Fleeting Sunbeams


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

“Worldly desires are like sunbeams in a dark room. They seem solid until you try to grasp one.”
(Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom #6)


What does this mean to me?
I originally considered sharing my own thoughts on this teaching, but then decided to let the Rebbe speak for himself. The rest of the lesson in Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom is just perfect and needs no further explanation…

“The evil inclination is like a prankster running through a crowd showing his tightly closed fist to all. No one knows what he is holding. He goes up to each person and asks, ‘What do you suppose I have in my hand?’

“Each one imagines that the closed hand contains his heart’s desire. They all rush and run after the joker. Once he has tricked them all into following him, he opens his hand. It is completely empty.

“The same is true of the Evil One. He fools the world, tricking it into following him. All men think that his hand contains what they want most, but in the end, he opens his hand. There is nothing in it, and no desire is ever fulfilled.”


A prayer:


Ruler of the World,
grant me truth!
Spare me from the lies of others.
Help me stop myself
from lying
to others.
Save me
from lying to myself,
and spare me
from the lies
of my own illusions.
O G-d,
never let me live a lie,
even for only a moment.

(From The Gentle Weapon*, p. 36)

We encourage hearing your feedback and may anonymously publish your remarks. Please send email to: yehudis.golshevsky@breslov.org

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Author: Yehudis Golshevsky

Mrs. Yehudis Golshevsky is a graduate of Yavne Teacher’s Seminary in Cleveland and SUNY Buffalo. She is a Breslov Chassidiste who lives with her very patient and forgiving family in Jerusalem and has taught Breslov Chassidus (and many other subjects) and worked in Torah publishing for nearly twenty years. Recent projects include the new Holocaust history textbook, “Witness to History;” Erez Moshe Doron’s commentary on The Exchanged Children; content and curricula for Project Derech of Toronto; translations of Rabbi Berland’s lessons and prayers for shuvubonim.org; editing of the stories for Daf Digest and Mishnah Berurah Digest; and editing of the weekly translations of Rav Itche Meir Morgenstern’s shiurim for Toras Chochom. In her spare time, she does battle with foreign bureaucracy and general pin-headedness in Ukraine so that she can have the privilege of bringing other women to Uman and other kivrei tzaddikim. She also likes to joke around—just ask her students.

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