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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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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Laugh!
Sep05

Laugh!

A Sacred Time - Elul #2 Rebbe Nachman reveals that Elul is an acronym in Hebrew for King Solomon’s famous words about the Woman of Valor: “Oz v’hadar levushah vatischak l’yom acharon”—“Strength and splendor are her garment and she will laugh till her last day.” This is the attitude we need to have during this month. We need to really know that we are beloved to G-d. This is why the zodiac sign of Elul is the maiden. This shows how...

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Returning To Our Source
Jul04

Returning To Our Source

A Sacred Time – Tammuz #2 Most people figure that the time to return to G-d is during the High Holy Days, or possibly during Elul,the month before Rosh Hashanah. Rebbe Nachman reveals that the deep repentance of the High Holy Days actually begins in Tammuz. The word Tammuz, when written in full with the vowel vav,is an acronym for ‘zmanei teshuvah m’mashmishin u’vain’—‘the times of repentance are on their way.’ Repentance...

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Self-Transformation With Azamra!
Apr30

Self-Transformation With Azamra!

In Azamra, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov shows us how to elevate and transform ourselves and others.

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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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