In this week’s Torah portion, we read about the struggle between Esav and Yaacov, a struggle so primal it began in the womb. Whenever our matriarch Rivka would walk by a House of Torah Study, Yaacov would turn and reach, straining to get closer to the sweet sounds of Holy Torah learning. But whenever Rivka [...]
Continued from the last posting here: After completing the 40 day project a few days before leaving for vacation, I had the inclination that it was time to shift gears. When learning Likutey Moharan I:49 at the end of 2012, I had never taken the time to learn one of the corresponding discourses in Likutey Halachos [...]
Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 7 In addition to going to Uman for Rosh Hashana and spending an hour a day in hisbodedus, a Breslover chassid is required to learn halacha every day. In the book A Day in the Life of a Breslover Chasid, Rabbi Yitzchok Breiter (1886-1943) summarized the Rebbe’s directive about a [...]
Look for the good points. In others. In ourselves. This brings us to joy. The joy washes over us and we are able to talk to God and create a relationship with Him. This is the essence of Azamra. When we choose and collect these good points, we create a melody, much as a musician [...]
Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 6 Continuing to focus on correcting my behavior instead of my youngest child's behavior, I had another important insight during hisbodedus. The insight was that another display of my chutzpah was how I was routinely annoyed by my youngest child's constant request to go to a store [...]
Instant Azamra In the previous post, we said that it's important to understand the concept of Azamra and how following this practice empowers us and brings us to joy, and why joy is so important. In a nutshell: 1. Look for the good points in others. 2. Look for the good points in yourself. 3. When [...]
Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 5 Ok, when is this Azamra lesson going to start kicking in already? I have been trying to apply the Rebbe's words for weeks now and haven't really seen any tangible improvement. In fact, things have seemed to get worse! After getting poison ivy, my youngest child [...]
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 [...]
Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 4 Using the notebook on the first night of the 40 day plan to find my youngest child's nekudos tovos (good points), I was only able to record eight items. As the days went on, I slowly became more attuned to identifying the faintest trace of nekudos tovos [...]
Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 3 Not making any significant progress identifying the nekudos tovos (good points) in my youngest child, I consulted with a Chassidic Rebbe who had helped me apply Azamra to myself many years before. This Chassidic Rebbe is very close to the teachings of Rebbe Nachman and was one of [...]
Azamra! Thinking bad–or good–about others is just a habit and habits can be broken.
Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 2 One morning during hisbodedus, a thought came to me that I should begin harnessing the energy I receive from eating in order to implement the teachings of Azamra in my daily life. This topic was fresh in my mind after speaking with a friend about achila d'kedusha [...]
Each of us is a unique soul, but we’re also part of a larger collective soul. Seeing the good in others has an effect on us all.
Know and Understand! A person must judge everyone favorably. Even if someone is completely bad, it is necessary to search and find in him some modicum of good; the little bit of him that is not wicked. And by finding in him a drop of good and judging him favorably, one brings him to return [...]
Malkhut The Light of Faith and Prayer Malkhut translates as kingship and implies authority, similar to that of a monarch who wields power over his domain. In a deeper sense, Malkhut represents the Authority of God. As mentioned earlier (see p. 59), Malkhut is the vessel that manifests the Light of Keter. God’s Light originates [...]
The Light of Foundation and Righteousness - Yesod translates as foundation and corresponds to the male reproductive organ. Explaining this connection, the Kabbalah refers to Yesod as Chai Olamim (Life of the Worlds) (Zohar I, 193b). Life—because Yesod serves the very essence and purpose of life, and also because it is said to be “alive” [...]