38 posts categorized "Breslever tradition and thought"

Rebbe Natan's Yahrtzeit: Tonight and Sunday

Shavua Tov! Tonight and tomorrow mark the 10th of Teveth, the 172nd yahrtzeit of Rebbe Natan (Nosson) of Breslev. Here are some photos we took in Breslev, Ukraine a few summers ago:

Photo 1: Rebbe Natan's Gravesite


Photo 2: View of the Ukranian countryside from Rebbe Natan's gravesite


Photo 3: The River Bugg, here Rebbe Natan would pour his heart out in personal prayer


Photo 4: Lazer praying at Rebbe Natan's gravesite



Garden of Wisdom Lesson #4: The Encounter

Today, we return our focus to the Clever One from Rebbe Nachman's tale of the Clever One and the Simple One. After travelling around the world, the Clever One comes home and meets his old friend the Simple One, in a very stark contrast…

If you're new to this series, designed for the whole family, you can find earlier lessons at this link. Enjoy!

The Garden of Wisdom - Lesson #3

Today, we tell the story of the Simple Shoemaker from Rebbe Nachman's tale of the Clever One and the Simple One. In stark contrast to the Clever One, the Simple Shoemaker isn't very bright, but he sings and dances all day long … Don't forget to send us your letters and comments! There's a special email address that you'll get at the end of the shiur, and we'll be giving away prizes and surprises for the best letters.

As I promised on the vid, here are the words to the "Song of the Simpleton" so that the whole family can join in:


People call me simpleton

But that just suits me fine

I don’t look at other folks

I’m happy with what’s mine

So what if they have a high IQ

And I’m not very smart

They complain all the time

But I’m happy with my part.

Everyone makes fun of me

But I really do not care

It’s better to be a simple guy

Than some high-brow debonair. 

Introducing the Garden of Wisdom: Lesson #1

Here's the series we've all been waiting for, designed especially for the whole family, from ages 4 to 104.

What is so special about the Tale of the Clever One and the Simple One, and how is it different from Rebbe Nachman's other tales? Here is the first of our new series of lessons on the Garden of Wisdom by my esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush, which I had the privilege of translating. G-d willing, this shiur will appear regularly on the Beams every Thursday. We sincerely hope that you fully enjoy these lessons. Let's get started:

My Fire Will Burn




Hey, all! It's Racheli, and my stomach is about to burst. I spent most of my Sukkot cooking in the kitchen, because where else would I cook? In addition, most laundry was off limits, so I had some free time. It's not like I have a life or anything. The truth is, I didn't leave Bet Shemesh because I'm terrified of getting stuck in traffic with five kids in the car. Someone suggested that I take them to the zoo, but I was like, why would I do that? I live at the zoo. 

If you still have some brain space left that's not occupied with the most insane Presidential race in history, then you're probably wondering why I posted a picture of half my stove top. It's because I'm bored. And tired. 

So here are the real reasons. First, I was too lazy to clean the other half. Second, on Shabbat, we had my husband's second cousin twice removed and her family over. What in the world does that mean?! What is a second cousin twice removed? Is that the same thing as a third cousin? Is it easier than saying, "My mother's cousin's daughter's from her mother's side?

We were talking about her new neighbor, who happens to be Breslev, and my husband asked her jokingly if she had a big "B" on her forehead, to which I responded, "No, she has the fire symbol in diamonds on her forehead."

This fire symbol is actually made up of part of Rebbe Nachman's famous phrase, "My fire will burn until the Mashiach." After saying that to him, it occurred to me that Rebbe Nachman and I have something in common. I realized that my fire will also burn until the Mashiach, because of all these holidays that I keep having to cook for. I hope the Mashiach comes soon, because I'm really tired of cooking. 

How much can one woman cook? And shop? And suffer through two endless weeks of kids at home? Hmmm, it seems that I am a bit irritated. I went food shopping yet again right after Shabbat so I can spend the rest of today - you guessed it - cooking! What fun. 

This has been a loooong month for all of us. And it's been even longer for all of you that don't live in Israel. The two day holiday thing is crazy hard! I gotta give you guys a lot of credit. 

But the most credit and admiration goes to all you fine ladies out there. Without your hard work and major lack of sleep, most of us might be enjoying our holiday dinners with a can of tuna or a salami sandwich. Give yourselves a pat on the back. Better yet, treat yourselves to a massage. 

All of you who have celebrated this intense month of holidays should know - your fire burns bright, too. Your souls are lit up from all of the spiritual energy that you've been connecting to, and this will carry you through an exciting year filled with every blessing you need. Very soon, G-d willing, we will greet our Mashiach together with great joy and lots of dancing! 

Speaking of dancing, wishing you all a wonderful and joyous Simchat Torah!

My Post-Yom Kippur Analysis

Happy Day After Yom Kippur, everyone! It's Racheli, and I hope you missed me. I missed you too. Probably lots more than you missed me. How was your fast? I'll give you the lowdown on mine.

First, I'd like to say that there's nothing I enjoy more than mopping the floor, doing laundry, dishes, straightening up the house, and feeding other people before I feed myself right after I finish a nearly 26-hour fast. My husband and I were doing comparisons, trying to decide who had the harder day. While I didn't spend my day in a prayer marathon like he did, I was doing my best to fight off my massive caffeine headache and trying not to yell at my kids by hiding in my bedroom most of the day.

That wasn't so easy, because my new a/c unit decided to keep on going all day long, as it obviously wanted to have its own Yom Kippur marathon. It was f-f-f-freeeezzziiing in my bedroom! Also, it's not like it's that hard for my kids to find me. I should learn to lock the door. All in all, I think I prayed for about five minutes. Not bad, if I do say so myself. 

In between reading books and breaking up fights and trying not to drool on the food that I served my kids, I managed to close my eyes for a few minutes here and there. By the end of the day, I was so spiritually charged that an amazing thought came to me. Really, it was more like I was lightheaded from the hunger, but let's keep that between us. 

It is written that the end of Yom Kippur is the pinnacle of holiness that we can reach in our human bodies. After 40 days of selichot prayers, teshuva, Rosh Hashana, and ten more days of bonus teshuva, we have Yom Kippur, the day that we resemble angels. Those that are spiritually connected can feel the intense high at the closing of Yom Kippur. I'm jealous of these people. All I could feel were the intense rumblings in my stomach. 

Immediately after Yom Kippur is over, we come back to Earth and re-assume our status as mere mortals. What a bummer. But, here is my big insight. Many people wonder why, even though we aren't on the same spiritual level as on Yom Kippur, we can't continue on with that high that comes from an intense feeling of closeness to Hashem. To them, I say, "YES WE CAN." Wasn't that Obama's slogan when he was running for President? 

Well, I actually mean it. We absolutely can maintain that feeling, and what's better, we can always improve upon it. The way we do that is through hitbodedut, or personal prayer. 

Speak with Hashem as much as you can. Make Him an intimate part of your life. You will see that within no time, you will feel His closeness and personal involvement in your life. I promise you, there's nothing sweeter than that. 

We should all be blessed with a wonderful year of health, abundance, spiritual awareness, and and ever-growing connection with our loving Father. Oh yeah - and world peace.