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    Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

    Rabbi Nachman of Breslov was the great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name). The Baal Shem Tov was the founder of the Chassidic movement in the 1700’s and Reb Nachman founded the Breslov Chassidic movement.


    Rebbe Nachman was born in 1772 in the Ukraine, eventually moving to Breslov, Ukraine. Rabbi Nachman was a Kabbalist, tzaddik (saintly person), Torah scholar, teacher and Chassidic master. He died at the age of 38 and was buried in Uman, Ukraine, according to his wishes to be buried among the thousand of Jews who had been martyred there. To this day, people from around the world travel to his grave, to pray and get spiritually inspired.

    his teachings[edit]

    Although Rabbi Nachman was a mystic and great spiritual leader, he was also very down to earth and accessible to the masses. His spiritual teachings deal with issues that regular people go through in their everyday lives. The teachings of Rebbe Nachman are teachings of joy, simple prayer from the heart, faith in G-d, discovering one’s strong points, appreciating the good in others, and serving G-d with love.

    He taught that one should have set times in the day to meditate, seclude oneself from the world and take the time to search inwards for strength and connection to G-d. He would say that during these times of seclusions, we should talk to G-d out loud. Not only talk, but sing, dance, even scream if necessary. If one was shy to begin, he would recommend using a mantra to get into the right state of mind and from there to open up the lines of communication with G-d and just talk from the heart. The ultimate goal always being to keep focused on reality, on G-d, on hope and on living our lives on earth with purpose and joy.

    his followers[edit]

    The Breslov Chassidic movement is growing to this day, over 200 years after it was founded, with youths around the world clinging to Rabbi Nachman’s teachings of hope, faith, love and strength.

    famous sayings[edit]

    Some of Rebbe Nachman famous sayings (these are often repeated as mantras) :

    “If you believe that you can spoil, believe that you can repair�?

    “It is a great mitzvah (Torah commandment) to be joyous always!�?

    “In life we have to cross a very narrow bridge, the most important thing is not to be afraid�?

    “Wherever our thoughts are, that’s where we are�?

    “In reality, despair does not exist!�?

    “Where there is no truth, there is no kindness�?

    “Things can go from the very worst to the very best in just the blink of an eye.�?

    "Gevalt! Never despair! It is forbidden to give up hope." (These words were put into song and were later heard in ghettos and concentration camps during the Holocaust, as well as being inscribed on a building in the Warsaw Ghetto – a source of strength for countless victims going to their deaths.)

    A story about Rabbi Nachman:[edit]

    Rebbe Nachman of Breslov had a follower who was poor but very pious. Taking advantage of some business opportunities he started becoming more prosperous. But the more his business commitments multiplied, the less time he had for his spiritual pursuits. Eventually he even stopped visiting Rebbe Nachman.

    The Rebbe's window overlooked the main street in the town. Once he looked out and saw this man hurrying to the market. He called him. The man was ashamed and could not pretend he had not heard.

    "Did you look up at the sky today?" asked the Rebbe.


    Rebbe Nachman pointed to the market-place and asked him what he could see.

    "Horses, wagons, merchandise, lots of busy people..."

    "Fifty years from now," said Rebbe Nachman, "there'll be a totally different market with different people, different wagons and different goods. You won't be here and I won't be here. So let me ask you: Why are you in such a hurry that you don't even have time to look up at the sky?"

    Rebbe Nachman told the man to take at least a few moments every day to look up at the sky in order to remember that worldly life passes all too quickly and only the heavens endure.

    This is something everyone should do. The mundane world can be so absorbing, but very soon it will be gone. Look up often at the sky in order to put things in their proper perspective.

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