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Screaming Inside

by Yehudis Golshevsky
Screaming Inside



Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

“Rebbe Nachman suggested a number of ways for opening Heaven’s gate, including: standard and spontaneous prayer; hitbodedut, his unique form of meditation; and the silent scream.”
(The Empty Chair*, p. 42)


What does this mean to me?
What is the “silent scream?” What does it accomplish, and how are we to do it? Rebbe Nachman said, “When do I have my personal hitbodedut? When everyone is around me, that’s when I seclude myself with G-d. I know how to cry out in a silent scream. What I say is heard from one end of the world to the other, yet those standing around me hear nothing at all!

“Anyone can do this. Imagine the sound of such a scream in your mind. Just as the throat brings sound from your lungs to your lips, there are nerves that draw sound into your head. When you do this, you are shouting inside your brain. Direct that shout to the One above and it will open Heaven’s gate.”

If I were to go out to the park to cry out to G-d, the neighbors might feel the need to call EMS! But when my cry is entirely internal, all of this pent-up energy goes into my scream inside. And as Rebbe Nachman explained, the entire action of crying out can be physically engaged internally; the only difference between it and an actual scream is the passage of air through the trachea. In a way, when the cry is entirely inside none of its energy is diffused into superficial displays. The only one to hear it is me…and the One above.


A prayer:


Master of the universe!
You listen to the anguished cries
and desperate wails
of every one of
Your beloved children.
You hear my incoherent cries,
You comprehend my jumbled words.
I try my best to reach You;
with my inadequate prayers
I call out to You,
and You understand.

(From The Gentle Weapon**, p. 23)

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Your Comments:

In our opinion, respect precedes love. Love requires caring and acceptance of difference. We are married 66 + years only because we understand each other’s difference and respect that.
Thank you for the words of wisdom from the Rabbi. Meeting each other half way may occasionally require 1/4 or 3/4 way, but as long as the couple finds a satisfactory resolution to the difference that enables their love to surmount the conflict, then the relationship is safeguarded.

Yasher Koyach for these wonderful emails.

The line of the Teffilah that says “spare me from the lies of my own illusions” is a very important request… Often times I find myself refraining from “running after the joker”, and thinking not only am I “ok” but even thinking I am growing. Yet in reality the reason I am not rushing and running after the joker is because rushing and running takes effort and it is stemming from laziness!
…I can’t think of a better prayer than to beg HKBH to spare me from the lies of my own illusions, and to help to look at myself and my actions truthfully…
Thank you for helping me focus on this and for reminding me to beg HKBH for the merit to see the truth in my actions and the lie of the joker!

Thanks for sharing these wonderful words of wisdom from Rebbe Nachman, and I so appreciate the “what does this mean to me” portion. It filters the rebbe’s words to something that is more easily understood by “us moderns.”

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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.


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