A Simple Jew asks:
When learning pieces in Likutey Halachos associated with a lesson in Likutey Moharan that I am focusing on, which approach below would you recommend?:
1) Learn the related pieces in Kitzur Likutey Halachos by the Tcheriner Rav, since they are condensed from the longer pieces included in Likutey Halachos and I will be able to cover them all; or
2) Look through the list of the halachos in Likutey Halachos associated with the lesson in Likutey Moharan that I am focusing on and select the halachah that I most need to improve my observance of; or
3) Pick a piece in Likutey Halachos related to the time of the year.
Rabbi Dovid Sears answers:
My answer really is different than all three options in that it is more focused on the lesson in Likutey Moharan you are learning rather than any other factor, such as your perceived need to improve in one area or another.
In general, I’d suggest that you just go through as many sections of Likutey Halachos as you can on a given Torah from Likutey Moharan. You never know where Reb Noson’s going to go!
Don’t worry about covering all, the territory, either. Just learn what you can.
A Simple Jew responds:
If I understand your response, I think you are saying that the proper way for me to approach Likutey Halachos is with no personal cheshbonos — just immerse myself in a Torah in Likutey Moharan and choose ANY associate piece in Likutey Halachos and learn it; knowing that Reb Noson is taking me by the hand and showing me how to live it. As they say, Likutey Halachos is the Rebbe Nachman’s brain in Reb Noson’s words.
One of the things I am finally starting to realize is that I need not spend so much time planning how I am going to learn or how to approach it, rather, I just need to jump in and connect myself to the words and not try to feel rushed to complete a certain amount of learning by a given arbitrary due date.
Rabbi Dovid Sears answers:
Yes, I think you’re on the right track here. You need to be a little more intuitive about the whole thing.
In the Rebbe’s story of the Lost Princess, the viceroy and his attendant wind up going “off the beaten path” in their search. One of the things this may suggest is that there are certain things in our search that nobody else can tell us but that we must figure out on our own. Such as what in particular to study in the Rebbe’s teachings and how long to stay with a particular lesson. There is a subjective factor in avodas Hashem that we need to get in touch with. Often a person intuitively knows when he needs to keep going deeper or when it is time to switch to a different lesson.
The Rebbe relates the three brochos of Birkhas Kohanim to three nekudos or “points” that are really one: the first brochah alludes to the nekudah of the tzaddik, which “shines” to us in one way. The second alludes to the nekudah of our friends and peers, which shines to us in a different way. And the third alludes to the nekudah within ourselves, which has its own unique radiance. We can’t do without all three.