It is an extremely difficult if not impossible task, when someone is in midst of a serial thriller and is required to begin translating from the chapter he is holding at in a way that gives the reader an understanding of the story. All the more so when someone tries to decipher the life of any individual, the simplest of human beings, and put into words in a comprehensive way even a small part of his life-story and all the intricacies it involves. But when talking about an individual who is a Tzadik, of which every word of his, every action, involves infinite depths and is correlated with a multitude of divine and sub-divine reasoning, an individual who does not share any of the selfish feelings and emotions which is the driving force behind most peoples’ words or actions – the task cannot even begin.
So when I was recently asked to translate the Knishta Chada journals which has just come out with issue #42 I questioned whether this is a futile task. Knishta Chada, an Aramaic term for “a single congregation” comes from the teaching of the Holy Zohar which asks: We are taught that the redemption can only come about through repentance, if so, how can it be that each person from all corners of the earth repent at same time in order to merit redemption? So Rabbi Eliezer in the Zohar answers “I promise you that even if one congregation “Knishta Chada” does wholehearted redemption, in their merit everyone will be redeemed”. When another Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Eliezer Berland, opened his Yeshiva over 40 years ago, he named the Yeshiva “Knishta Chada” for he had a vision, to gather a group of people who will bring the redemption to the entire world. Later the name of the Yeshiva was changed to “Shuvu Banim” (return the children) which connotes the same idea as the Gemara says “As soon as the people do teshuva they will be redeemed as the verse says “return you wayward children, and I will heal you”. Over the years the Yeshiva has continued to grow with tens of thousands of lost Jews who have found their way to Judaism with the help of the Tzadik Rabbi Eliezer Berland, and today the Yeshiva has become Shuvu Banim International as it reaches out to Jews worldwide.
Seeing that the main task of Knishta Chada / Shuvu Banim is to bring lost Jews back to their creator we’ve decided to write no matter how impossible it may be to bring the “magic” into words. For we have seen in the past two and half years, with the Hebrew journals, that even when the Tzadik is not as accessible as he was before, the words and stories, though far from describing the “whole truth”, have a power to connect to people in a way which is beyond comprehension. Rebbe Nachman teaches “Stories of Tzadikim bring the light of Moshiach to the world and push away much darkness and pain from the world”. This we have witnessed with our very eyes.
Rebbe Nachman also teaches that as much as the side of good has the power to heal the entire world, so too there must be many obstacles and controversies which the “other side” places before a person to prevent him from seeing the truth and thereby healing his soul. It is our prayer that the stories of light and truth will banish the darkness and falsehood in the world so that the natural thing can happen – the neshama which is a portion of G-d can connect once again to its creator.
Please help us translate.