In the mystic Book of Formation attributed to Abraham, tzadi is the letter associated with the month of Shevat, and the mode of the month is eating. The letter alludes to the tzaddik, which literally means a righteous person. Rebbe Nachman teaches that we feel drawn after material comforts when our hearts are broken. But it’s possible to heal the broken heart by connecting to the three aspects of tzaddik. We need to receive the special point of a tzaddik who is above us—from an actual righteous person who can offer guidance and encouragement specific to our situation; we have to receive from the tzaddik point of a friend who is a spiritual peer but who has, in some particular area, a level of completion that still eludes us; and we need to get in touch with our own tzaddik point through hitbodedut—to recognize the potential and yearning for holiness that lies within us—and try to share it with someone else who needs help. This is the way to me to heal my broken and hungry heart.
Master of the World, teach me to respect every person’s unique spiritual point. Help me to perceive that the Jewish people comprise a single, organic whole and that everyone is important. Help me absorb the tzaddik-point of my fellow Jews, because this will heal my broken heart that drives me to comfort myself with food. Please help me stay connected to my unique mission on Earth and bring me the peace of mind that only comes from a mended heart.