Parashat Emor / by: Rabbi Dror Moshe Cassouto
We can see a very important idea that Rebbe Nachman spoke about that’s called: Ner Ha’Tamid (the candle that is constantly burning). He said that it saves the children of a person from misbehaving and engaging in bad behavior. He requested that people light a ner tamid for the benefit of his soul as well. And that the light is going to be lit above his grave forever.
In other generations, there was a big Mesiras nefesh (self-sacrifice) in doing this mitzvah. The chasdai breslov, even in the generations during the “iron curtain” of Russia; when communism was all over and poverty was very severe. Still the chassidai breslov sacrificed a lot. They would give money for olive oil to light the candle above the tzion of Rabbeinu in order that it should always be burning. Even chassidai breslov from Israel would donate and send containers of olive oil to uman in order that the students there would always have enough olive oil to keep the flame burning.
The importance of the ner ha’tamid is that it reveals the faith that a person has in the Sages. As it says, “Ner H”, nishmat Adam”; by lighting a candle you’re testifying that you have a soul or some type of spiritual being. And if a person lights a candle for a deceased relative or a tsadik that passed away, by that we reveal our faith that their soul is eternal, that they still live even after their passing. Like it’s written, a tsadik lives forever so by lighting a candle for him, we reveal our faith in an eternal life, in the eternity of the soul.
By doing this, we’re pulling the light to the next generation and that’s why it saves our children from “gezerot Shmad” from those decrees that they won’t be carried out (that a person’s children will go in the wrong path). The only reason that a person is falling to bad behavior is because he doesn’t believe in the eternity of his soul. He wants to live in this moment, he wants to live in this world, he wants to “enjoy” life. He’s not considering the fact that one day he will need to stand in front of a heavenly court and all of his eternal future will be set by his actions in this world. He doesn’t have fear from heaven because he doesn’t believe in the eternity of his soul. But if his fathers , ancestors, parents are lighting the Ner ha’tamid for the righteous people, by that they reveal their faith in the eternity of the soul. As we know, HaShem leads the world “measure for measure”; corresponding to their actions to reveal the eternity of the soul, so to their children will believe in the eternity of the soul and will be saved from bad behaviors.
In conclusion, buy one liter of olive oil, a good thick and long wick and say I am bonding myself in this lighting of the ner ha’tamid to all of the righteous people…. After completing the hitkashroot, you can dedicate that candle and say I am lighting this candle for the benefit of the soul of Rabbeinu Nachman ben Simcha ben Saiga, his merit should protect us and all of Am Yisrael, Amen.
Shabbat Shalom U’Mevorach