A treasury of sayings, teachings, parables and stories by the outstanding Chassidic sage, mystic and visionary, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), whose message of faith, hope, courage, simplicity and joy is essential to each one of us and essential to the whole world.
Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
THE ESSENTIAL RABBI NACHMAN
The cry from the heart
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True counsel springs from the depths of the heart. When the crisis of faith is so great that even wordless cries cannot help, one has to cry from the heart alone: “Their heart cried out to G-d” (Lamentations 2:18 ). The heart alone cries without our letting out a sound. “From the depths I call out to G-d” (Psalms 130:1) – from the depths of the heart. And from the depths of the heart comes guidance, for “like deep waters, so is counsel in the heart of man” (Proverbs 20:5). When shouts and screams no longer help because faith has collapsed, one must cry from the depths of the heart without letting out a sound. This is how true counsel is revealed, for “like deep waters, so is counsel in the heart of man.”
And through the true guidance and counsel that are revealed in the world (with each person knowing in his own heart what he must do) faith is able to grow, as it is written, “Counsels from afar, nurturing faith.” Then everything can be rectified. For true counsel is a “wonder” – “I will acknowledge Your Name, for You have done wonders, counsels from afar….” This makes it possible to heal the “wondrous plagues” sent by G-d. Prayer also brings about “wonders”, as it is written, “Awesome in praises [i.e. prayer], performing wonders” (Exodus 15:11 ). The same is true of ancestral merit: “In front of their fathers He performed wonders” (Psalms 78:12).
Likutey Moharan II, 5
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“And the way to sing the song of joy is by seeking the good in all people, especially in ourselves. Each good point is one more note in the song of life!”
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov