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Maybe this has happened to you. You’re on the path. You feel like you’re growing, spiritually. You’re coming closer to deeper understanding of the teachings of the tzaddikim; especially those of Rebbe Nachman. And all of a sudden, you’re hit with an obstacle, or two.

The obstacle might be external. It might be a monetary problem. It might be a problem with somebody you’re close to, who opposes your spiritual growth.

The obstacle might be internal. It might be fear, anxiety, worry or some other feeling or emotion that is confusing and distracting you from your purpose.

Why do we have to have that distraction?

Why is there such tension between the right choice and the choice of shutting doors? That tension is the proving ground for being a human being.

A human being has b’chirah, free will, to choose which direction to go in. To choose how to respond and react to the world. If we didn’t have that choice, we would be like robots.

Hashem arranges it so that just when we’re on that high and we feel like we’re in the flow, an obstacle comes along to push us even higher. Through the exercise of our free will.

These minios, these obstacles. have a deeper purpose, too. Rebbe Nachman tells us that they’re there to increase our yearning and desire to lead a soulful life. And to come closer to Hashem.

When we understand that, suddenly the problems we’re facing may even look like possibilities or gifts. A necessary part of the process is self-talk–teaching yourself and talking to yourself. And reminding yourself to pay attention and to be aware of the true purpose of the obstacles in your life.

May you have a day in which you choose to have a clear path towards spiritual growth.

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Today’s mini-lesson is dedicated l’iluyi nishmas Cheena Rachel bas Chaim Menachem. 



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Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

Chaya Rivka in her own words: What do we want? To feel less pain and more optimism. To be happy and lead meaningful lives. This all requires healthy relationships. If we learn, share, and live his teachings, Rebbe Nachman gives us real, practical tools to improve all our relationships—with G-d, with ourselves, and with each other. Chaya Rivka Zwolinski “discovered” Rebbe Nachman in her late thirties and credits his profound wisdom with helping her make a 180 degree-turn in life. She loves sharing Breslov teachings with women in her classes and workshops. Chaya Rivka has written books; writes articles for,,, and numerous other publications; is a consultant to Breslov Research Institute; and is the director of curriculum and program marketing at She lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.

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