“There’s a field that grows magnificent plants and trees. The allure of this field is simply indescribable. Happy are the eyes that have seen it! The plants in this field are holy souls and there are many leafless souls that wander around outside the field yearning immensely for the land-owner (בעל השדה) to busy himself with their remedy, so they can return to the field (Torah 65)”.
In my late teens I read a number of biographies about gedolim and I was awed by their vast knowledge of Torah, their immense modesty and refined character. I appreciated them as an embodiment of Torah values in this world, an example of success and a glorification of God’s name. Rebbe Nachman taught me something about the Tzaddik that I never knew before; and that is how essential they are for me and you!
Because of his endless love of God and Israel, the true tzaddik spends his life and after-life occupied with fixing the souls of his brothers. Not anybody can be this בעל השדה. This precious tzaddik, although human, lives on a much higher plain than we do. He’s extremely wise, knowledgable, meditated, iron-willed, courageous and modest.
Obviously Rebbe Nachman, who suffered tremendously because of the remedies he revealed to us, is one of these true tzaddikim. That’s why so many people, from all walks of life, flock to his gravesite in Uman to say the ten chapters of psalms that he revealed as the complete remedy. (Why we go on Rosh Hashana is a discussion for another time).
As the Ramchal writes in his magnum opus, the goal of life is to attach ourselves to God. The only way to cling to Him is to mirror His ways of kindness and mercy. As hard as it is for many of us to believe, the true tzaddikim have achieved this feat. Similar to God, their essence is giving. We, on the other hand, although our efforts are exceedingly precious to God, are lacking in our devotions and consistency. So, as the King of all Kings, it’s only befitting that Hashem mostly deal directly with the tzaddikim. And our good fortune is that if we bind ourselves to the tzaddikim, they’ll do whatever they can to straighten us out so that we can also enter that marvelous field!