Dance Of A Lifetime
Sep11

Dance Of A Lifetime

In Teplik there lived a man named Feivel who was a sincere servant of God. Without fail, he would get up every night at midnight to recite the Tikkun Chatzot and mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple. The sad state of the world and the all discord and dismay that fill it are a direct consequence of the loss of the Temple and the deep connection with God that once gave it vitality. After reciting Tikkun Chatzot, Feivel would feel so...

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The Right Way To Rebuke
Sep04

The Right Way To Rebuke

Reb Michel Zlotchover arrived in Koretz to give a rousing lecture to inspire the local Jews to improve their ways. But his powerful discourse and sharp words hit the simple folk hard. They saw how far they were from genuine closeness to God and fell into a kind of collective despair. Reb Pinchas of Koretz was present during the speech. When Reb Michel finished, Reb Pinchas took the visitor to task. “Why do you rebuke them so harshly?...

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Borrow the Joy!
Aug27

Borrow the Joy!

Reb Aharon of Kiblitch was a very happy person. He was so filled with joy that other chassidim envied him. Despite his poverty, he was always happy. No surprise, then, that he was accomplished at bringing joy to a heavy heart. Usually only a few words from him were enough to transform gloom to joy. He would often dance, celebrating his spirituality. When asked how he could always dance with such enthusiasm, he replied, “Well,...

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True Breslovers
Aug21

True Breslovers

On his first trip to Israel as a teenager in 1958, Gedaliah Fleer was introduced to three leading Breslover chassidim who were living examples of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings. Reb Moshe Burstein, a close disciple of Rabbi Avraham Sternhartz, was a true servant of God. Although he worked a full day in the Ministry of Religion, he devoted many hours to prayer and Torah study and only slept about three hours a night. Though Reb Moshe had...

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Strong Like A Lion
Aug17

Strong Like A Lion

Once, when Reb Nosson, z”l, ran into Reb Meir of Teplik, z”l, he took the opportunity to ask Reb Meir about another man from Teplik. The fellow townsman had recently started coming to learn with Reb Nosson, and he wanted to know more about him. Reb Meir answered in an offhanded manner—it was clear that he didn’t think much of the man. Reb Nosson protested, “Listen to me. If you view people in a critical manner you will end up...

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You Are Bigger Than Your Mistakes
Aug14

You Are Bigger Than Your Mistakes

The students of the Baal Shem Tov were often ridiculed for their allegiance to their rebbe. But they stood strong, committing themselves to serve God. One student of the Baal Shem Tov would eat only on Shabbat. He would secretly refrain from food and drink for the rest of the week as he immersed in study and prayer. Once, during such a fast, he felt extremely ill. He felt as though he would expire if he didn’t put something in his...

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Finding the Good
Aug07

Finding the Good

Once, when Reb Nosson, z”l, ran into Reb Meir of Teplik, z”l, he took the opportunity to ask Reb Meir about another man from Teplik. The fellow townsman had recently started coming to learn with Reb Nosson, and he wanted to know more about him. Reb Meir answered in an offhanded manner—it was clear that he didn’t think much of the man. Reb Nosson protested, “Listen to me. If you view people in a critical manner you will end up...

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Klap Freilich!
Jul31

Klap Freilich!

Wedding are such joyous affairs. Yet today’s weddings are fairly tame compared to the way they used to be. In prewar Europe, the average Jewish wedding was an all-night event. Musicians were hired to play a full program of lively tunes and people would dance happily for many hours. The joyous atmosphere was infectious. Reb Noson once attended the wedding of a very distant relative, although he usually didn’t attend the affairs of...

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Passion for the Truth
Jul24

Passion for the Truth

The lack of truth and honesty in the world distressed Reb Noson no end. One morning he was so upset, he was unable to pray with his usual joy. He prayed apathetically until he reached the verse “Who protects truth for eternity.” These words ignited the rest of his prayers with enthusiasm and joy. He explained the deep encouragement he found in this verse through a parable: A nobleman had a resplendent garden with every species of...

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Longing for the Land
Jul17

Longing for the Land

For forty years, the Rabbi of Volochisk’s yearning to go to the Land of the Israel was the recurring theme of his conversation. There was once a prisoner sentenced to a very long time in jail. Although he had left behind a comfortable, well-furnished home, he became so used to his life in prison that when asked where his home was, he pointed to his cell. When this prisoner took a careful account of his life, however, he...

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Rebuilding from the Ashes
Jul09

Rebuilding from the Ashes

Once there was a devastating fire in the town of Breslov. Shortly after the conflagration, Reb Noson went with several other Breslovers to survey the damage. They saw a homeowner frantically digging through the ruins of his house. He was searching for anything that could be used in rebuilding his house. Any usable wood or metal was carefully set aside. Then the search continued. “Do you see?” Reb Noson asked his companions. “Although...

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“Take a Rendel”
Jul03

“Take a Rendel”

Two business partners worked hard to make it in the world. Eventually they separated, but remained good friends. One partner went on to great success and grew very wealthy. His former partner, though, lost everything. Lacking prospects, he decided to approach his old partner for help. The wealthy man’s compassion was aroused and he graciously agreed to support his old friend. They went on this way for years; sometimes the poor man...

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A River Of Tears
Jun26

A River Of Tears

In 1914, World War I had just begun and 20 million Russian soldiers were on the battlefield, falling like straw before the wind. Like most religious Jews, young Breslovers did their utmost to avoid the army, not only because of the dangers but also because of rampant anti-Semitism in the ranks. In Uman, many attempted to hide in the kloyz (Breslov synagogue), but it was hardly necessary since the authorities turned a blind eye on...

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Fanning the Flame
Jun19

Fanning the Flame

Once a man who was indifferent about serving God attended one of the Maggid of Dubno’s fiery sermons. Despite the Maggid’s inspiring words, this man still felt completely unmoved. Boldly, in front of a crowd of enthusiastic listeners, he challenged the Maggid to explain why he couldn’t reach him, too. Characteristically, the Maggid answered with an original parable: There was once a villager who visited the big city for the first...

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The Hired Gun (Part 2)
Jun11

The Hired Gun (Part 2)

(Recap: Chaim Katzav, the intimidating kosher butcher of Kiblitch, is dispatched to kill Reb Pinchas, the Breslov teacher – but is inspired to change his ways after hearing Reb Pinchas’ encouraging words.) With burgeoning hope in his heart and tears in his eyes, Chaim Katzav approached Reb Pinchas. “Can even I do teshuvah for my sins?” he asked. “I have sinned so terribly against you!” “Of course you can,” said Reb Pinchas. “Teshuvah...

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The U.S.-Israel Connection
May29

The U.S.-Israel Connection

Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld, a pioneering Breslov educator who spread Rebbe Nachman’s teachings in North America beginning in the 1940s, had a very deep love for the Land of Israel. While he reached out to Jews who were distant from God and taught many adults and children the basics of Torah and mitzvot, he would always try to strengthen his connection with the Holy Land. In addition to traveling to Israel over 50 times, he collected...

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