Known as the “Torah of Rebbe Nachman” this compilation of the teachings of the Rebbe of Breslov serves as a means to focus one’s ability to perceive G-dliness in all aspects of our physical world.
Rabbi Silber shares a powerful insight from the Rebbe. In our quest for spiritual growth we put significant emphasis on avoiding harmful forces. We often identify these destructive forces with our proclivity to base and coarse human desires. Rebbe Nachman tells us that man has tendencies for both for evil and for good that, if not kept in check can be equally destructive. In the beis hamikdash, within the kodesh hakodashim, sat two beautiful cherubim. Atop the most spiritual of places in the whole world, they raised their wings to cool off even the fires of kedusha. A burning fire of kedusha, if not kept in check by torah values, can be the most destructive force of all. It is no wonder, says the Rebbe, that the posture of the cherubim is almost identical in appearance to the lungs on the heart. Just as the lungs are able to cool down the heart, so too can the normalizing nature of torah pave a straight, tempered path of righteousness.
One of the marks of a true שליח ציבור is his ability to convey the emotion of his congregants through his prayer. Unlike a performer, it is the שליח ציבור’s charge to relate to and gather in the hearts and minds of those he represents. To do so, however, requires that he first be able to seek out and identify the goodness in each and every person. Only then can he act in their stead and truly call out in their behalf. It is this nature that we must all seek out within ourselves as well. All too often, as a result of our misdeeds and missteps, we find ourselves wallowing in self-doubt and lacking the confidence to strive forward and approach the new challenges that lie ahead of us. Rebbe Nachman tells us that those feelings of unworthiness are related to the יצר הרע. After seeing us succumb to our human nature, the יצר הרע envelops us in a depressing emotive state, driving us deeper into his darkness. Our challenge is to overcome those feelings, realizing that we possess positive and admirable qualities. This reflection will fill us with the self-confidence to approach the Ribono Shel Olam with new vigor and inspiration and allow us to draw closer to Him.
Rebbi Nachman teaches us an important lesson in perspective. Often, we find ourselves at a loss when coming before the Ribono Shel Olam. After all, we have stumbled, struggled and produced imperfect deeds. If we look a little deeper and are truly honest with ourselves, there are beautiful morsels of holiness that we have also manufactured. Stringing together those morsels, we can create melodious notes of self-worth and Shira, a song that our Holy Father yearns to hear.