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Bringing Jews Closer – Reb Noson

by Yossi Katz

The Rebbe spoke with us many times about the importance of bringing people closer to God. He told us to speak with people a great deal to inspire them and bring them back to God. He even wanted us to speak about everyday matters in the chance that the conversation might develop into something that would awaken them spiritually.[1] If we would elicit only the faintest response – a fleeting thought of repentance, or a temporary spiritual arousal – it would still be worthwhile. How much more so if, in the course of time, by speaking with them repeatedly, we might succeed in inspiring them in truth, and thus bring them to serve God.

There is nothing greater than bringing another person to serve God… By helping these souls, it is considered as if he created them anew…

The Rebbe spoke with us about this at length, time and again, exhorting us in various ways. Several times he berated us for being negligent in this area, and once he called us “withered branches”[2] because we were not bringing souls closer to God.

Once, after Shabbat, a number of us, including some of his prominent disciples, were standing around him, and he spoke for several hours, reproving us about this. He even wanted us to undertake journeys for this purpose, just to converse with people (Tzaddik 543).

[1] This concept is mentioned in Rebbe Nachman’s “Tale of the Master of Prayer” (Rabbi Nachman’s Stories, #12), which is the prototype for Rebbe Nachman’s ideas about religious outreach.

[2] Cf. Isaiah 56:3, Ezekiel 17:24, et al.

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