To all familiar with the beauty and sweetness of Torah, no evidence or testament is necessary to validate God’s authenticity. Its vastness and depth is immeasurable. Its lessons and teachings are perfectly righteous and its few truly loyal students tower above all men.
But the Jews who sadly aren’t acquainted with authentic Torah seek proofs of God’s existence and providence. Engulfed by cynicism, no logic seems adequate to believe in an infinite, all-powerful God that can’t be seen.
The truth is, says Rebbe Nachman, that these skeptics are exactly right!
“Essentially, faith is only found where the intellect is suspended and a person can’t comprehend the matter with his mind. It’s there that one requires faith” (Tinyana 8).
The Rebbe is teaching that faith starts where the intellect stops. At a certain point things can’t be proven anymore and no rationale justifies the matter. It’s exactly there that we need to have faith and put our hope in God.
But how do we do it? If we’re stripped of our intellect, our most prized tool, then how can we believe in anything?
Here’s where the Rebbe’s genius blows the mind (pun intended):
“Faith is primarily dependent on our imagination“.
We tend to associate imagination with children, but it’s really our ability to be creative and resourceful. Reb Nosson describes the imaginative faculty as “the most spiritual of all things physical and at the same time the most physical of all things spiritual”. Children use their imagination well because they’re untainted by the cynicism and misery of this world and its opinions. We have to let go of all our derisive sentiment and allow there to be more than we know in this world. Does this surrendering of our intellect require us to do something? Yes it does! But that shouldn’t hold us back, because as the Mishna clearly says, when we refuse to accept Torah, we assume other responsibilities. Yet when we submit to Torah, those responsibilities are eliminated. We need to dream and visualize more. Although the evil one convinces us otherwise, belief in a higher power who loves and cares about every detail in our lives is liberating and revitalizing. Unfortunately the pessimism and sarcasm is so rampant. But it’s extremely unbecoming to people of our stature. We’re a light to the nations. That means we need to bring light where there’s darkness. There’s darkness everywhere. People are stricken with depression, anxiety and despair. It’s very easy to be cynical and sarcastic after all the trauma we’ve been through in our lives. But simple faith and hope is a gift from Heaven. We can dream! We can release ourselves from the bondage of limitation and use our creativity to soar into infinity! Let gooo!