The following was originally published In Hebrew as “Bnei Haneurim” by R’ Avrohom Yitzchok Kletzky in the Breslov weekly, Aleh LeTrufah.
There are many people who associate themselves with Breslov, yet they don’t dedicate themselves to the study of the main works of the Rebbe and R’ Nosson. They say that it’s too difficult for them to understand the practical application of the concepts which are discussed, and especially to understand the connections within each lesson.
It’s well know that R’ Yitzchok Breiter, one of the leaders of Breslov in Poland before the Holocaust, would recommend trying to first warm oneself up with the easier books, such as Sichos HaRan (Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom), Hishtapchus Hanefesh (Outpouring of the Soul), Meshivas Nefesh (Restore my Soul), Likutey Eitzos (Advice), Kitzur Likutey Moharan, Alim Letrufah (Eternally Yours), etc. One should take one or two of these titles and study them every day.
However, the study should not be with the intention of amassing greater breadth in the Rebbe’s teachings, but rather with the sole intent of coming closer to Hashem. Study just one paragraph at a time, and afterwards to try to understand how what I’ve just read is relevant to me. How can I find a solution to my difficulties with in? What advice can I glean from it? What type of direction is it giving me?
If the Rebbe would be alive today, and I would be meeting him and relating to him what’s going on in my life, he would be telling me this passage. The Rebbe said that all of his teachings are relevant to everyone, even for future generations.
If we would approach every passage and advice of the Rebbe with the proper seriousness, we would be telling Hashem what’s going on with us, and we would ask Him to help us apply whatever we have just studied. Sometimes we would find a good friend with whom to discuss these issues, with an honest determination to encourage one another and to clarify the practical applications together.
With the passing of time, your heart will warm more and more toward Hashem in the ways of the Rebbe, and with time you’ll be able to put yourself more into Likutey Moharan and Likutey Halachos, and to look there for the advice which you need.
A good idea would be to read the wonderful book, Eitzos Mevueres from R’ Shimshon Barsky. It was originally written in Ukraine for the simple folk who were unable to study Likutey Moharan in depth. It explains most of the Rebbe’s teachings which are mentioned in Likutey Moharan in a clear and simple manner. It’s worthwhile to quote from one of his letters about his book, in which he writes, “If the simple folk would understand properly the ideas and advice explained here, they would feel and understand that without these ideas there would be no life to their connection to the Rebbe.”