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 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.

Treat yourself to all kinds of delights in the food you eat, what you drink, your clothes... whatever you can afford. The food of Shabbat is completely holy. It is purely spiritual and filled with Godliness. It rises to a totally different place from that of the food of the six working days.

We should pray for our friends when they are in trouble. Why our prayers for friends are effective can be understood from the story of a certain king who was angry with his son and sent him away. The prince came and placated his father, who agreed to have him back, but afterwards the prince again offended his father, who sent him away again. The prince again placated his father and the same thing happened several times.

When a person discusses devotion with a friend, it creates "direct light" and "returning light."

When a person knows that everything that happens to him is for his own good, this is a foretaste of the world to come. To be serene and patient regardless of what you encounter in life is the highest level of knowledge and understanding of God. Have faith that everything is for your ultimate good.

When a person wants to purify himself and return to God, they tell him "Wait!" (Yoma 38b-39a) . It is true that he should hurry to free his soul and escape the darkness. But he should not allow himself to become discouraged and dejected if he sees that he is far from true prayer and other holy devotions. Waiting patiently is a necessary part of the process. In the end he will be worthy of making amends completely and everything will be rectified.

When speech comes forth, it comes from the soul. The utterance comes forth and is heard by the ears, for "you must let your ears hear what you bring forth from your mouth" (Berachot 15). The utterance then begs and pleads with the soul not to leave it behind. As soon as the first letter comes forth - the Beit of the word Baruch , "Blessed" (opening word of the Amidah prayer) - the letter begs and pleads with the soul not to part from it.

When you give charity to Torah scholars, the money becomes actual Torah. No sin can extinguish the merit of giving money to Torah scholars. For no sin can extinguish the Torah, and the money given to Torah scholars is actual Torah.

Whenever you encounter distractions and barriers in your prayers and devotions, you must take a dee p breath of patience and bear everything patiently. Do not allow yourself to become discouraged, depressed and apathetic. Breathe deeply and don't take it to heart. Continue doing what you have to do and try your best to ignore all the distractions and obstacles. This is the mark of true patience, which comes through faith, the growth-generating power.

True devotion is to bind the thought to the word, focusing your mind on the words of the prayers by listening and paying careful attention to what you are saying. This way your inner power will enter your prayers automatically.

Wealth is a "wall" ( ch O mah ), while anger ( ch EY mah ) ruins the wall. Thus when the evil one sees that a flow of wealth - chomah, a "wall" - is being sent to a person - he turns this flow into anger, sending something to make the person angry. Thus the "wall", chomah, is ruined because of the anger, cheymah. Since anger and wealth are at root one category, the evil one can easily turn the flow of wealth into anger.

When a person does this, he will certainly not succumb to arrogance. The root of arrogance is when a person prides himself on having qualities which his friend lacks. But when a person believes that the only cause of his friend's deficiency, spiritual or material, is the barrier that he himself has erected between his friend and the Holy One, blessed be He, Who wants to bestow blessings at all times, he will certainly not become arrogant. On the contrary, his pride will be broken and he will achieve genuine humility.

When a person makes a start and tries to bring himself closer to God, he usually experiences a feeling of rejection. It is as if forces beyond his control are trying to prevent him from entering God's service. Yet in actual fact this apparent rejection is nothing but a way of bringing him closer. But it takes tremendous determination not to become discouraged when you see that the days and years are passing and in spite of all your efforts to draw closer, you are still far away.

When after a life devoted to worldliness a person feels an arousal to God, the attribute of Judgment rises to accuse him and does not permit him to follow God's ways. It does this by confronting him with an obstacle. But God loves kindness and hides Himself within the very obstacle itself. One who lacks good sense sees the obstacle and retreats at once. But one who possesses good sense examines the obstacle and discovers God within it.

When such a person experiences a spiritual arousal and wants to return to God, he finds it very difficult to pray and express himself to God because of all the strange thoughts and feelings surrounding him on every side. Each person experiences this in his own way. One finds it impossible to bring out the words before God with the proper reverence, love and vitality. None of one' s words and prayers are able to penetrate the screens and barriers separating one from God, and they remain down below.

When you have purified your mind, there is no difference between this world, the grave, and the next world. When you only desire God and His Torah, all are the same. In all three you can be attached to God and his Torah.

Wherever I go, I am always only going to the land of Israel . I am only here in Breslov temporarily.

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