Waiting and Wanting

 

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

“Even when no words come, do not despair. Come back day after day to your secluded spot and wait. Just wanting to speak to G-d is in itself a very great thing.”
(The Empty Chair*, p. 93)

 

What does this mean to me?
The sages taught that the early tzaddikim would spend three hours in prayer—the first in silent preparation, the second in actual prayer, and the final hour in expressing gratitude. What was the silent preparation that they did? One element was certainly the building up of longing and yearning; wanting is generated by the waiting. When we wait for something, anticipation builds; when we just jump into prayer without allowing ourselves to first feel a yearning for G-d, the prayer lacks vitality. Prayer is the way in which we bind ourselves to G-d, but the bond is only as strong as the longing that animates it. There’s a world of difference between a quick hug when you run into someone that you see all the time and the heartfelt embrace when you finally have a chance to hold someone you love that you haven’t seen in a while. Just because G-d is with us all the time doesn’t mean that we can take Him for granted! Every meeting is important enough for us to yearn and long for it.

 

A prayer:

“Master of the universe,
help me to yearn and long and feel
powerful desire for You all the time;
help me to yearn to serve You
and study Your Torah
with a will.
For it is only through activation of my own will
and longing for the good
that I will be able to accomplish all of the wonderful
acts that I have in my potential to carry out.”

(Likutei Tefillos I:100)

We encourage hearing your feedback and may anonymously publish your remarks. Please send email to: yehudis.golshevsky@breslov.org

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*“The Empty Chair: Finding Hope and Joy – Timeless Wisdom from a Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff and The Breslov Research Institute, 1994. Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.

Author: Yehudis Golshevsky

Mrs. Yehudis Golshevsky is a graduate of Yavne Teacher’s Seminary in Cleveland and SUNY Buffalo. She is a Breslov Chassidiste who lives with her very patient and forgiving family in Jerusalem and has taught Breslov Chassidus (and many other subjects) and worked in Torah publishing for nearly twenty years. Recent projects include the new Holocaust history textbook, “Witness to History;” Erez Moshe Doron’s commentary on The Exchanged Children; content and curricula for Project Derech of Toronto; translations of Rabbi Berland’s lessons and prayers for shuvubonim.org; editing of the stories for Daf Digest and Mishnah Berurah Digest; and editing of the weekly translations of Rav Itche Meir Morgenstern’s shiurim for Toras Chochom. In her spare time, she does battle with foreign bureaucracy and general pin-headedness in Ukraine so that she can have the privilege of bringing other women to Uman and other kivrei tzaddikim. She also likes to joke around—just ask her students.

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