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

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

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

Author Quotes

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.

You must pray for everything. Even if your garment is torn and you need another, you should pray to God to give you something to wear.

You should tell God everything you feel, be it contrition and longing to repent over the past or requests and supplications to come truly close to God from now on, each person according to his level.

With every step a person takes and every single word he speaks as he goes about his business, he should bear in mind that his goal is to make a profit in order to give charity. This is the comprehensive remedy for wealth. Giving charity expands and elevates the mind, which brings blessing and livelihood.

You may be in some place when suddenly you have a thought of Teshuvah and a deep longing for God. Stop then and there in that very place and take a moment to focus on the thought and the feeling of longing. Turn them into a prayer. Put your longing into words straight from your heart. Don't wait or move on, even if you are not in your usual place of prayer and study - even if you are going on your way - because if you move on, it could interrupt your train of thought.

You must respect and honor your wives.

You should therefore always do your part and make every effort to serve God as best as you can. What is up to you, do with all your might. Keep trying even if all your efforts seem to be frustrated and all your attempts seem to be in vain. Do everything in your power and God will do what is good in His eyes.

With happiness you can give another person life.

You may feel you have not even begun to enter the gates of holiness. You may see yourself as still being coarsely materialistic and feel that your mind is confused. No matter what you try to do to serve God, it seems as if the evil forces will not allow you to succeed. You may start thinking that God is paying no attention whatever, as if He has no interest in your devotions. You keep calling out to Him, pleading with Him to help you. Yet you feel as far away as ever.

You must search and search until you find some good point within you to give you new life and happiness. When you discover the good that is still inside you, you literally swing the scales from guilt to merit. This will enable you to return to God. The good you find inside you will give you new life and bring joy to your soul.

You surely understand that you are but a stranger on this earth. All the days of the years of our empty vanity are "like a passing shadow and a scattered cloud".

With physical illnesses there are times when the body becomes so weak that the invalid cannot bear the bitterness of the medicines. The doctors despair of ever curing him and simply abandon him. Similarly, when a person falls under the influence of sin, which is the sickness of the soul, he may be unable to bear the bitterness of the remedy. There may seem to be no hope for him at all.

You may find it difficult to speak to God. You may also find it difficult to speak to a true Tzaddik. This is only because you are shy and lethargic and lack sufficient boldness.

You must search for the good in yourself.

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First Name
Nachman of Breslov, aka Reb Nachman Breslover or Bratslav, Nachman from Uman
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Ukrainian Rabbi, Chasidic Leader, Great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, Founder of the Breslov Hasidic Movement