Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dancing in the dark

The other day, we had the chance at my Yeshiva to dance in the dark.  Only, it wasn't really dancing, we were davening.  It was still dark though.  Why do I say we were dancing?  Because, when you daven, yes you are talking to Hashem, but your neshamos are dancing because of the pleasure that we, little old me, gets an audience with Ha Kodesh Baruch Hu, and he listens to me, while I thank and praise him and ask things of him.  Now, the other day, when the power was out at the Yeshiva due to a storm, it was dark in the Beis Medresh.  Normally, the Yetzer Hara would grab a hold of a person, and say something like, "how are you going to daven in this, you can't see the siddur?"  But, we, and I didn't listen.  So we davened, and our neshamos danced a little extra that morning.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I have to apologize, I just realized now, months later that I did not site the source for my last post, a major sin!  The post, which I basically cut and pasted because it was so good, can be found here.
I hope that you will forgive me for my error and lapse in judgement.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


While this a saying of Rabbi Nachman, it does talk about one of his major teachings, and I think it is something to think about when we realize just how far we are from Hashem.

There was a time when we believed.  We're nostalgic for that time.  We yearn for it but can't quite accept it in the past wholeheartedly anymore.  And today?  Today belief is simply crazy.  Gevald are we far way.

When the prophets, and there were thousands of prophets (only the major prophecies of the distant future were recorded for that future), no one doubted they were connected with heaven.  (And if you did they proved it.)  But we're really not so sure anymore.

When the Kohein Gadol could pronounce the name of Hashem and ascend (in soul) to heaven and ascertain the will of Hashem (Yom Kippur - the Avodah), we believed and fell on our faces as we heard the name of Hashem.  Today it's a good story on a fast day, but ascents to heaven?

When the four ascended to "the garden", of which only one returned in peace (Yom Kippur - the Avodah), we knew the holy ones of Israel could reach beyond.  We don't know anymore.

When the gedolim of the generations learned with Eliyahu HaNavi or acted with Ruach HaKodesh, we had no doubts. Now these are warm stories that give us longing for something lost.

When the Baal Shem Tov ascended (in soul) to Moshiach's palace to ask "when?", we cried that the answer wasn't "today, mamash!".  Today we SCOFF that someone might communicate beyond this earthly realm.

When we learn from the Gemora, from historical stories, from chassidic stories, from non-chassidic stories, that our ancestors - distant and more recent - would pray and CRY OUT to Hashem, we sigh and say "yes, that's how a Jew acts"...

But if we hear a Jew crying out to Hashem, in shul, on the street, even in the field, WE THINK HE'S CRAZY.  Who in their right mind actually requests their needs - right here right now, in this day and age - to G-d???

If we see someone walking down the street talking without a companion, we check his ear for a bluetooth wireless headset.  If found, he's normal.  If he's talking without one, we change sides of the street because SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG.

Gevald.  A Jew talking to G-d nowadays MUST BE CRAZY.  It's not normal.  Avoid.  Turn away.  Watch out, strangeness to be avoided.


We can learn Torah and never say "G-d, help me understand".  We can do a mitzvah and never (really) direct it to G-d.  We can be a Jew, non-religious or even religious, and never actually be involved with G-d!

We've gotten very far away.  So far that even to see or hear someone interacting with G-d makes us uncomfortable.  Stories, ok.  History, alright.  Right now in front of us, weird.

We are so far away we can't even relate to being close anymore.


10 commandments of Emuna

Just as we have Rambam's 13 principles of faith, so I found on Lazerbeams, the "10 commandments" of Emuna.  Read and enjoy!
Beliefs Which Strengthen and Inspire Me
1. I believe that HaShem loves me unconditionally and cares about me.
2. I believe that everything HaShem gives me is a free gift, much more than I deserve.
3. I believe that HaShem’s compassion is infinite; He treats all His creations with lovingkindness, whether they're deserving or not.
4. I believe that HaShem gives me challenges and difficulties to bring me closer to Him, not to push me away.
5. I believe that HaShem’s capabilities are infinite, and He has a solution to ANY problem I may have, in ways I can’t even fathom. I can therefore always depend on Him.
6. I believe that HaShem is in total control of every detail of my life; no one else can affect me in any way against Hashem's will.
7. I believe that Hashem is patient and forgiving, and that He always accepts sincere penitence.
8. I believe that HaShem is my loving Father who is always listening to me, guiding me, helping me and fulfilling my every need; any negative feelings to the contrary are the product of the Evil Inclination.
9. I believe that Hashem alone does, did and will do every action in the universe.
10. I believe that everything Hashem does is for the very best and for a specific purpose.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Tomorrow night, Saturday night, thousands upon thousands of Jews will make the pilgrimage up to the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, or the Rashbi in Meron to daven (pray) by his graveside.  If they started going up already, chances are they had the chance to daven at the gravesides of other tzaddikim such as the Arizal, Rabbi Akiva and more.  Now, to many people this might sound like a very christian thing to do, but this practice was going on in Judaism, long before christianity was around.  Of course, nobody is praying TO these tzaddikim, but simply praying in the merit of these tzaddikim.  Do we need tzaddikim for G-d to hear our prayers?  Of course not, G-d hears all prayers, but does praying in the merit of a great tzaddik hurt?  Of course not!  It only helps!  Another good and holy practice is to bind ourselves to the teachings of a tzaddik, and to follow his advice, since he knows the best way to help us.  A good tzaddik to bind yourself to, is of course our holy Rabbi and Master, Rabbeinu Nachman.  Although, it wouldn't hurt to find a tzaddik in the flesh as well.  Of course, how do we find such a true tzaddik?  By davening to Hashem that she should help us!  Hatzlacha to all in your quests to find true tzaddikim.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


There is only one Truth.  The Truth is that Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is the only G-d, there are no others, and that He is One.  The Truth is also that He gave us his Torah, so we could learn from it, and walk it's peaceful paths, and be the best Jews we can possibly be.  The Truth is also, that Hashem has granted the world tzaddikim, righteous people who can help clarify the Truth for us, help us learn, live our lives as they should be lived, and who can help us pray, and above all, help elevate our souls.  But, these people are not G-d, they only help us to serve G-d.  The Truth is simple, it is sheker (falsehood) that is complicated.
"There may be many lies, but there is only one truth."  Likutey Moharan I 51

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On a Narrow Bridge

"And know; in life a person has to pass over a very narrow bridge.  The main this is not to be afraid."  Likutey Moharan II, 48

This blog is dedicated to the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov OBM (1772-1810).  I myself first got into Breslov Chassidus when I was studying in Israel at the age of 25, by picking up a book called The Garden of Emunah; which focuses on one of Rabbi Nachman's main teachings, that Hashem is good, and that everything He does for us, is ultimately for our benefit, and one of our main jobs,  is to have simple, faith in Hashem.  This book, also opened the door for me to some of the Rebbe's other teachings, such as simplicity, joy, and talking to Hashem in your own words, also known as Hisbodedut.  In this blog, I hope to explore more of the Rebbe's teachings, and hopefully spread the word as it were, to more people.
The title of this blog, and of this post, is taken from one of Rebbe Nachman's main quotes, one of his most famous quotes, and the simple meaning is, is that this world is a narrow bridge to the next world, and that it is far to easy to fall off the bridge, and get trapped by various desires, but if we just have a simple faith, in Hashem, and his Torah, and we stay focused on doing what is right and turning to Hashem, we have nothing to fear.