12 Cheshvan 5782 / Monday, October 18, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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The Real Breslev Chassidut    

The Real Breslev Chassidut

You should know something about real Torah, and real Breslev chassidut, and that is that it only and always promotes peace, harmony, love and humility...


Rav Arush writes time and time again that one of the biggest mental illnesses of our modern generation is something he terms, 'beating ourselves up' disease. Unfortunately, most of us know a great deal about this: something goes wrong, something doesn't go to plan, we make a mistake, we aren't perfect (who is???) - and all of a sudden, we start mercilessly beating ourselves up for being 'idiots' or 'morons', and / or feeling terribly guilty.
This disease is so prevalent today, that you'd be hard pushed to find someone who doesn't have it, at least to some minimal degree. What's the antidote? As always, it's emuna, and specifically the belief that G-d is running the whole world, and that there is only Him.
Rebbe Nachman was so against 'beating ourselves up' that much of his advice and his writings deal with precisely this subject. Azamra is wholly concerned with finding the good point in ourselves, and not looking at the bad. As Rabbi Brody so succinctly puts it, once we're filled up with good, all the bad will fall away by itself.
In the same vein, Rabbenu warned his followers to steer clear of rebuking their fellow Jew, because it takes a very high-calibre, spiritually-advanced person to be able to do that appropriately, without damaging the person they're talking to.
Rebbe Nachman explained that when we rebuke someone else inappropriately, we stir up all the other 'bad' in their souls, and they can literally be overwhelmed by their own evil. Instead of helping them improve, rebuke can plunge a person into the deepest pit of depression, evil and despair, where only the greatest Tzaddikim can reach them.
Why am I telling you all this? Simple: in today's world, good and bad have got so mixed up, that even apparently 'Breslev-based' organisations are doing things that run directly contrary to Rebbe Nachman's teachings.
You should know something about real Torah, and real Breslev chassidut, and that is that it only and always promotes peace, harmony, love and humility. Yes, the mussar can be hard to swallow initially, but anyone who commits to making G-d their only address for solving their problems is GUARANTEED results.
The changes can be amazing: a person who was so arrogant learns humility; a person who was angry and critical with their spouse becomes much more conciliatory and understanding; a person who expected perfection from their kids comes to accept their own imperfections, and just starts loving their children as unconditionally as possible.
This is really Breslev, as anyone who tries to follow the advice contained in Rebbe Nachman's teachings, and Rav Arush's books, can attest to. Remember, REAL Breslev promotes truth, joy, simplicity, humility and most of all, G-d.
If these things are not happening, you're not dealing with real Breslev, regardless of how many times they throw 'Rabbenu' into the conversation. Let's break it down. Something is NOT Breslev if: it's promoting an individual's 'truth' as being more important than G-d's truth; or, it's making people sad and depressed; or, it's more interested in complicated discussions where the words of our Tzadikim are routinely ignored altogether, or mocked or twisted, than in encouraging people to talk to G-d; or, it's encouraging 'personal power' and arrogance and a belief system that 'I'm the most important thing in the world'.
If an organisation is promoting 'mentors' and 'workshops' as the answer to every problem, then it's not real Breslev, because real Breslevers know that even the best, most holy, most knowledgeable person in the world is absolutely nothing if they aren't connected to G-d. In real Breslev, G-d is the only genuine and lasting answer to any problem. Full stop.
Sometimes, we feel so stuck in ourselves, in our avodat Hashem (spiritual work) that we go after all these 'quick fixes' and fake spiritual shortcuts out of sheer desperation to get something moving, something changing. This drive for good, for improvement, is a tremendously holy, wonderful thing. But it has to be channelled in the right way, namely towards G-d and prayer.
If that happens, then the most amazing, positive, happy, lasting changes can literally come out of nowhere, and solve even the most intractable problems. But the key to this approach is that we aren't the ones making anything happening: G-d is. Our job is just to want to be better, and to pray on it, and then to happily accept that however we are right now, that's exactly the way G-d wants us to be.
In these times of the footsteps of the Moshiach, evil has been given free reign to confuse us and pull us away from G-d. The only way for any of us to know what's really true is to do an hour a day of hitbodedut, and to ask G-d to illuminate our souls with inner knowing and His truth. Because His truth is the only one that really counts.

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