Luke, I am grateful for your response. I hope I did not inadvertently mislead you (not to mention myself). I actually know very little about Hasidic thought and can not cite any scholarly sources for what I wrote. I thought I was accurately reformulating something I had read some years ago in one of Tzvi Freeman's little books "transcribing" various teachings of his mentor, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson -- either Bringing Heaven Down to Earth or Be Within, Stay Above. Thumbing through each of these again, though, the closest saying I can find is this one, on page 58 of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth: "There are sparks of light hidden in this world [referring to the Kabbalistic account of Creation]. Some you can find and liberate . . . . But then there are sparks of such intensity that they had to be buried in the deepest bowels of the material realm and locked away in thick darkness. These are sparks that no ordinary search could uncover: Your intellect has no power even to approach them.Your deeds could never dig that deep. Your eyes would be blinded by their brilliance and by the profundity of the darkness surrounding them. The only tools you have to liberate those sparks are the ones that supersede your intellect and your senses . . ." Even quoting this, I feel frustrated -- I feel so certain that I read something specifically referencing God's closeness to us when we are deepest in darkness, but I just can't seem to find it. I'[ll keep looking!
Of course there are some 100 Hasidic groups that survived the Holocaust. Chabad is simply one of the largest and best known of these, and I do not know how much Rebbe Schneerson's theology or ideology may have diverged from the thinking of other beloved Hasidic leaders --Rebbe Nachman, for instance, the Breslover rebbe. who himself suffered from severe depression (anxiety too, maybe?). Nor do I have any clear sense of the degree to which Hasidic thought over time reflects or departs from the original teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov.
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