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

There are others who may appear to be observant yet display a certain sophisticated cynicism that can be quite as harmful as philosophy, if not worse. Most Jews are aware of the dangers of philosophy and avoid it, knowing that it can pull them down into the deepest pit. However there are many who are not on their guard against the kind of sophisticated cynicism that emanates from the mouths of people who seem to be observant and disguise their message in the language of truth, as if they are in possession of the absolute truth. These are the ones who can cause the most harm, confusing a person and holding him back from true service of God.

There is nothing in the world that does not contain Godliness, however hidden it may be. There are two levels of concealment. The first is simple concealment; the second is the "concealment within the concealment".

This explains the meaning of the verse: "They have set their mouth against heaven" - for they are really speaking against God. However, they are ashamed to speak out against God directly so "their tongue walks about the earth": they loosen their tongue against God's followers in the world. But the truth is, "They have set their mouths against heaven."

This is Teshuvah, returning from impurity to holiness in order to gain new life. The very body is renewed, because "Sighing breaks a person's whole body" (Berachot 58b), and therefore the body is remade.

This was what caused King Jehu's downfall, because he said, "Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him very much" (II Kings 10:18 ) . When King Jehu said these words, he had no intention of committing idolatry. He said them only to trick the Baal worshipers, as explained in the following verse. Yet these words were his downfall, because he later came to commit idolatry.

The Torah is called a bride: "Moses commanded us the Torah, a heritage (morashah) for the congregation of Jacob" (Deuteronomy 33:4) . The Talmud says: Read this not asmorashah, "a heritage", but me-urasah - "the betrothed" (Berachot 57a; Pesachim 49b). "Moses commanded us the Torah, the betrothed of the congregation of Jacob . "

The wisdom of the Kabalah begins where their wisdom ends - beyond the physical world. The Kabbalah includes the entire physical world as part of the World of Action (Asiyah ), the lowest world. But the Kabalah then goes beyond the World of Action to the Worlds of Formation (Yetzirah), Creation (Beriyah) and Emanation (Atzilut ).

There are people who draw close to God but later fall away. Even so, the short time they serve God is very precious in His eyes no matter what happens later.

There may be many things that you cannot do. Even so, you should long and yearn to fulfill them. The longing itself is a great thing - for God desires the heart.

This is a great principal in Avodas Hashem ? that a person has to begin everyday anew.

This is the meaning of the verse, "I have strayed like a lost sheep: seek out Your servant" (Psalms 119, 176) . "I have strayed like a lost sheep": I have strayed from the good path like a lost sheep that has strayed from the road. This is why I beg of You: ".seek out Your servant, because I have not forgotten Your commandments". Hurry and search for me as long as I still remember the voice of the Torah and mitzvot. Hurry and search for me immediately, because I have not yet forgotten Your mitzvot: I still recognize the call of the mitzvot of the Torah. That is why I beg You to take pity on me and search me out quickly, as long as "I have not forgotten Your mitzvot" and still recognize the voice of the call of the Torah and the mitzvot.

This way everything relating to the business transaction is turned back into Torah. This is the Torah's vengeance against the person for having separated the transaction from the Torah laws contained within it and falling to the level of the business deal itself as if no Torah were present within it. By having to come before the court and tell the judges everything related to the matter, turning them into Torah, he comes to see that all business activity is Torah. Everything is relevant to the case, even the person's thoughts - for if he omits a single word or thought, the Torah ruling will be defective. Everything must be put before the judges, who turn it into Torah.

The Torah is enormously great and broad, but a tiny handbreadth - this world - stands before people's eyes, preventing them from seeing the light of the Torah despite the fact that this entire world is merely a tiny handbreadth in comparison.

The words themselves can be very damaging. They can compel you to fulfill them even though you did not mean them seriously.

There are people who sink very low indeed and fall into all kinds of doubts and even have questions about God Himself. Nevertheless, the whole purpose of their falling is for them to rise up afterwards. The fall is for the sake of the ascent.

There was once a very rich man who possessed countless wealth. He announced that anyone who needed to borrow money should come to him and he would give him a loan. Needless to say , large numbers of people were only too eager to take up his offer, and they came and borrowed money. The rich man had a notebook in which he kept a record of all the loans he gave.

This is actually a scream and not mere imagination. Just as there are channels that bring the sound from your lungs to your lips, so there are nerves that bring the sound to the brain. You can draw the sound through these nerves, literally bringing it into your head. When you do this, you are actually shouting inside your brain.

This is the meaning of the words: "Know this day and realize it in your heart ." (Deuteronomy 4:39). You must bring the realization from your mind into your heart. Understand this well.

This will be the main delight of the world to come, which will be a time of desire and longing. This is the "desire of all desires", the level to which Moses ascended when he left the world. Likewise Abraham paid "four hundred silver shekels" for his final resting place (Genesis 23:16). The holy Zohar says these are the four hundred worlds of yearning that the Tzaddikim will inherit in the future.

The true Tzaddik can greatly benefit even a person who has died and gone to the next world, as long as that person is sufficiently worthy to come to the Tzaddik to rectify his soul.

The world is full of strife. There are wars between the nations of the world and conflicts in every city. There are feuds in every household, discord between neighbors, friction within the family, between man and wife, parents and children...

There are people who sleep away all their days. Some have fallen into their sleep on account of lust and wrongdoing. There are other cases where truly good people of beautiful character fall because of food. A person may sometimes consume food that is insufficiently pure to be fit for human consumption, and his mind then falls into a kind of "sleep".

Therefore even one whose occupation involves contact with non-believers cannot excuse himself from serving God on account of being constantly surrounded by gross materialism. Godliness can be found everywhere, in all material things and even in the languages of the nations. Without Godliness they could not exist or endure at all. It is just that as the levels descend, Godliness becomes increasingly "contracted" and veiled in many garments.

This is because the empty void came about through the contraction of His Godliness from there, with the result that Godliness is not present there, as it were. For if this were not the case, the void would not be empty; everything would have been infinite and there would have been no room to create the finite world at all. Yet the real truth is that even so, Godliness is most certainly present there because nothing at all exists without His vitality. Due to this contradiction it is impossible to grasp the concept of the empty void. This will be possible only in time to come.

This is the only reason for their suffering, because if they had the Godly awareness to understand that everything is under God's providence, they would feel no pain at all. The truth is that the Jewish People are beyond nature. It is only when they sin that they become subject to the law s of nature just like the nations of the world, who are governed by nature and the stellar influences. The Jews then experience exile and suffering. The main reason for their exile and pain is that they lack Godly awareness and attribute everything to nature.

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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