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Spiritual Awakening

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. 

If you would like to receive these emails click here.


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

Spiritual awakening begins with inspiration coming from Without. Then, once you are already on the road, the real work begins. Keep at it and inspiration will come from within.
(The Empty Chair, p. 41*)




What does this mean to me?

In the Kabbalistic and Chassidic works, the two parallel forces at work in the entire universe and in the microcosm of our personal Divine service are called “arousal from above” and “arousal from below.” Throughout Jewish history—and in our own private histories—we find that G-d tends to provide us with a dose of inspiration from above to get us started, and after that we need to pull ourselves up bit by bit, from our end. The arousal from above inspires a corresponding arousal from below, where our work is. A model of this process can be found in the exodus from Egypt, which was then followed by forty-nine days of struggle and purification –Sefirat Ha’Omer – so that we could be worthy of receiving the Torah.

The Torah was given to us in the month of Sivan, whose astrological sign is Gemini—the Twins. The symbol of the twins expresses the duality of the inspiration from above and the awakening from below. Together, they comprise a whole that makes the descent of Torah to the world possible.




A prayer:

Master of the universe,
may my words race on toward You.
Maybe, just maybe, they will find favor and grace in Your eyes,
so that You will do something truly wondrous for me.
Please, carve a pathway for me beneath Your throne of glory
so that I can find my way back to You in complete repentance.
May my return to You be so wholehearted and true that, from now on,
I will begin to pursue the purpose in life for which You created me…
and grab hold of it.
(Likutei Tefillot II:1)

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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.

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