Azamra: Glasses And Mirrors
Jul15

Azamra: Glasses And Mirrors

Women who are eager to learn Breslov Chassidut are an amazingly honest bunch. When we learn Azamra our responses to the lesson show that we’re willing to do the hard work it takes to make this powerful teaching of Rebbe Nachman’s part of ourselves. Whether in class or one-on-one learning, whenever we discuss Azamra, there are two main types of responses  and I’ve posted versions of them, below. (These are real responses, only...

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The Road To Faith
May09

The Road To Faith

Faith depends upon truth. If you will only search for the truth with complete honesty you will eventually realize that you must have faith in God, in the true Tzaddikim, and in the holy Torah. You will realize this in spite of the fact that such faith is not something that is susceptible to our rational understanding, bound as our rational faculties are by the material nature of our existence. If you think about things with...

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Count For Yourself – Iyar #1
May06

Count For Yourself – Iyar #1

A Sacred Time -Iyar #1 The most central mitzvah of the month of Iyar is Sefirat Ha’omer. Reb Nosson, z”l, explains that each person is commanded to count for himself for a reason: each person is an individual world, a completely different universe. We cannot fathom our true level or that of our friend; it depends on so many factors. How hard was it to climb to one’s present level? Surely the more one worked, the greater...

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Go Beyond Nature – Nissan #2
Apr04

Go Beyond Nature – Nissan #2

A Sacred Time – Nissan #2 Nissan is the time when the spring begins in earnest, when the world goes into bloom, and its mazal is the ram. This renewal of the natural world, while positive, also has its more negative aspect: the rejuvenation of material desires. The Egyptians worshiped the ram because they believed that one should act out his animalistic nature, which is the opposite of personal purity. The pesach offering is...

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Getting Down From Scrubbing? – Nissan #1
Apr02

Getting Down From Scrubbing? – Nissan #1

Now that Nissan has arrived, it’s time to talk about Pesach cleaning. Although the halachic sources applaud the great care that the Jewish people take in preparing for Pesach–going above and beyond the strict letter of the law–many do feel overwhelmed (or just plain worried) about how they will manage the job. Most are even busier than usual without factoring in the cleaning. How can we do a truly thorough Pesach...

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Women & Breslov
Mar24

Women & Breslov

Once Rebbe Nachman asked his followers: “Why don’t you make your wives chasidistehs?” (Siach Sarfei Kodesh 2, 1-14). (In Yiddish, “Chasidistehs” means “women Chasidim.”) Breslov tradition tells us that Rebbe Nachman affirmed the unique spiritual talents and sensitivities of women. He saw to it that his daughters were well educated in various areas of Torah, and he praised them highly for their spiritual qualities (his daughter...

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Joy–Your Spiritual Task
Mar18

Joy–Your Spiritual Task

To find joy is the hardest thing of all. It is harder than all other spiritual tasks…Put all your energy into being happy. — Rebbe Nachman of Breslov The Rebbe tells us that, if need be, we should force ourselves to be happy. Of course, this advice is not politically correct. From today’s psychological viewpoint, forcing yourself to be happy is wrong. It’s denial. Better to be miserable, say the experts. In some...

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Two Keys To Overcoming Anger
Mar04

Two Keys To Overcoming Anger

The Rebbe told his followers how he had worked on overcoming his negative traits. When he was young he had a hot temper, and became angry at the “slightest provocation.” But he yearned to be a good and kind person, as God also desires each of us to be. “So the Rebbe began working on his temper, until he overcame it completely. He rejected anger completely, pushing himself to the opposite extreme. In the place of anger, he had absolute...

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Uman Is Not Just For Men
Nov04

Uman Is Not Just For Men

Filmmaker Maya Batash’s spiritual journey began three years ago, when she took her first trip to Uman, Ukraine, to visit the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman, the father of the Breslov Hasidic movement. “Have you ever planned a journey somewhere but don’t know why you’re going?” Batash asked me recently, as she sipped herbal tea in a café in Forest Hills, Queens. “I heard Uman was a place men travel to, but I didn’t know what the point was...

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Breslov Repair Kit–Yom Kippur Refreshes
Sep11

Breslov Repair Kit–Yom Kippur Refreshes

Got Life? When you’re a child, the minutes seem like hours and the hours like days. Then, you grow up. And time flies. Despite the fleetingness of time, if you’re like most people, at some point in your life you’ve “killed time.” Perhaps you’ve even killed a whole day. Or days. “Killed ‘em dead.” What is a dead day? It’s a day without good deeds and mitzvos. And what’s an alive...

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Breslov Repair Kit–Rosh Hashana & Self-Awareness
Aug28

Breslov Repair Kit–Rosh Hashana & Self-Awareness

Rosh Hashana is the day of judgment for all humankind. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. In other words, it’s the birthday of everyone’s great, great, great (and so on), grandparents! It is a day of awe and fear and also a day of celebration. Rosh Hashana is a day of great self-awareness and relationships, too. It is a time to recognize who we are as individuals, as members of family and community, the...

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The Evil Eye
Jul25

The Evil Eye

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… Take care, there is much power in a glance. If accompanied by a malicious thought, it can cause harm. This is what is known as the evil eye. (The Empty Chair, p. 58*) What does this mean to me? Rebbe Nachman and Reb Nosson emphasize on numerous occasions that the force that we call “the evil eye” is more attitudinal than mystical. Because our souls are sourced in the loftiest place in heaven, our...

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Ask A Breslover: Tikkun HaKlali For Women
Jan27

Ask A Breslover: Tikkun HaKlali For Women

Q: My wife wants to know if their are books or teachings (i.e. Tikkun HaKlali) that are equivalent to the teachings of shimras habris for men.  A: Since it helps rectify all sins, Tikkun ha-Klalli may be said by men and women alike. Paraphrasing the Zohar, Reb Gedaliah Kenig once remarked: “The pasuk (Tehillim 91:10) states ‘Lo si’uneh eilekha ra’ah (No evil shall befall you)’ – this alludes to the men;...

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Breslov Repair Kit: True Love
Dec31

Breslov Repair Kit: True Love

…the Rebbe said, “Even when I am not worthy of serving G-d, I am satisfied to let another serve Him. This is a very important thing to grasp. I heard this from the Rebbe’s own lips and it seems obvious to me. Even though I may not be worthy, I still long for everyone to be truly righteous. I would like nothing better than for all my friends to be great Tzadikim. This would be my greatest expression of love and friendship. This is how...

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Treat Her Right
Oct26

Treat Her Right

Dvar Torah for Parshat Lekh Lekha Treat Her Right Abram said to Sarai, “Please say that you are my achot (sister), so that it will go well for me for your sake, and through you I will live” (Genesis 12:13). For those of us who are new at this, and for those of us who may need a reminder: our holy Torah is many, many things at one and the same time. So a story about a man and a woman who lived a few thousand years ago in ancient...

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Breslov Repair Kit–Compassion
Aug14

Breslov Repair Kit–Compassion

By ignoring your brother when he is in trouble, it is as if you were responsible for his misfortune. A person should avoid inflicting pain upon living creatures, as this will bring him harm. A person who doesn’t plead mercy for his friend falls into captivity. He can redeem himself by providing food for some living creature. —The Aleph Bet Book, Compassion and Pity, p. 218 Every person must fulfill this – [namely,] to have compassion...

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