Rebbe Nachman teaches in L’M I:64 that the Source created the world to reveal its mercy, because if it hadn’t created the world, the Source would have no one to whom it could reveal its mercy.
This would mean that the Source created us in order to have mercy on us and to show us its mercy. And, that everything that happens in our lives is a result of the Source’s mercy on us. And, since everything the Source does is mercy for us, we should thank the Source for everything that happens in our lives.
Really? Mercy is what our forefathers went through from test to harder test, from being thrown in a pit to die, sold as slaves, to having to accept sacrificing a son? Mercy is what we are experiencing in our lives through all of our suffering and challenges? It doesn’t always feel that way.
What exactly is mercy?
In Leviticus 19:17-18 we are instructed: “you shall love your neighbor as yourself”
On a personal level, this can teach us that the more you want the Source to have mercy on you the more you should have mercy on others.
There are two primary forms of giving love. Chesed “Kindness” and Rachamim “Mercy”
Kindness is “I give” – Mercy is “I give through connecting with their souls”
There are different forms of mercy.
Mercy is a blend of chesed “kindness” and gevurah “judgement/limitation” Sometimes its merciful to a child to not give them what they want – and sometimes it’s merciful to enforce consequences to a child’s actions that are not in line with the child’s definition of kindness. Through limitation and judgement, higher kindness can be expressed.
In order for us to have the opportunity to grow, we must meet resistance at every new level. The same applies to body building – to grow muscles we must increase resistance and rip fiber. To increase endurance we must run farther.
On the journey toward spiritual growth, we refer to resistance as our adversary, who’s purpose is to protect the treasure of higher connection, understanding and joy.
Once destroyed, the adversary comes back stronger because we are stronger and need greater resistance to grow further.
And this is why the tests get harder and harder. And since the Source is eternal and never ending, so too is our journey of evolution, as part of the Source.
We need the opportunity to grow and illuminate – that’s our purpose. And the Source provides us with this opportunity through mercy.