People often ask, “What is it like to be a Breslover Chassid or a student of Rebbe Nachman?” While Rebbe Nachman strongly encouraged us to follow his advice, even if only sometimes or somewhat, Rabbi Yitzchok Breiter z”l did suggest a daily routine that we can all find to be very helpful.
A person has to be quick in serving God. A person has to be alert and ready every hour, every day to do as much as possible. Deeds are the main thing: study much, do many mitzvot, pray long and pour out one’s heart before God. One must do as much as possible in every way. Even so, don’t panic. You will find many kinds of devotion in the sacred literature and think, “When will I be able to fulfill even one of these devotions, let alone all of them?!” Don’t panic. One shouldn’t rush and try to grasp everything at once. He has to go slowly, step by step without getting into a tizzy and trying to do and accomplish everything immediately. If he is over hasty he will become totally confused. When there is fire, God forbid, people panic and rescue needless items.
21. The Sanctity of the Seven Lights
[The “Seven Lights” are one’s eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth.] Sanctify the eyes by not looking at evil; the ears by listening to the words of the Sages; the nostrils by being extra-patient about everything, and by behaving compassionately rather than angrily, on the person who triggered the anger; the mouth by speaking words of Torah and prayer, and refraining from speaking forbidden speech. In this way, one merits Divine inspiration and holy thinking (Likutey Moharan I, Lesson #21).
22. Simchah (Happiness)
One should always be upbeat, and transform sadness and sorrow into happiness and joy. One needs to accept everything in life with love, and never fall into despair. One needs to enliven and cheer himself, in the spiritual with his good points, and in the material with the “silver lining” of even his worst problems (Likutey Moharan I, Lessons ##195, 282).
Even if one has a spiritual collapse, God forbid, he should rely on the power of the tzaddik and begin anew each time, as if he had never started before and had never failed. One needs to believe that his every fall is only that he start anew. If one really make an honest, determined effort to start again each time, God will help him not to fall again into such situations.
In addition, one should accustom himself to conduct his service of God with a happy tune, dance or clapping [as appropriate], especially when studying Torah or praying.
23. Teshuvah (Returning to God)
One should examine his every thought, word and action in order to find messages of inspiration to honestly come back to God, and to put fresh effort into his devotions. If others curse or insult him, he should keep quiet. This subdues the evil in his blood and atones for his misdeeds, transforming them into merits (Likutey Moharan I, Lesson #6).
24. Love of Friends
One should love every Jew, especially followers of the true tzaddik, as [he loves] his own self. Every day, he should discuss the true purpose of life with them. In this way he can receive from the other’s good point, because every Jew has a unique good point, what no one else has (Likutey Moharan I, 34,5).
25. Minchah (The Afternoon Prayer)
Pray as explained above [unhurried, cheerfully and with concentration]. In this way one merits lifting all the day’s devotions to God, and receives fresh energy to serve God the following day. This is indicated by, “With [the offering of the afternoon sacrifice] all the day’s offerings are completed” (Yoma 33a), and “When the sun goes down he becomes clean” (Leviticus 22:7).
26. Rosh HaShanah (The New Year)
For Rosh HaShanah, all the followers of the tzaddik must gather together in one place and pray with attachment to the tzaddik. In this way they receive from him an extraordinary illumination, tikkun (rectification, repair) and greater attachment, what they cannot receive any other time of the year. As the Rebbe z”l said, “My whole thing is Rosh Hashanah.”
They shine the light of the tzaddik on themselves and the entire world, for all the generations. Therefore, they need they need to overcome every sort of obstacle and come to the Rosh HaShanah gathering, with even the greatest self-sacrifice—with the exception of endangering one’s life in a way that would suspend the laws of Shabbat. However, other obstacles—job, cost, effort, public opinion etc.—must be broken and overcome in order to merit this unsurassed practice (Tzaddik ##403-406).
27. Eretz Yisrael (The Land of Israel)
Every day of his life one should yearn, pray and make practical steps to live in Eretz Yisrael or, at the very least, to walk four steps there. Through this, one merits increased patience, the ability to advance from level to level and to draw upon himself comprehensive holiness. This is the essence of a person’s holy victory in this world (Likutey Moharan I, Lesson #20 [end]; Tzaddik #131).
May God help us to go in the ways of the true tzaddik, honestly and faithfully, and to draw his light upon ourselves and on every Jew. Through this may we attain the redemption of body and soul, soon, in our days. Amen. Amen.
Addendum: Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom #27
A person has to be quick in serving God. A person has to be alert and ready every hour, every day to do as much as possible. Deeds are the main thing: study much, do many mitzvot, pray long and pour out one’s heart before God. One must do as much as possible in every way.
Even so, don’t panic. You will find many kinds of devotion in the sacred literature and think, “When will I be able to fulfill even one of these devotions, let alone all of them?!” Don’t panic.
One shouldn’t rush and try to grasp everything at once. He has to go slowly, step by step without getting into a tizzy and trying to do and accomplish everything immediately. If he is over hasty he will become totally confused. When there is fire, God forbid, people panic and rescue needless items.