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Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…
Reb Nosson wrote: “Strengthen yourself from now on to involve yourself every day in the study of Torah. Whether you learn little or much, do not let even one day of your life go by without studying Torah… Also, do not neglect to offer many prayers each day and to give as much charity as you can afford ~ even a little more than you can afford. From these practices you will gain only good, both in this world and in the next, for all eternity… This will remain ours, as a great treasure, when our end comes.”
What does this mean to me?
|In Jewish parlance—at least the one with which I was raised—we have a term for the bottom line, and that’s “tachlis.” When I was growing up, it seems like “tachlis” always meant business, money, getting down to brass tacks. In Hebrew, though, the word means the ultimate goal, the true purpose of any endeavor—the meaning of life itself.|
Rebbe Nachman taught his followers to keep their eyes firmly focused on the tachlis; not the “tachlis” of the does-it-add-up-in-dollars-and-cents perspective, but on what will be most valuable in the end. Sometimes the two dovetail; sometimes they just don’t. When faced with a situation that involves a choice between temporal benefit and that which leads me toward the tachlis, I need to have clear vision and a lot of fortitude to take the path where the rewards are not immediately obvious.
In the letter quoted above, Reb Nosson says something that some might find a little surprising, to give a “little more” charity than one can afford. Does G-d want us to do more than what we can do? His words remind me that it is normal for a degree of self-deception to enter into my calculation of what I can and cannot afford. If I have a goal of doing that “little more” to help another person, I might find that I can manage better than I think. And I might be surprised to find myself blessed with more than I had before!
Amazing. Simply amazing. You need to get on Facebook.
Thank you for these wonderful teachings. I have wandered away from the shul and I am slowly getting back to it again and these mediations and readings go to the essence of my heart and what I need.
*“The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments – Timeless Wisdom from the Teachings of the Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S.C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute, 1999. Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.