The Loyal Messenger
Oct29

The Loyal Messenger

There was once a king who wished to send secret messages to a fellow monarch, but the only route passed through a hostile neighboring kingdom. The enemy king was always on guard, fearing a conspiracy between his allied neighbors. The king’s first messenger was exceedingly wise. He passed through the enemy kingdom and never blew his cover; no one suspected a thing. The second messenger was less adept. He was questioned and almost...

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Remedy for Pride
Oct23

Remedy for Pride

“You can overcome your arrogance by praying for someone else” – Rebbe Nachman of Breslov R’ Yudel, one of the Rebbe’s close students, wondered about this teaching. It seems like the opposite should be true. Wouldn’t praying for my friend feed my ego and make me feel even more prideful? After all, aren’t my prayers answered because I’m important? Rebbe Nachman explained his teaching with a parable: Once there was a prince who angered...

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Pathways: Parashat Noach
Oct23

Pathways: Parashat Noach

“Pathways” is a weekly Torah publication exploring the festivals and parsha, published by BRI. To receive “Pathways” delivered straight to your email box, simply use the sign-up form on the right column of breslov.org. Download (PDF,...

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Making Life Worthwhile
Oct23

Making Life Worthwhile

A Sacred Time – Tishrei #4 The tribe associated with the month of Tishrei is Efraim. Reb Nosson, z”l, explains that the name Efraim means to be fruitful or multiply. The deepest kind of fruitfulness is in focusing on one’s good points so that they truly shine, and then they spark even more positive growth. Even the smallest good point forges an eternal connection with G-d. During the silent prayer of the Amidah, we describe G-d...

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Another Note In The Melody
Oct23

Another Note In The Melody

A Sacred Time – Tishrei #3 Lamed—which also means to teach and learn—is the letter associated with the month of Tishrei. When we completed the yearly cycle of the reading of the Torah, its final letter was lamed of the word “Yisrael.” When we began it again right afterward, it’s primary letter was beit of the first word “Bereishit.” The two letters form the word lev—the heart. It’s only with a heart that is open to hear G-d’s...

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“Holiday” Rental
Oct07

“Holiday” Rental

A Sacred Time – Tishrei #2 “Visamachta b’chagecha v’hayitah ach sameach”—“And you shall rejoice during your festivals and you shall be only joyous.” The astrological sign associated with the month of Tishrei is a balance scale—the iconic image that expresses the judgment of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when good and bad are calibrated and the direction of the entire year is determined. The festival of Sukkot then falls out on...

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Pathways: Special Yom Kippur Edition
Oct02

Pathways: Special Yom Kippur Edition

“Pathways” is a weekly Torah publication exploring the festivals and parsha, published by BRI. To receive “Pathways” delivered straight to your email box, simply use the sign-up form on the right column of breslov.org. Download (PDF,...

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Balancing Act
Oct02

Balancing Act

A Sacred Time – Tishrei #1 Rebbe Nachman, z”l, explains that the letters of the word for obstacles, meniot, can be rearranged to be read as ne’imut, which means pleasantness. The natural barriers and obstacles of our material existence help to balance us and enable healthy spiritual connection, whose “ways are ways of pleasantness.” Reb Nosson, z”l, uses this concept to explain why there is a mitzvah to eat on the day before Yom...

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The Good Points
Oct01

The Good Points

A chassid once approached Rebbe Nachman, z”l, with a heartfelt question. “Rebbe, I feel like such a lowly person. The negative way that I see myself permeates my life and I have a hard time being happy. How can I be free of it?” “It is forbidden for one’s confidence in self to falter for even an instant.” Rebbe Nachman responded. “You need to learn to vitalize yourself by focusing on your good points. Think about it for a moment:...

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Lasting Change
Sep19

Lasting Change

A Sacred Time - Elul #5 Elul is the month of repentance that leads up to Rosh Hashanah, when we crown G-d king of the universe. This coronation really means making it clear to ourselves and declaring publicly that the universe has a Creator and an Orchestrator of absolutely everything that exists. The Maggid of Mezeritch would say that if a person has an audience with the king, he’s going to need time to prepare. If he shows up at the...

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Pathways: Special Rosh HaShanah Edition
Sep18

Pathways: Special Rosh HaShanah Edition

“Pathways” is a weekly Torah publication exploring the festivals and parsha, published by BRI. To receive “Pathways” delivered straight to your email box, simply use the sign-up form on the right column of breslov.org. Download (PDF,...

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Lost Sheep
Sep12

Lost Sheep

A Sacred Time - Elul #4 Rebbe Nachman, z”l, reveals that every lost opportunity, every missed mitzvah, must be recovered. These missed opportunities for connection with God keep us distant from Him until we find some way to revive them. Elul, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the main times to seek out what we have neglected throughout the year. The yearning that we feel to bring back those lost potential connections has the power to...

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Dance Of A Lifetime
Sep11

Dance Of A Lifetime

In Teplik there lived a man named Feivel who was a sincere servant of God. Without fail, he would get up every night at midnight to recite the Tikkun Chatzot and mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple. The sad state of the world and the all discord and dismay that fill it are a direct consequence of the loss of the Temple and the deep connection with God that once gave it vitality. After reciting Tikkun Chatzot, Feivel would feel so...

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Pathways: Parashat Ki Tavo
Sep11

Pathways: Parashat Ki Tavo

“Pathways” is a weekly Torah publication exploring the festivals and parsha, published by BRI. To receive “Pathways” delivered straight to your email box, simply use the sign-up form on the right column of breslov.org. Download (PDF,...

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Sweeping In The New Year
Sep10

Sweeping In The New Year

A Sacred Time - Elul #3 Many people find the spiritual work of the month of Elul and the High Holy Days somewhat trying. After all, introspection can be so daunting. And if you believe you are going to be judged, shouldn’t you be scared? But this attitude is all wrong. As the Chofetz Chaim, z”l, put it, “Some think Elul is a ber (Yiddish for ‘bear’]. In truth, Elul is just a kerr (broom). It is a special time to sweep out the negative...

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Self-Assessment, Honor, And Coming Closer To God
Sep09

Self-Assessment, Honor, And Coming Closer To God

Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgment for all humanity. But despite its profound ramifications, Rosh Hashana is actually a very down-to-earth day. On the New Year, we are judged and awarded (or not), all the ‘stuff of life’ in this world—life, health, wealth and sustenance for the coming year.  What we’re given depends not only on our actions during the past year, but also on how effectively we judge ourselves on this day, and open our...

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