|Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…|
|If you want to study with constant diligence, be careful never to speak against a fellow Jew. Every Jew is a letter in the Torah. The Torah is a bride, and when the bride is beautiful, love is perfect. If one finds a defect in any Jew, it is equivalent to a blemish within the Torah. When the Torah—the bride—has a flaw, one’s love for her is diminished. Then it is difficult to devote oneself to it fully. But if the Torah is entirely flawless in your eyes, you will have a deep love for it, and this love will lead you to great diligence in your study.|
(Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, #91)
|What does this mean to me?|
|This sounds so wonderful; but how am I supposed to not see the defects in my fellow Jews? While my own defects can elude me, the defects of others rarely escape my attention. And even though I know through the teachings of chassidus that when I see the flaws of others they’re only the outward projections of my own defects, I still do see them. What am I to do, then?|
Rebbe Nachman taught that when we look at our fellow Jews, we need to seek their good points with so much focus that the negative just falls away, _mevutal_—like an irrelevance that falls to the side. This is such a deep and never-ending form of inner work, and the place to begin—as always—is to pray for help in accomplishing it.
|When I am confronted with baseness and evil, |
let all the bad
fall away before me.
Let all the good and G-dliness
that lies hidden
within everyone I meet
as a grand reflection
of beauty and light.
(The Gentle Weapon, p. 84*)
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|*“The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments – Timeless Wisdom from the Teachings of the Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S.C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute, 1999. Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.|
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