Rebbe Nachman once said: “I will take you on a new path—a path that has never before existed. It is indeed an ancient path. Yet it is completely new” (Tzaddik #264).
The path that Rebbe Nachman revealed to his followers at the turn of the nineteenth century is just as applicable—if not more so—to those of us living in the twenty-first century. Now as then, people are confronted with so many challenges and obstacles to living the kind of life they desire. We all struggle to earn a living, marry and have children, maintain relationships, and find avenues of self-fulfillment rather than live out our days with a sense of futility.
We desire to be active participants in our life’s journey, not passive observers. Rebbe Nachman also put his finger on the pulse of the times by saying, “I will tell you a secret. Great atheism is coming into the world.”
Two hundred years later, we understand exactly what Rebbe Nachman was talking about. We now know that this atheism doesn’t just mean the abandonment of God and religion, but estrangement from our own selves. Rebbe Nachman addressed an age when feelings of emptiness would predominate, while at the same time, longing and yearning to change and accomplish would surge within each individual. He developed his teachings to meet the needs of every seeker, as well as the noncommittal onlooker who doubts his own ability to succeed. The Rebbe’s doctrine is one of joy and hope, his approach common sense, as he encourages each of us to set our sights higher and higher.
What made Rebbe Nachman different from many other Chassidic masters was his ability to access the mysteries of the Kabbalah and extract practical advice for living one’s life to the fullest. Beginning with one of the first secrets of Creation—how God went about creating the world as we know it—Rebbe Nachman drew out the practical lessons of each stage of Creation and the Ten Sefirot and laid them out on a “set table” for each of us to view, select and sample. By bringing the most esoteric concepts down to our level, Rebbe Nachman left us an awesome legacy that can help us overcome the atheism in our world and in our own souls.
This series holds out two tantalizing opportunities to the modern-day reader. The first is to realize or recognize the tremendous resources and strengths that are uniquely yours. Each person is a world unto himself, possessing unique attributes and capabilities as well as characteristic weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Only by knowing yourself can you identify and pursue your dearest objectives, and ignore what is beyond you or not applicable to your life. The second is to attain your potential by learning how to develop your hidden strengths to the optimum, becoming the person you would love to be, the person you can—and should—be.
This series is a learning experience, a guide for applying the deepest mysteries of existence to our seemingly mundane lives. It applies to laymen and scholars, religious and nonobservant, men and women. It shows how great and important we are in God’s eyes, and how we can develop that greatness. It tells us how we can take hold of our energies even during moments of crisis, and advance from level to level, growing even—or especially—in the face of adversity. This series will take you beyond your perceived limits and propel you to unimagined heights.
This series is based on the book: “Hidden Treasures” by Rabbi Chaim Kramer.
Looking forward to the next instalment in the series.