Healing The Broken Tablets
Jul03

Healing The Broken Tablets

A Sacred Time – Tammuz #1 Rebbe Nachman reveals that the word Tammuz, when written without the vowel vav, is an acronym for zichru Torat Moshe, “Remember the Torah of Moshe.” Reb Nosson explains that the Torah in its essence is so sublime, so remote from this world, that it is really beyond our grasp completely. But due to G-d’s love for the Jewish people, He contracted it and brought it down so that human beings...

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An Unbreakable Bond
Jun26

An Unbreakable Bond

A Sacred Time – Sivan #8 We find in the Sefer Yetzirah that the tribe associated with the month of Sivan is Zevulun. When Moshe blessed the tribes at the end of Deuteronomy he declared, “Rejoice, Zevulun, in your going out and Yissachar in your tents.” Yissachar is the paradigm of the Torah scholar who learns, supported as a full partner by the far-reaching business of Zevulun, who traded at sea. The Torah and our tradition...

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A River Of Tears
Jun26

A River Of Tears

In 1914, World War I had just begun and 20 million Russian soldiers were on the battlefield, falling like straw before the wind. Like most religious Jews, young Breslovers did their utmost to avoid the army, not only because of the dangers but also because of rampant anti-Semitism in the ranks. In Uman, many attempted to hide in the kloyz (Breslov synagogue), but it was hardly necessary since the authorities turned a blind eye on...

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Wake Up!
Jun25

Wake Up!

Unable to control himself, the viceroy plucked an apple from the tree and took a bite. As soon as he swallowed it, he fell to the ground in a deep sleep and slept a long, long time. The viceroy’s servant tried to wake him up, but he couldn’t. Rebbe Nachman’s first tale, “The Lost Princess,” is a fascinating recounting of the story of our lives. Being such, it incites us to ask a critical question: “Do I truly possess absolute...

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Mashiach’s Secret Weapon
Jun24

Mashiach’s Secret Weapon

A Sacred Time – Sivan #7 We find in Sefer Yetzirah that the letter associated with the month of Sivan is zayin. Interestingly, weapons are referred to as klei zayin. The Kabbalists explain that when the letter zayin is written in the alphabet required for a Torah scroll it resembles a staff. This alludes to the staff with which Moshe was victorious. Since the purpose of weapons is to win in battle, fighting implements, such as a...

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Yes, We Can!
Jun19

Yes, We Can!

The other day I was introduced to a successful businessman who was interested in studying Breslov Chassidut together. In order to get know each other, we shared our backgrounds, and he said something that has stuck in my mind ever since. My newfound chavruta explained that although his wife and children were making headway in their spiritual journeys, his growth was stunted and even retarded because he enjoyed the pleasures that his...

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Fanning the Flame
Jun19

Fanning the Flame

Once a man who was indifferent about serving God attended one of the Maggid of Dubno’s fiery sermons. Despite the Maggid’s inspiring words, this man still felt completely unmoved. Boldly, in front of a crowd of enthusiastic listeners, he challenged the Maggid to explain why he couldn’t reach him, too. Characteristically, the Maggid answered with an original parable: There was once a villager who visited the big city for the first...

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The Power Of Free Choice
May29

The Power Of Free Choice

After centuries of bondage, the poor Israelite slaves emerge victorious and triumphant over their Egyptian taskmasters. Making their way through the desert, they approach Mount Sinai and the ultimate purpose of Creation, where the lowest of the low rise to become God’s chosen people. Moses delivers God’s question to the Hebrews: “Will you accept the Torah and thereby become a treasure among the nations?” They answer, “All that God has...

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Take Your Holiness With You
May23

Take Your Holiness With You

You have the ability to connect with and build on your own inner holiness. Take your holiness with you as you journey through life.

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Soldier On
May22

Soldier On

The drive down from the hills of Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport is a lonely one. After having been privileged to travel to the Land of Israel and bask in its holiness for a few days, it isn’t so easy to depart and return to “normal life.” Thankfully, I remembered that I had a precedent. Reb Noson once traveled to be with Rebbe Nachman, but because of the opposition of his family at that time, the Rebbe told him, “To you we must say,...

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Respect For All
Apr09

Respect For All

During the years of persecution that Reb Noson and his followers endured, Reb Noson’s opponents in the town of Breslov arranged for the local authorities to set up a boot factory to supply an army unit stationed nearby. The site they chose for the factory was Reb Noson’s house. In the weeks before Pesach, a group of non-Jewish workers converted the main room into a workshop, filling it with foul-smelling hides. There they worked and...

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The Taste of True Pesach
Apr02

The Taste of True Pesach

The grinding poverty suffered by ordinary people in Ukraine over a hundred years ago is hard for us to imagine. Pesach was especially difficult for the poor. So many expenses … where was the money supposed to come from? Reb Noson was no stranger to poverty. One year his family lacked the most basic requirements, such as matzah. As they drew water for Pesach, Reb Noson began to dance. He joyously proclaimed, “Thank God we have...

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The Poor Man’s Offering
Mar06

The Poor Man’s Offering

One of the greatest gifts that Chassidic teachings impart to us is the ability to illuminate and make relevant all parts of Torah, even the seemingly obscure ones. The teachings of Rebbe Nachman and Reb Noson make the Torah come alive, helping us find answers and life advice in verses of the Torah that cynics claim are irrelevant and archaic. These incredible teachings reinforce our belief in the profound depth and truth of the Torah...

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3 Likutey Halakhot – Translated For The First Time!
Mar04

3 Likutey Halakhot – Translated For The First Time!

“The Water Castle” is the latest book published by the Breslov Research Institute – and it’s another “first.” Translated and annotated by Dovid Sears, and edited by Ozer Bergman and Yaacov David Shulman, this ground-breaking work presents Reb Noson’s original ideas and interpretations related to a “story-with-a-story” from Rebbe Nachman: the tale of the Beggar With No Hands, told on the sixth day of the wedding celebrations in the...

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Room to Breathe
Nov14

Room to Breathe

When it rains, it pours. It often happens this way: first you have one problem, then another comes up, then a third… Before you know it, you feel completely overburdened, as if you can’t even breathe. You imagine all of the world’s issues being lumped together and heaped on your shoulders. But it gets even worse. Our typical reaction to feeling overwhelmed is to hibernate in a state of utter disconnect. We cut ourselves off from...

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Two Ways To Go
Oct30

Two Ways To Go

Being a father of twin boys, I naturally keep comparing them to see the minute differences between them. Who is cuter? Who is smarter? Who is funnier? As they get older, it’s interesting to observe their unique relationship. Having so many similarities creates a very, special tight-knit bond, something I don’t see in the relationships between my other children. Our Matriarch Rebecca’s experience with her twin boys was entirely...

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