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

There is no limit to the bitterness of this world. "Were it not for salt, the world could not endure the bitterness" ( Zohar I, 241b) . [Salt neutralizes bitterness.] Were it not for the strength of the Tzaddikim, who observe the Covenant with absolute purity and who are called the "eternal covenant of salt" (Numbers 18:19 ) , the world would be unable to endure at all because of the terrible bitterness caused by the desire for wealth. The closer a person comes to the Tzaddik, the more he can sweeten this bitterness. But those who are far from the Tzaddikim and from personal purity, and especially those who are actually opposed to the Tzaddikim, will be the victims of the full force of this bitterness. How many are sunk in this! Pay heed to these words and perhaps you will escape.

Thirst is a very great desire. It is wonderful to long, yearn and thirst for God.

This is like showing a small child something he wants and then immediately snatching it from him and hiding it. The child runs after the person, pleading and wanting the thing even more. The child's desire for the object is increased by having it snatched away and hidden. Similarly, we are held back from what we want by obstacles whose only purpose is to increase our desire.

This is why you should pay attention to what happens to you and consider what it may signify. Think about the thoughts, words and deeds that God sends you each day in order to understand His hints to you to draw closer to Him at every moment. This applies to everyone, no matter who and in what circumstances .

The way to faith is through simplicity, without sophistry or philosophy.

There are certainly worthy people who do not practice Hitbodedut. But I call them confused. When Mashiach suddenly comes and calls them, they will be disoriented and confused.

There is no need to be upset about whether or not you have money. Even with money, you could waste away your days. The world deceives us completely. It makes us think we are constantly gaining but we end up with nothing. People spend years working to make money, but in the end, when they come to the final reckoning, they are left with nothing in their hands. Even when someone becomes rich, in the end he is taken from his money.

This applies even to people who are far from holiness and sin regularly. So great is the power of the Torah that it can free them from their sins. If even the worst sinner would take on himself to study a fixed amount every day, he would be able to escape the evil trap. The power of the Torah is so great that it can accomplish everything.

This is not true. Even the greatest Tzaddik would be distracted and distressed if, while praying with outstanding intensity and devotion, someone approached him and disturbed or ridiculed him.

This one day is more precious than all treasures. For what does a person gain from all his worldly effort? Nothing remains of your entire life other than this one day when you return to God.

The test of true repentance is when a person remains silent in the face of ridicule and abuse, patiently accepting all the insults thrown at him. This is how he slaughters his evil inclination, and then he will be worthy of God's glory.

The whole earth is full of God's glory. No place is devoid of God, Who fills all the worlds and transcends all the worlds.

There are many different ways of honoring the festivals - with fine food and drink, beautiful clothes, pure and holy thoughts, joy and open-heartedness.

There is no need to make a war and shake your head from side to side in order to banish bad thoughts. This does not help at all; quite the contrary, it makes them attack even more strongly. Simply pay no attention: do your part and think instead about Torah, prayer or business. Don't glance back at the bad thought at all. This way it will go away by itself.

This applies to all the different ways one can fall. Each person always thinks that his own situation is so bad that this does not apply to him. People imagine it applies only to those on very exalted levels who are continually advancing from level to level. But you should realize that it holds true even for those on the lowest of levels, because God is good to all.

This is silly! Here you are, ready to use your speech to overcome the great battle against the evil urge inside you. You are on the verge of victory: you are ready to break down the walls and open the gates with your words.

This ultimate goal is entirely good. For oneness - unity - is entirely good, as we learn from the comment of the Rabbis on this verse in Zechariah: "On that day HaShem will be One and His name One." - "Is this meant to imply," asked the Rabbis, "that right now He is not One? Of course not! What it means is that in our present state, we make a distinction between the different kinds of experiences God sends us in life. When bad things happen, we bless God as 'the true Judge', while when good things happen, we bless Him as 'the good and beneficent'. But in time to come we will bless Him for everything as 'the good and beneficent'" (Pesachim 50a). Thus we see that unity is the ultimate goal and this goal is entirely good.

The thing to do is to make an entirely new start. Start serving God as if you had never started in your whole life. This is one of the most basic principles of serving God. We must literally begin all over again every day.

The whole world needs me. You (my students) already know how much you need me, however, even all the Tzaddikim need me, for they too need to be benefited. All the nations of the world need me as well. Our Rabbi of blessed memory already assured us during his lifetime, and designated two kosher witnesses on this, that when he passes away, when [people] come to his grave and give a pennace to charity and say these then tehilim/psalms that we have recorded for remedy for nocturnal emission, Heaven spare us, then our Rabbi himself will span the length and width [of the universe], and will surely save this person. And he said, that he will pull him out of Gehinom/hell by his peyot/sidelocks, even regardless of how that person be, and even regardless of what happened, only from now on he must accept on himself to not return to his wicked ways, Heaven forbid. And the night before he passed away he said: "What do you have to worry about, since I go before you; and if the souls who did not know me at all, look forward to my tikunim/remedies, all the more so [should] you" etc. (And likewise even those who were not privileged to know our Rabbi of blessed memory during his lifetime, when they come to his holy grave and rely on him and learn his holy books and accustom themselves to walk in his holy ways that are mentioned in his holy books, surely they have on what to rely. Fortunate are they! Fortunate is their portion! "And none of them that take refuge in Him shall be desolate" [Ps. 34:23], for he already revealed his mind in several terms, explicitly and by hint, that all that he is involved in with us is not only for us, but with "those who are here...and with those who are not here" [Deut. 29:14)

There are numerous people who were once highly devoted but have since lapsed in various ways. On the other hand, many of today's younger generation have a great longing for God and have started praying with earnest intensity and studying zealously. When those fallen Chassidim see these young people, they ridicule and abuse them. They do everything they can to discourage them, telling them that their service is not genuine. All this is out of jealousy - because they themselves have fallen and want everyone else to be like them.

There is nothing I need to do for myself in this world at all. I came into the world only to bring Jewish souls closer to God. But I can only help someone who comes to me and tells me what he needs.

This empty void was essential for the creation of the world, because without it there would have been no place to create the world. However, it is impossible to grasp or understand the "contraction" that brought about the empty void. This will only be possible in the future. For we have to postulate two opposites: existence and nothingness.

This is similar to a seal. The writing on the seal is unreadable because the letters are back to front. Only when one takes the seal and stamps it on wax can one understand the letters and designs inscribed on the seal, and one then sees what is written on the seal. Similarly, through the Tzaddik's followers one can come to understand something of the Tzaddik himself.

This was how King David composed the Book of Psalms. King David's main time for his private prayers to God was when he lay on his bed at night. He would hide under the covers and pour out his heart to God. King David said: "Every night I converse from my bed in tears." (Psalms 6:7). Happy is the person who makes this a regular practice, because it is supremely exalted.

The time will indeed come when you will need them. You will then be able to make use of your reward without having to ask the storekeeper for credit.

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