Home Sweet Home
Nov23

Home Sweet Home

As I write these words, I realize that today, the eve of Thanksgiving, is the busiest travel day of the year. Although it will take many millions of people hours longer than usual to get where they want to go, nevertheless, for the sake of spending time with close friends and family, they feel it’s [...]

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What Do You Know?
Nov17

What Do You Know?

We live at a time when information is free-flowing and readily available. If you want to know how to fix the leaky sink in the bathroom, google it. Want to finally learn to play guitar or speak French? Google it. Yet Rebbe Nachman teaches that the main knowledge is realizing that you know nothing at [...]

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Beyond the Holiday Season
Nov03

Beyond the Holiday Season

How was your Yom Tov? Mine was wonderful. First I experienced the awesome spiritual heights of being in Uman for Rosh HaShanah … then the solemn uplift of the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur … then eight joyous days together with my family in the sukkah. What comes next? Besides all the schlepping, [...]

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Let in the Light!
Oct27

Let in the Light!

Mazel Tov, we have completed the reading of the Torah! Incredibly enough, just a few minutes after finishing a year’s worth of reading, following a small celebration, we begin all over again. In this vein, Rebbe Nachman would always encourage his Chassidim to start afresh and never become accustomed to “regular, everyday life.” We may [...]

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Who Are You Doing Teshuvah For?
Sep19

Who Are You Doing Teshuvah For?

Life is so incredibly topsy-turvy from the moment you wake up – or the moment you don’t wake up! The kids missed the school bus. Check. The car door was left open and the ignition won’t start. Check.  There was an accident on the highway and traffic is backed up for miles. Check. So often [...]

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How Can We Change?
Sep12

How Can We Change?

“Be tamim (wholesome or simple) before HaShem your God.” On this verse, Rashi explains that one should conduct himself before God with simplicity, looking to Him dependently. One should accept whatever happens with utter simplicity. Rashi ends with a golden guarantee: “Then you will be together with Him and a part of His portion.” As [...]

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Shame On Me! Parashat Re’eh
Sep01

Shame On Me! Parashat Re’eh

It’s that time of year again: National Teshuvah Month, aka Chodesh Elul. In “honor” of this special time of year, Breslover Chassidim customarily study Lesson #6 of Rebbe Nachman’s Likutey Moharan. I highly recommend it, as it provides the necessary framework to achieve a real and productive teshuvah. My own recollection of this time period [...]

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Time to Rebuild  – Shabbat Nachamu
Aug21

Time to Rebuild – Shabbat Nachamu

If someone were to curse and totally demean you, wouldn’t it seem strange if he told you moments later how great he is going to make you? Well then, take a look at what’s going on: First, the prophet Amos informs us that God compares the Jews to Cushites, saying, “Are you not like the [...]

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Who Was “The Deutschel”? (Part I)
Aug21

Who Was “The Deutschel”? (Part I)

There was a German Jew who was pious, learned and wealthy, blessed with righteous and scholarly sons. When they came of age, he summoned them and said, “Beloved children! I’ve decided to send you to seek your fortunes abroad. Money you’ll be provided with. My only condition is that you return in exactly five years [...]

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For the Sake of the Children
Aug12

For the Sake of the Children

Rebbe Nachman’s maternal grandfather was a mysterious figure in the history of Chassidism. The Rebbe’s great-grandfather, the Baal Shem Tov, made the match between his daughter, Adil, and one of his students, Rabbi Yechiel, known as “the Deutschel” (the German). Rebbe Nachman’s own brother, one of his earliest followers, was named after their grandfather. But [...]

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What’s In A Name?
Aug04

What’s In A Name?

When Rebbe Nachman’s fourth daughter was born, he didn’t follow the common custom and name her at the next Torah-reading opportunity. Instead, days and days went by, and he had yet to provide his newest child with a name. The Chassidim were confused by Rebbe Nachman’s strange practice, and people around Breslov began to whisper [...]

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A Home for G-d – The Three Weeks
Aug04

A Home for G-d – The Three Weeks

What if the Nine Days could be an exciting time of year? I don’t mean a time of partying and celebration, but more along the lines of a meaningful time that we feel grateful for having experienced. Not only does this opportunity exist, but this was certainly the intent of our Sages when they established [...]

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Destination: Israel
Jul31

Destination: Israel

When Rebbe Nachman’s third daughter, Miriam, came of age, she married Pinchas, the son of Rabbi Aryeh Leib of Volochisk. Throughout his life, Rabbi Aryeh Leib yearned to move to the Land of Israel. He spoke about his desire often, but years went by and he never made the move. Rebbe Nachman had another mechutan—his [...]

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Perfect Hospitality
Jul31

Perfect Hospitality

Before his daughter Sarah’s wedding, Rebbe Nachman devoted time to teaching her concepts that he hoped would help her throughout her life. He spent much time explaining the greatness of the mitzvah of opening her home to guests. Rebbe Nachman wanted his daughter to have special enthusiasm and love for this mitzvah in particular, knowing [...]

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Should We Laugh Or Cry? – Parshat Pinchas
Jul31

Should We Laugh Or Cry? – Parshat Pinchas

When I think of the summer, I imagine people reclining on golden, sandy beaches, letting the cool waves wash up against their feet. They have no worries at all, just lots of time to relax and enjoy. The Jewish calendar is our spiritual compass; it points us in the direction we should be heading. Just [...]

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Know Where You Stand – Parshat Balak
Jul31

Know Where You Stand – Parshat Balak

Have you heard about the great “celebration” that takes place this month? You are probably dreadfully eyeing Sunday’s fast and the start of the Three Weeks of mourning, and wondering what in the world I am referring to. While describing this month of Tamuz, Rebbe Nachman teaches: “The first letters of ‘Zikhru Torat Moshe (Remember [...]

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