Breslov Repair Kit–Rosh Hashana & Self-Awareness
Aug28

Breslov Repair Kit–Rosh Hashana & Self-Awareness

Rosh Hashana is the day of judgment for all humankind. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. In other words, it’s the birthday of everyone’s great, great, great (and so on), grandparents! It is a day of awe and fear and also a day of celebration. Rosh Hashana is a day of great self-awareness and relationships, too. It is a time to recognize who we are as individuals, as members of family and community, the...

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Free Booklet – Elul, Returning to HaShem
Jul17

Free Booklet – Elul, Returning to HaShem

We were privileged to contribute to an excellent free booklet about the Breslov  approach to Elul, the month proceeding Rosh HaShanah, where Jews around the world prepare themselves for this day of judgement. This booklet was put together in English with the aim of inspiring us all to a more meaningful and inspiring Elul. It is now available for free download. The booklet includes essays from some of todays leading Breslov...

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A Day In The Life Of A Breslover Part IV
Jun19

A Day In The Life Of A Breslover Part IV

People often ask, “What is it like to be a Breslover Chassid or a student of Rebbe Nachman?” While Rebbe Nachman strongly encouraged us to follow his advice, even if only sometimes or somewhat, Rabbi Yitzchok Breiter z”l did suggest a daily routine that we can all find to be very helpful.   Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom #27 A person has to be quick in serving God. A person has to be alert and ready every hour, every day to do as much as...

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Second Time Around
Apr10

Second Time Around

Has it ever happened that one day you got excited and had a sudden impulse to draw close to God? This is because a holy spark within you began to blaze intensely, seeking to reconnect to its place of origin, Godliness. You began to make serious resolutions about mending your ways and correcting bad habits. But a short while later, it was déjà vu as you found yourself embroiled again in your past struggles. Yearning and retreating,...

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The Best Guarantors
May17

The Best Guarantors

“Draw me after you / we will run” (Song of Songs 1:4). At Sinai, when the Jews were ready to receive the Torah, God said to them, “What? Am I supposed to give you the Torah without any security? Bring some good guarantors that you will keep it properly, and I will give it to you.” Jews: Our ancestors will be our guarantors. God: They themselves need a guarantor! Avraham questioned Me: “How will I know?” (Genesis 15:8). Yitzchak loved...

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RIP DOWN ALL HATRED!
Jan12

RIP DOWN ALL HATRED!

In one of his lessons (LM II, 73), Rebbe Nachman points out a secret message concerning Tehilim (Psalms) and teshuvah (return to God) that is hidden in the first verse of Sefer Shemot (Book of Exodus). The letters of the words TeHiLIM and TeShUVaH are embedded within a reference to the Children of Israel who descended to Egypt (see Parashah Pearls on this page). Tehilim, as we know, is King David’s personal outpouring of the heart,...

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A Chassidic Story (#19)
Nov13

A Chassidic Story (#19)

A Chassidic Story (#19) We promised you last week a classic chassidic story. Here it is. For some reason it seems apropos to Parshas VaEra and Avraham Avinu serving guests. But it’s classic because of the Rebbe Reb Zushia’s simple tefilah (prayer) which is so easy to imitate in the saying, but almost impossible to duplicate in the feeling. After Shachris, the morning prayer, the Rebbe Reb Zushia would never ask his personal attendant...

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A Chassidic Story (#15)
Oct08

A Chassidic Story (#15)

A Chassidic Story (#15) This story is one of my personal favorites. It’s human in many ways: the innkeeper’s desire to help both at the story’s beginning and end; in the protagonist’s tenderheartedness and his desire to celebrate Shabbat as best way possible. There’s a deep current of mystery running throughout and—it’s a fish story. The compiler of Shivchei HaBaal Shem Tov heard this story from both the Toldot Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye...

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Proud to be Jewish

Dvar Torah for Rosh HaShanah Proud to be Jewish We’re on the threshold of Rosh HaShanah, the Day of Judgment, when we’re scrutinized, weighed in the balance and then written down for a good year (hopefully), all in less time than it took to read this sentence. Rosh HaShanah is two days long not because God needs that much time to figure out what to do for you or because that’s how long it takes some people to complete reciting their...

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A Midrash for Monday (#14)/Rosh HaShanah-Yom Kippur

A Midrash for Monday (#14) This one is especially appropriate for Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and the days in between. Actually, it’s good to have this one handy all the time! The prophet Yeshayahu says, “Seek God when He is present” (Isaiah 55:6), but King David (Yeshayau’s multiple-great-grandfather) says, “Seek God and His might; seek His face constantly” (1 Chronicles 16:11). Why constantly? To teach you that the Holy, Blessed God:...

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Bouncing Back—and Forward
Sep23

Bouncing Back—and Forward

Dvar Torah for Parshat Netzavim-VaYelekh Bouncing Back—and Forward “You are standing here today… (Deuteronomy 29:9). Rashi comments: “Like ‘today’ which is, which gets dark and which shines, [God] has shone on you in the past and will shine on you in the future. The curses and the suffering [of Deuteronomy 28] maintain and sustain you.* They help keep you going with [God].” Ooyyyyyy! Finally. Finally! The last Shabbos (aka...

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Breslov Repair Kit – Shame
Sep23

Breslov Repair Kit – Shame

Through new Torah insights, each person becomes filled with shame. Through shame, a person merits repentance, since repentance, whereby we cease to sin any longer, primarily results from shame… …when a person comes to the tzadik and hears Torah teachings from his mouth, and he thereby feels shame and begins to sense his own lowliness, this is a sign that he was in the presence of a true tzadik. But when a person comes to some famous...

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Dvar Torah for Purim
Mar10

Dvar Torah for Purim

Dvar Torah for Purim Based on Likutey Moharan II, Lesson #74 “Because initially all beginnings were from Pesach. That is why all the mitzvahs are a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt. But now….” (And [Rebbe Nachman] did not conclude.) Rebbe Nachman did not conclude, so we must begin. Exactly what the Rebbe was implying, perhaps only Reb Noson could say. Even the Parparaot LeChokhmah, Rabbi Nachman Goldstein (d.1894), writing on...

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SHOVaVYM (ToT)
Jan06

SHOVaVYM (ToT)

This is “extra credit,” intended to be informative, not obligatory. This is a slightly updated version of a dvar Torah from many years ago, so if it looks familiar, you know why. The week of the Torah-reading (parshat) Shemot begins the period of Shovavym. SHOVaVYM is an acronym for the first six parshiot found in the book of Shemot: Shemot, Vaera, Bo, B’shalach, Yitro, Mishpatim. (ToT is an acronym for the following two...

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Dvar Torah for Rosh HaShanah 5771

Based on Likutey Halakhot, P’ru u’R’vu 3:10 I want to propose an answer. What’s the question? The question is, Why don’t we say Hallel on Rosh HaShanah? Yes, it is Yom HaDin, Judgement Day, and to thank Hashem on that day for miracles He has performed in the past is incongruous. Understood. But! Rosh HaShanah is festive enough that we dress in our holiday finery or in white; we don’t fast (forbidden according to many), but eat...

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Dvar Torah for Elul/Teshuvah-Time (3)

Based on Likutey Moharan I, Lesson #21 You know what the month of Elul is good for, besides returning to Hashem (teshuvah)? It’s a good time for gaining daat. What’s daat? There are a few answers this question. God-awareness, God-consciousness, knowledge and unitive knowledge are some translations you may see for daat. It is the integration of what you’ve learned from books and life, into your actual attitudes and behavior. For...

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