“When I first arrived at yeshiva,” recalls Tzvi Freeman, “I threw myself entirely into the experience. Soon I realized I had lost my balance. It was at that time I heard these words of the Rebbe, and they guided me:

“The Talmud relates: ‘Four entered into the orchard (the mystical teachings). One died, one went mad, and one became a heretic. Rabbi Akiva entered in peace and left in peace.’

“Why was Rabbi Akiva capable of leaving in peace? Because he entered in peace; he had made peace between his physical and spiritual worlds, between his body and his soul, and saw purpose in them both.

“So when he entered the spiritual he had in mind his return to the physical. And when he re-entered the physical he brought with him the spiritual.”

—From “Bringing Heaven Down to Earth”

“An animal walks with its face to the earth, for earthiness and materiality is all that it knows. Man walks upright, for man was born to gaze upon and aspire to the Heavens.”
—Rabbi DovBer of Mezritch