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

When a person fails to examine and judge himself, he is examined and judged from on high. God can use any means He desires to execute His judgments: He has the power to clothe them in anything in the world. All things are His messengers

When a person realizes that he is on a very low level and far from God, this itself is a reason to feel encouraged. Before this, he was so far from God that he did not even know it. Now at least he knows it, and this itself is a sign that he is drawing closer.

When God wanted to create the world, there was no place to create it because everything was infinite. He therefore "contracted" the infinite light to the sides. As a result of this contraction, an empty void was formed within which time and space - the finite world - were created, as explained at the beginning of the Eitz Chaim of the ARI.

When the sons of Jacob were about to journey to Egypt with Benjamin, Jacob said to them, "May the eternal God give you love " (Genesis 43:14) . This expresses the very essence of Godly love, when He" gives you the love " - namely, when God puts His love in our hands.

When you look outside, what do you see? The market, wagons, horses, people running in all directions? Fifty years from now the market will be completely different, with different horses and wagons, different merchandise and different people. I won't be here and you won't be here.

Whoever breaks free from the lust for food can become a miracle worker. But someone who is stuck in this desire it is a sign that he is a liar. Even a Tzaddik who already freed himself from all desires and then falls back into the desire for food, it must be that something false left his mouth. It also shows that there is Judgment upon him from above and it is a sign of poverty.

Through the spread of peace the whole world can be drawn to serve God with one accord, because when men are at peace with one another they talk to each other about the true purpose of the world and its vanities. They discuss the realities of life and how, when a person dies, all that remains is whatever he prepared for the world of eternity after death, because neither silver nor gold accompany a person after death. When people come to understand this they will abandon their illusions and idols of silver, aspiring only to God and His Torah. Their only aim will be to serve God and seek out the truth.

Understand the tremendous power of speech. It can save you from destruction.

What do I mean by the land of Israel? I mean the actual country of Israel with its houses and apartments!

When a person falls and is sinking in the mud and mire, he must not allow himself to stay there. He must have one leg outside even while one leg is inside. One leg outside, one leg inside. until the other leg is also outside!

When a person recognizes the wrong he has done and how grossly materialistic and impure he is, he can become so depressed that he is completely incapable of praying. He simply cannot open his mouth to God. This is because of the deep sorrow and heaviness that overcome him when he sees his overwhelming distance from God.

When harsh decrees threaten Israel , they can be sweetened through dancing and hand- clapping.

When the time comes for a person to rise from one level to the next, he must first experience a fall. The whole purpose of the fall is to prepare for the ascent. Try to understand this and you will realize how determined you must be in order to serve God. No matter how far you fall, never allow yourself to be discouraged. Remain firm and resolute and pay no attention to the fall at all, because in the end it will be transformed into a great ascent. This is its whole purpose.

When you make an opening in some pathway of service and with it give some charity, this charity opens and widens the entrance even further. For charity is the beginning of all beginnings and opens and widens all the gates.

Whoever wants to enter the service of God must endure all this, for he will face a multitude of fearsome struggles - "the hordes of troops and the sound of the war horns". You must stand firm. Never surrender your ground. Trust that God will help you and don't turn aside from Him.

Thus King David said: "In my distress you relieved me" (Psalms 4:2). You have helped me by means of the very trouble itself!

Understand this well: Learn to live within your means. Everyone is constantly in need of all kinds of things: this applies even to the very wealthy. It is best to be satisfied with a minimum and to run your household according to your means at the time.

What is a good memory? It means keeping the world to come constantly in the forefront of your mind, never forgetting it.

When a person falls from his level he should know that it?s heaven-sent, because going down is needed in order to go up, therefore he fell, in order that he arouses himself more to come close to Hashem. Advice for him - Begin anew to enter into service of Hashem as if you have never yet even begun

When a person refuses to allow himself to fall into despair but instead vitalizes himself by seeking out and gathering together his positive points, this produces melodies, and he can then pray, sing and give thanks to God.

When I was a boy I was very afraid of death. Exactly when I was most frightened of dying, I would ask God that I should die sanctifying His name. This lasted a long time - I don't remember how long - but I know it was a long time, maybe a year. I would constantly make the same request. There was not a prayer or conversation with God in which I did not ask to leave this world sanctifying His name. I was so afraid of death that it was like a self-sacrifice for me just to pray for what I was so afraid of.

When the time comes for an idea to be revealed to the world, the necessary inspiration is granted from above to some thinker or scientist. A thought enters his mind and is thus revealed. Many people may previously have sought this idea but it eluded them. Only when the time comes for the idea to be revealed does the inspiration come to the discoverer.

When you say your prayers, separate yourself from all other thoughts and focus only on the words you are saying to God, just as a person speaks to his friend. Your heart will then be naturally aroused and you will come to genuine tears.

Why do people shed tears when in pain? Tears draw down God's providence. This we learn from the rabbinic interpretation of the verse, "And the clouds return after the rain" ( Ecclesiastes 12:2) - "This refers to a person's vision, which becomes weaker through tears" ( Shabbat 151a) . From this we learn that tears take away part of one's vision.

Thus one who is in need of God's compassion must show compassion for others, and this depends on deepening his Godly understanding.

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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