I hope you will accompany me on a journey. It will not be a journey to any physical destination, but a journey into the Rebbe’s teachings; exploring how even a family man living in the suburbs can bring them into his own life.
I have no formal yeshiva training, I don’t live in a Chassidic neighborhood, and I work all day in an office pushing paper from here to there and back again. I never “became” a Breslover chassid, I simply woke up one morning and realized that is what I was. Apparently, the years of exposure to learning the Rebbe’s teachings – even on a somewhat superficial level – had impacted me more profoundly than I had imagined.
Over the years, I have learned not to rush through a lesson in the Rebbe’s teachings, but to really live with it for a few months; reviewing it daily and learning the associated pieces in other Breslov commentaries.
In the past, I wanted to immediately put everything into practice. I wanted to run and do a cannon ball into the deep end. Yet, I have learned – thanks to teachers and friends – to slowly take baby steps implementing the Rebbe’s advice. I no longer seek to immediately take on every avodah (spiritual practice) that the Rebbe mentions such as getting up each night for chatzos (the midnight prayer). I have fallen on my face too many times in my earlier misguided attempts doing just that. Today, I limit myself to only those things expressly mentioned in the lesson that I am living with at that time.
Starting today, I will be taking a journey into Likutey Moharan I:24 on the topic of emunah (faith), joy in performing mitzvos, and spiritual perception, and will try to post weekly travelogue entries. Mind you, I might not always proceed in the right direction. I may veer of the path from time to time. I have the uneasy sense that I am going out into a mine field without a map, but I know that this Torah is precisely the Torah that Rebbe wants me to learn at this time in my life. I am approaching learning this Torah as if the Rebbe had written it as a personal letter to me alone.
So, I hope you will join me on this journey as we go out to the field.
Note: If you are interested to learn this lesson along with me, it can be found in Volume 4 of the Breslov Research Institute (BRI) printing of Likutey Moharan, available in the BRI Bookstore here. Please feel free to submit any comments/questions you may have.