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Rebbe Nachman’s Advice: Honor 8-10

by breslov.org


8. An old man who has forgotten his learning through no fault of his own should be accorded every respect. The honor that is given to him will cause his forgetfulness to disappear and the vital soul – the Torah that he knew – to be revealed again (Likutey Moharan I, 37:5).

9. We should also be very careful to give respect to the children of very ignorant, ordinary Jews. In certain cases, the children of very ignorant people have souls that are very precious … By honoring them, the Torah that is hidden within them will be revealed more fully, and this gives strength to spiritual forces – form, light, wisdom, life, love and memory – as opposed to bodily forces – substance, desire, darkness and folly (ibid. I, 37:7).

10. There are leaders who go by the name of rabbi but whose learning has been picked up from the “superficialities” and “waste” of Torah. They are unable to control even themselves, let alone other people. But they still have pretentions to greatness and seek to lead and guide the whole world. You should be very careful to accord them no recognition whatsoever so as not to add in any way to their power or authority. They themselves can be forgiven for what they do; they are no more than the victims of a strong lust for power. But the people who give them credibility and power will pay a heavy penalty (ibid. I, 61:2).

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