Did you ever find yourself in a situation in life where you felt trapped, unable to break free?  You felt that your choices were so limited as to be non-existent?

This is why Rebbe Nachman focuses so much on the concept of free will.  He wants us to understand and believe that we have free will. He reminds us that the choice in how we respond to the various circumstances that Hashem sends us, is ours and ours alone.  In fact, he tells us, we can achieve great things despite the many difficulties that weigh us down.  He tells us, that we can always act in whatever way we want to.

The choice is ours.

This is very difficult for people to understand–especially when they’re going through a particularly difficult challenge.  Very often we feel like our options are so limited, that we really don’t have any choices.

Yet, we actually do.

Even if all we choose to do is to think of Hashem in the moment of our difficulty and say: Hashem, I don’t understand why I’m going through what I’m going through. But I have faith that this, too, comes from You and that this must be for my benefit in some way.

That act of belief is an act of free will.

May you have a day in which you enjoy the opportunities given you to exercise your free will–be empowered!

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Today’s mini-lesson is dedicated l’iluy nishmas Cheena Rochel bas Chaim Menachem. 



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Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

Chaya Rivka in her own words: What do we want? To feel less pain and more optimism. To be happy and lead meaningful lives. This all requires healthy relationships. If we learn, share, and live his teachings, Rebbe Nachman gives us real, practical tools to improve all our relationships—with G-d, with ourselves, and with each other. Chaya Rivka Zwolinski “discovered” Rebbe Nachman in her late thirties and credits his profound wisdom with helping her make a 180 degree-turn in life. She loves sharing Breslov teachings with women in her classes and workshops. Chaya Rivka has written books; writes articles for Breslov.org, BreslovWoman.org, HealthyJewishCooking.com, and numerous other publications; is a consultant to Breslov Research Institute; and is the director of curriculum and program marketing at BreslovCampus.org. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.

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