G-d Conscious
Mar02

G-d Conscious

What does it mean to be part of a “nation of priests and a holy people?” It means uplifting fear to its source. How do we do that? By activating our da’at—our conscious awareness of G-d—and taking stock of ourselves at all times. (Likutey Moharan I:15) I once heard a rabbi from Israel speak about an interesting experience he had when he was visiting America. He was staying in a smallish town without many Jews en route to another...

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How To Make Your Words Count
Jan17

How To Make Your Words Count

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… Not every word is really called a word. Because a word that is not heard and accepted can hardly be called speech. (Likutey Moharan I:29)   What does this mean to me? Rebbe Nachman teaches that it is the goodness that is within every word that makes it heard and acceptable to others. Everyone is naturally drawn to goodness; when a word is infused with good, it is attractive as a matter of...

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Who Is Wealthy?
Jan13

Who Is Wealthy?

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… The work that a person does can either be like the thirty-nine labors that were necessary for the functioning of the Mishkan when it stood in its glory, or they can be like thirty-nine lashes, like the Mishkan in its destruction. (Likutey Moharan I:II)   What does this mean to me? Working in the world can either be an end in and of itself, or a gateway for realizing a spiritual goal. When it...

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Ah, Simplicity!
Jan08

Ah, Simplicity!

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… My achievements came mainly through simplicity. I spent much time simply conversing with G-d and reciting the psalms…” The Rebbe deeply yearned to serve the Creator like the uneducated common people. He often said, “Ah! Simplicity!” The Rebbe also said, “I have spoken with many great tzaddikim. They all said that they attained their high level through absolute simplicity. They would do the...

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Soaring
Nov15

Soaring

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… It’s important to have mercy on the body, to allow the light of all that the soul realizes to enter the body and refine it. Because the soul is constantly experiencing wondrous things, but the body doesn’t automatically share that knowledge. (Likutey Moharan I:22)   What does this mean to me? My soul enjoys Torah study, prayer, the fulfillment of mitzvoth—but does my body also feel that...

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Working for a Living
Nov11

Working for a Living

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… The song of the Levites—the natural and harmonious give and take among musicians—can be compared to working for a living in good faith. Because business is also called “give and take,” and one needs to focus on its higher purpose in order to sanctify it. (Likutey Moharan I:13)   What does this mean to me? We often use the term “making a living” to speak about the work that we do to earn...

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Riding The Roller Coaster
Nov01

Riding The Roller Coaster

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… Growing spiritually can be like a roller coaster ride. Take comfort in the knowledge that the way down is only preparation for the way up. (The Empty Chair, p. 43*)   What does this mean to me? “The way down is only preparation for the way up” is a translation of the phrase, “yeridah l’tzorech aliyah,” and in the original Hebrew it also implies that without the “down” you cannot really get...

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Ah, Simplicity!
Oct23

Ah, Simplicity!

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… My achievements came mainly through simplicity. I spent much time simply conversing with G-d and reciting the psalms…” The Rebbe deeply yearned to serve the Creator like the uneducated common people. He often said, “Ah! Simplicity!” The Rebbe also said, “I have spoken with many great tzaddikim. They all said that they attained their high level through absolute simplicity. They would do the...

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A Flawless Bride
Oct17

A Flawless Bride

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… If you want to study with constant diligence, be careful never to speak against a fellow Jew. Every Jew is a letter in the Torah. The Torah is a bride, and when the bride is beautiful, love is perfect. If one finds a defect in any Jew, it is equivalent to a blemish within the Torah. When the Torah—the bride—has a flaw, one’s love for her is diminished. Then it is difficult to devote oneself to it...

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Were You Here First?
Oct15

Were You Here First?

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… Reb Nosson wrote: “I spoke once with someone and asked him, ‘Were you the first person born?’ This is what Job’s friends asked him in response to his bitter complaint. Rashi explains their question as, ‘Were you born before Adam, the first man, so that you are in a position to know what has happened to every person in the world?’ Each person can apply this thought to whatever he is going through…...

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What’s There To Do

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… What does a person have to do in this world? All that is needed is to pray and study and pray..” (Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom #287) What does this mean to me? I feel as though Rebbe Nachman is making two basic statements here; the first challenges our assumptions, because as far as we can tell we’re here in this world to do many things, not only to “pray and study and pray.” Don’t we have other...

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The Best Advice
Oct08

The Best Advice

Reb Nosson wrote: “The Rebbe’s most fervent wish…was for us to live his teachings on a practical level and to fulfill them according to their simple meaning. He wanted people to understand all that was implied in his words and to glean advice for themselves constantly. Whatever happens to us at any time—day or night…at home or away…young or old…in personal matters or issues at home…in our behavior towards those who are nearest and...

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The Sweetest Hour
Oct06

The Sweetest Hour

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… Rebbe Nachman once said, “A Jew’s main devotion is to get up for the Midnight prayers / Chatzot…” (Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, #301) What does this mean to me? What is Chatzot? The Hebrew word chatzot is a form of the root “to split,” in the sense of splitting the night into two at its midpoint. That point of Chatzot has been the catalyst of many miracles throughout our history; in fact, an entire...

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Torah Joy
Oct01

Torah Joy

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… It was Reb Nosson’s custom to see the Rebbe every year after Simchat Torah. Rebbe Nachman would always ask Reb Nosson if he truly rejoiced on the festival… Once the Rebbe spoke to Reb Nosson about Simchat Torah in the middle of the year. He asked him, “Do you now feel joy in your heart? Do you feel this happiness at least once a year?” …The Rebbe told Reb Nosson that once on Simchat Torah he was...

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NOT For A Non-Profit
Aug29

NOT For A Non-Profit

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… Lust for money means never feeling satisfied with what one has and always chasing after more. The more one has, the more he wants. But if a person wants to rectify his livelihood, he needs to keep a thought at the forefront of his mind when he is working: “I am working so that I will make a profit, so that I can give generously to charity.” (Likutei Moharan I:29) What does this mean to me? Even...

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Sweet Charity
Aug27

Sweet Charity

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught… Giving charity involves making judgments, and proper judgment is reached by finding the balance between sternness and kindness. When a person gives charity before praying, it helps him also find the balance in his prayers so that they “hit their target,” right on center. (Likutei Moharan I:2) What does this mean to me? Giving charity is like weighing out scales of justice: one takes from “his...

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