No one is perfect, and neither are we expected to be. We all feel these indiscretions “in our bones.” The skeletons in our closet.
The Tikkun HaKlali was given to us by Rebbe Nachman so that we would not have to suffer when— our lives — symbolically our moon, our Malchut are in a dark period.
We hope this second article will help you learn more about the deeper meanings of the Ten Psalms of the Tikkun HaKlali and say the words with Kavanah (intention).
* * *
Who has not done things we prefer we had not? We all have done something that haunts our consciousness. Regrets. Hurtful speech and deeds done to our family, friends, and God. No one is perfect, and neither are we expected to be. We all feel these indiscretions “in our bones.” The skeletons in our closet.
In this article, we will explore the deeper meanings of the word עֲצָמָי, “bones” that in Hebrew can also mean “myself.”
Rebenu Nachman teaches that to attain the level of knowing that everything is for good, one needs to confess his wrongdoings in front of a Tzaddik because from there, his sins are removed from his bones. (Likutey Moharan l, 4:5)
About confession, Breslov teachings reveal the path forward – speaking about that which troubles you deeply before someone you can trust. Ideally, a holy person, a tzaddik, a teacher, a parent, spouse, or close friend. In these times, choose these people carefully for their true wisdom and discretion. Prayer is likewise a venue for this self-expression. Using the words of formal daily prayers, the Shemoneh Esrei, and Viduy. Hitbodedut and Tikkun HaKlali are also opportunities.
We are taught that Psalms should be read and pondered (Midrash Shocher Tov 1:8). With that advice, let’s learn the deeper meaning of select words and verses of Rebenu’s Tikkun HaKlali. Specifically, Psalm 32:3, where the word “bones” is mentioned.
To attain the level of knowing that everything is for good, one needs to confess his wrongdoings in front of a Tzaddik because from there, his sins are removed from his bones (Rebenu Nachman)
Psalm 32, the second psalm of Tikkun HaKlali, shows the hope of forgiveness for all who pursue it. King David uses his personal experiences as a model to inspire us, emotionally and intellectually, to take on the challenging task of confession and repentance before Hashem. In this article, we will explore the third verse of this psalm, focusing on the word Bones.
כִּי הֶחֱרַשְׁתִּי בָּלוּ עֲצָמָי בְּשַׁאֲגָתִי כָּל הַיּוֹם
Verse 32:3 When I was silent [not confessing, but keeping my feelings within], my bones deteriorated, and my [anguished] moaning [and anxiety] went on all day long.
Rashi brings King David’s voice to our verse: When I remained silent from confessing my sins before you, my bones rotted from my great amount of moaning and worried all the day because I was worried about punishment.
King David experienced these bone-altering challenges to teach us how to navigate ourselves beyond them, pursuing the path to yishuv ha-daat–a composed, settled mind (Likutey Moharan ll #10).
A person has to feel the words of prayer in all his bones…
While praying, a person has to feel the words of prayer in all his bones, as in “All my bones proclaim” (ibid. 35:10). Thus, the cool water (i.e., abundant knowledge of God) that revives the soul revives the bones, as in “and the marrow of his bones made moist” (Job 21:24). (Likutey Moharan l, 67.9).
Consider a personal prayer and create one of your own. “When suffering comes, let me accept its origin is with Hashem; He is calling me to contemplation, to understand my real essence, to feel it in my bones. I will acknowledge my sins and shortcomings through Viduy). The process of true confession lifts the heavyweight of guilt off of my shoulders.”
Rebenu Nachman taught: For a person to feel “peace in his bones”–inner peace- he must possess the awe of Heaven. This leads to perfection of both the body and the soul. (Likutey Moharan l, 14:8-9)
Can you add your suggestions and experiences in confessing the skeletons in your closet?
Click here to purchase Calling Out to Hashem (with Tikkun HaKlali): Teachings of Rebbe Nachman on the Importance of Saying Psalms, Prayers, and Meditations, published by the Breslov Research Institute.