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G-d Is Profoundly Simple

by Yehudis Golshevsky

BRI’s NarrowBridge.Org sends out twice weekly inspiration providing a regular dose of hope, meaning and courage. These emails include small doses of Rebbe Nachman’s wisdom, enabling us to get through the week in a more spiritual way. 

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Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

Steer clear of sophistication and cleverness;
they add nothing to coming closer to G-d.
All you need is simplicity, sincerity and faith.
After all, isn’t G-d higher than all else?
Yet isn’t G-d also profoundly simple?
(The Empty Chair, p. 72*)


What does this mean to me?

In the modern world, simplicity is a bit of a dirty word—often confused with stupidity, it smacks of the country bumpkin, someone whose un-worldliness is a little bit comical. Rebbe Nachman spoke a great deal about the importance of cultivating a simple and straightforward relationship with G-d; he even told a long tale about the contrast between the Sophisticate and the Simpleton. The former leads a miserable existence, always plagued by dissatisfactions and harassed by his view of how the world views him. The simpleton on the other hand is a tam; he’s no fool, but he deliberately cultivates a naïve and simple outlook on life which keeps him bonded to faith, prayer and G-d.The Hebrew word tam also means “complete.” In the old herbal medicine manuals, a single substance used medically is a called a “simple,” in contrast with a mixture, which is a “compound.” The “simple” is one and whole in itself, and needs no addition. We can borrow this definition for our conception of G-d—absolutely One, the ultimate “simple.”


A prayer:

You Who are infinitely Deep
yet also
profoundly Simple,
help me walk the simple path.
Free me
of any facade of sophistication,
which will only hinder
my endless quest
to come closer to You.
Help me live my life
with faith,
with sincerity
and with perfect simplicity.
(The Gentle Weapon, p. 11**)

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*“The Empty Chair: Finding Hope and Joy – Timeless Wisdom from a Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff and The Breslov Research Institute, 1994. Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.

**“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.


This so true !!!!!!! It is like listening to my Oma (grandmother) talking… The words you posted could have been from her… Of course, she was not a learned kabbalist. She just had it in her mind and heart, trying to lift up fallen sparks.


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