Nachman of Breslov, aka Reb Nachman Breslover or Bratslav, Nachman from Uman

Nachman of Breslov, aka Reb Nachman Breslover or Bratslav, Nachman from Uman
1772
1810

Ukrainian Rabbi, Chasidic Leader, Great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, Founder of the Breslov Hasidic Movement

Author Quotes

You can crease and wrinkle my book any way you like when it comes to your own interpretations - as long as you don't violate a single paragraph of the Shulchan Aruch.

You must ask God persistently to be able to draw close to the true Tzaddik. Happy is the one who succeeds in drawing close to the true Tzaddik in his lifetime - happy is his lot! For after one dies it is very hard indeed to draw close. One must pray over and over again to come close to the true Tzaddik in one's lifetime. For the Evil One has made it his mission to confuse the world. Israel is very close to redemption now and people have tremendous longing for God, the like of which did not exist in earlier times. Everyone is longing for God. This is why the Evil One has craftily sown dissension among the Tzaddikim and established many false popular leaders. Even among the true Tzaddikim there are divisions, to the point that nobody knows where the truth is. This is why one must beg God to succeed in drawing close to the true Tzaddik.

You should constantly lift up your heart to God in exactly the same way. Go aside and cry out to God. For everyone is in great danger in this world - as you know very well deep inside your soul. Understand these words very carefully.

Why don't you turn your wives into Chassidim?

You can shout and scream with a "still, small voice" without anybody hearing you. Everybody can do this. Imagine the sound of such a scream in your mind. Imagine the shout exactly as it would sound. Concentrate on hearing the scream in your mind until you are literally screaming with this soundless "still, small voice" - and nobody else will hear anything.

You must be as nothing in your own eyes. Then you will be worthy of attaining true self-nullification and your soul will be merged with its root. The whole universe will be merged with you in your Source. You and everything with you will be merged in the Unity of God.

You should constantly review my teachings until you know them by heart

Why engage in lustful thoughts? Why trouble your soul for nothing? Man has the power to control and direct his thoughts as he wants.

You cannot always prevent bad thoughts from entering your mind. However, you do have the power to reject them once you become aware of them. This is very important, because this is how you can make amends for sins you may have committed earlier on in your life. Perfect repentance has to balance the original sins exactly, and this is literally what happens here. Before, when you sinned, it was because the desire entered your mind and you succumbed to it. Now the same thought is in your mind , but this time you reject it.

You must be very careful to cultivate a good memory and not fall into forgetfulness.

You should force yourselves to pray with great devotion, powerfully binding your thoughts to each word. True devotion means listening attentively to the words you are saying.

Why not do the same with spiritual goods? Say a few Psalms, learn some Torah or carry out some other mitzvot so that they are put aside ready for some time of need.

You cannot compare the life of a horse to that of a man. Just as there are enormous differences between life forms on the physical plane, so there are great differences in the quality of people's spiritual lives.

You must be very stubborn in serving God.

You should hold these conversations in whatever language you speak best. Our set prayers are said in Hebrew, but if this is not one's native language, it is difficult to use it to give expression to all one's innermost thoughts and feelings and the heart is less drawn after the words. It is easier to pour out your heart and say everything you need in your own language.

Why worry about making a living? The only thing to worry about is that you may die of hunger if you have nothing to eat. And if you die, what will be so terrible? You have to die anyway.

You do speak with people? You should ask them: What?

You must force yourself to pray. Some people say that a person should not force himself to pray, but the opposite is true. You must force yourself to put all your strength into your prayers.

You should know. The torah which is enclothed within the concealment within a concealment is a very high torah; the secrets of the torah. Since it needs to enclothe itself in these low places, by those who have sinned a lot until Hashem became concealed from them in a concealment within a concealment, Hashem decided not to place there simple torah, in order that the evil should not be able to draw strength from there too much, which will cause much defect. Therefore He concealed and enclothed within there specifically very high torah, the secrets of torah, which is Hashems Torah itself. This is as it says with regards to Egypt (Shemot 12) ?I will pass through the land of Egypt, I and not an angel, I and not a messenger, I, Hashem and no other.? For in the land of Egypt, the place of much evil, specifically there, Hashem himself is hidden and enclothed, that is, Hashems Torah itself, the secrets of Torah. Therefore specifically in the concealment within a concealment, even though one cannot find Hashem, his knowledge and belief alone that Hashem is hidden there, turns the concealment around into a great revelation and the secrets of torah are revealed.

Wisdom and sophistication will be of no avail. The only ones who will hold firm are the simple Jews who recite Psalms simply and sincerely. That is why, when the Mashiach comes, they will be the ones who place the royal crown on his head.

You have free will, and you can easily train your mind to avoid the thing inside you that causes these fears and desires.

You must force yourself to think good thoughts in order to be worthy of know ing God. Then your place will be with Him and you will be merged with Him. The greater your perception of God, the more fully merged with Him you will become, and then you will attain eternal life.

You should reflect on the different situations and occurrences that God sends your way day by day. Each day has its own thoughts, words and deeds. They are all completely unique to that day. God "contracts" His infinite, endless Godliness in such a way that Godliness is present even in the innermost point of the finite material world in which man finds himself. Thus God sends to each individual the thoughts, words and deeds appropriate for the day, the person and the place. Within them are hints intended to draw the person closer to God's service.

Wisdom is the root of all things: "You made them all in wisdom" (Psalms 104:24). Every person must therefore guard his mind against alien ideas. Fulfillment in life can come only through the pursuit of true wisdom - the wisdom of Godliness, the Torah. Compared to this, all other systems of wisdom are sheer emptiness; they are not wisdom at all.

You may be good, pious people, but that was not my intention. My intention was that you should be the kind of people who roar out to God for entire nights, like animals in the forest.

Author Picture
First Name
Nachman of Breslov, aka Reb Nachman Breslover or Bratslav, Nachman from Uman
Birth Date
1772
Death Date
1810
Bio

Ukrainian Rabbi, Chasidic Leader, Great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, Founder of the Breslov Hasidic Movement