Well, maybe that’s a little over-stated, but that’s how I feel after reading Reb Noson’s intro to Chayei Moharan. Maybe I should explain what it is. Chayei Moharan is Reb Noson’s journal of short teachings, episodes and “backstage” material to Rebbe Nachman’s teachings and life. The book, translated as Tzaddik by Breslov Research, is arranged thematically: here’s the backstage material, here are some episodes about the Rebbe’s trip to [place]; here are some teachings that didn’t make it into Likutey Moharan, etc.
Reb Noson loved the Rebbe. Reb Noson loved him, appreciated him and valued not only the Rebbe’s teachings, but the Rebbes mission and the Rebbes person. That passion, that caring, that ibber-gegebenkeit (given-overness) to the Rebbe and his mission comes steaming? bursting? burning? I don’t know how to say it, through the pages.
I started a personal project in the middle of last summer, to grow through the Rebbe’s other seforim/works slowly, a few pages a day, to savor them, to poke around and enjoy the view instead of rushing through them. So I finished Sichos HaRan, the ever-popular Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, and Rebbe Nachman’s Stories. It occurred to me as I read Reb Noson’s intro—he basically says as much—this is too good, to be important, to not be shared.
So I’m on a mission, to try to share some of Reb Noson’s passion for anything that has to do with Rebbe Nachman zal (of blessed memory). Its a great way to become a better Jew.
Do you have any suggestions on how best to share and excite people with the teachings of the Rebbe – I like to call it planting “seeds” because one day someone will come along and the fruit will be ready for picking.
The first, obviously, is to be genuinely excited yourself, even when you’re not feeling particularly enthusiastic. 🙂
The second, is to realize that you’re not going to be able to reach everybody. Not everyone is open to learning, we all have a stronger kesher (connection) with certain (types of) people than with others.
Thirdly, but not finally, try to share what’s freshest in your mind from the Rebbe (or Reb Noson’s) teachings, most likely the last thing you learned.
And, as always, a tefilah (prayer) that your words and behavior always bring honor to the Rebbe.
Yesterday I came across something in Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom (page 229 from BRI edition) which adds a lot of depth to this point:
“A religious discuss creates both direct light and reflected light.
When you speak to a friend about G-dliness, the information he receives from you is Direct Light. What you gain from him is Reflected Light.
Sometimes the Reflected Light precedes the Direct Light.
Your friend may have weak intellect and not be able to grasp your words. You however, are still able to gain from the conversation.
Since you gain something from your friend before he obtains anything from you, the Reflect Light precedes the Direct Light.
Sometimes when you speak to a friend about G-dliness your words are not accepted.
Still you can be motivated by your own works.
Your words literally bounce off your friend and are reflected back to you.
[This is literally the concept of the Reflected Light as brought in the Writings.]
A ball cannot enter a stone wall and therefore bounces back from it.
When your friend refused to accept your words, they likewise are reflected back to you. You are therefore influenced by your own words.
These same words may have had no effect if you have spoken them to yourself. But when you speak them to your friend and he is not influenced, they are reflected back to you. You are therefore motivated by them.”
Yashar koach Eliezer. I am now even more motivated to speak about it; may Hashem help me to do so. Amen.