Seeking Out the Holiness of One’s Rav
Likutei Halachos on Parshas Ki Sissa
Translated by Dov Grant
Possuk 32:1 "The people saw that Moshe delayed in descending the mountain. And the people rose up together against Aharon and said to him: ‘Arise! Make gods for us that will go before us. For this Moshe – the man that brought us up from Egypt – we don’t know what happened to him"
Look carefully at the above incident with penetrating truth. It’s clear that the entire mistake of the Israelites was their failure to adequately seek out the holiness of their rav/ teacher, Moshe. Since they didn't know what had become of Moshe, they spiritually descended so much - by way of the eiruv rav (mixed multitude) – to the point that they wanted to make other gods.
They did not take to heart the truth of the matter. They should have drawn the opposite conclusion. After all, Moshe had done so many good things for them and had revealed Hashem's G-dliness – such an awesome and wonderful revelation at the giving of the Torah. Therefore, if he had currently disappeared from them, it must be for their good – in order that they should increase their attempts to search out and request the holiness of his ruach hakodesh. They just needed to do this until it would become increasingly clear, as in fact was the case, that Moshe had ascended to the heavens in order to receive the other Torah mitzvos – to ever increasingly rectify and purify them in a holistic way. They just needed to hold their positions and hope for Hashem's salvation, seeking, requesting and desiring him - until he would return to them and teach and enlighten them with the entire Torah. This is how Yehoshuah conducted himself. He stood by the mountain, waiting for his teacher, Moshe, as chazal tell us. He would look heavenwards, only hoping that Moshe would appear and return to him.
Unfortunately, they weren't careful with this and caused the calamity that is the source of all destruction and exile, due to our many sins. For with the sin of the golden calf came the return of the primordial snake's poison, from which is drawn all current heresy – the cause of the prolongation of our exile, due to our many sins.
The rectification for all this is through the true tzaddikim in every generation that possess an aspect of ruach hakodesh – even in our days (explained at length in Likutei Moharan II 8). However, we need to greatly search out and request the true tzaddik at all times – even if we already have started to find him.
Likutei Halachos Choshen Mishpat Hilchos Sheluchim 5-10