The Highest Path

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…
inner-directed, unstructured,
active self-expression before G-d—
is the highest path of all.
Take it.

(The Empty Chair, p. 91*)

What does this mean to me?
Rebbe Nachman explained that although the practice of hisbodedus does not take the place of formal prayer, it does have certain advantages over even the loftiest prayers set down by sages. While their prayers were invested with prophetic insight and deep Kabbalistic significance, they can be compared to a broad highway. The road is easier to travel because it’s already been paved, but all of the highwaymen lie in wait along its length, because it’s the road that everyone travels upon.

The path of hisbodedus can be as raw as the narrow track that I barely manage to hack out with my knife, in an area of the wild where no one goes. It may be rough going, but the robbers are nowhere to be found…because I have blazed a new trail. My prayer might be simple, but it has a great advantage over all others…because it’s mine.

A prayer:
Dear G-d, help me talk to You
About whatever is on my mind,
And especially about my desire to be close to You.

Give me time to be alone,
To speak in my own words and language.

Let me pour out my heart to You
Sincerely and truthfully,
And build up my spiritual strength
Through my great longing for You.

(Between me and You, pg. 342)

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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,

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To view the past emails, click here.

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Author: Yehudis Golshevsky

Yehudis in her own words: When I first began learning Rebbe Nachman’s teachings with my husband and other teachers, I felt as though I had come home to the personal and vital relationship with G-d that I’d always sought. Today, a large part of my inspiration comes from helping other Jewish women discover their own spiritual potential through the meaningful teachings of Breslov Chassidut. Yehudis Golshevsky has been teaching Torah classes to women and working in Torah publishing for nearly twenty years. She’s a graduate of Yavne Teacher’s Seminary in Cleveland and holds a degree in Judaic Studies from SUNY at Buffalo. Currently, Yehudis is a contributor to and “Pathways”, the Breslov Research Institute’s weekly publication. Since 2006, she’s been taking women’s groups to Uman and other sites in Ukraine for prayer and study. Yehudis lives with her family in Jerusalem.

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