For this sixth week of the Omer, we examine the middot as they relate to the concept of the “Tzaddik” – a person who has dedicated every aspect of their life to G-d.
Perhaps the most significant idea associated with the tzaddik relates to this weeks Omer of Yesod. This is the aspect of ‘connecting.’ Not only is the tzaddik closely connected to G-d (‘devekut’), he can help others, even the worst of sinners, do the same, working by different means to elevate a person. The individual can also benefit ‘indirectly’ via their relationship to the tzadik – i.e., ‘praying to G-d, in the merit (zechus) of a tzaddik.’
What is said of the Tzaddikim in Torah literature?
“For the merit of even one tzaddik, the world was created.” Yoma 38b
The entire world stands upon one tzaddik, as it is written, “The Tzaddik is the foundation of the world!” Chagigah 12b
“In the Future, the angels will behold Tzaddikim and exclaim, “Kadosh! (Holy!)” – just as they now exclaim before G-d.” Bava Batra 75b
“If the Tzaddikim would so wish, they could create worlds.” Sanhedrin 65b
“So meritorious are the Tzaddikim, that they are able to placate G-d and nullify decrees.” Bereshit Rabbah 33:3
“Not only are tzaddikim able to nullify decrees, but they are afterwards blessed for this.” Zohar 1:101b
“Tzaddikim draw down (and reveal) G-d’s Divine Presence in the world.” Shir HaShirim Rabbah 5;1
“All blessings in this world come about in the merit of the Tzaddik.” Zohar 1:189a
“Great are the tzaddikim, for even though they have passed away, their merits last for generation after generation.” Zohar 1:183a