the answers are incomprehensible, our only solution is to believe - with the simplest purest faith - that Hashem can even be found in such a dark place. Although we're accustomed to using our cleverness and guise to find answers, this time it will only lead us to greater darkness. The one way to survive these times is with simple faith, saying, "Master of the World! I believe you're here. I can't see you at all and it's inconceivable to me that you're here with me. But you must be here. "אַיֵּה מְקוֹם כְּבוֹדוֹ" (Ayeh!) Where are you HaShem?"

I recently experienced this dark place. Surprisingly, it was a sudden feeling. Everything was stripped from me and I felt a gaping hole. Almost in passing, a beautiful messenger mentioned אַיֵּה to me. I went out to the field around midnight and I was trying to process these intense feelings. I felt no joy. I felt like I lost something that I love dearly. I remembered אַיֵּה, and I said to myself. No! not here. I don't believe You're here HaShem.

Meaning, I don't believe that You, HaShem, can provide for me what I've lost. I called out Ayeh, alone in the woods in the depths of the night. Where are You? Why do I think that which I lost can provide me with warmth and support but You can't? Do I even believe in HaShem? Yes, of course I do, but in this unknowable place, Reb Nosson told us that you need the simplest purest faith. No logic or sophisticated reasoning works. Just closing your eyes and accepting that He is there. We don't know how He can help or when we're going to get of this darkness, but that one question of אַיֵּה is an admission that maybe He could be there with us. Just that alone, says the Rebbe is enough "to merit [the start] to completely raise ourselves up back to Him".

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