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Torah Joy

by Yehudis Golshevsky
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…
It was Reb Nosson’s custom to see the Rebbe every year after Simchat Torah. Rebbe Nachman would always ask Reb Nosson if he truly rejoiced on the festival… Once the Rebbe spoke to Reb Nosson about Simchat Torah in the middle of the year. He asked him, “Do you now feel joy in your heart? Do you feel this happiness at least once a year?” …The Rebbe told Reb Nosson that once on Simchat Torah he was so overjoyed that he danced all by himself in his room.
(Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, #299)
What does this mean to me?
Before I add any comments of my own, I want to insert a note that Reb Nosson added parenthetically to this teaching: “G-d was with me and I was able to rejoice with all my heart many times each year. This joy was often so great that words cannot express it. This is the joy of being a Jew, of believing in G-d, and it flows through the gates of everyone’s heart and cannot be communicated. Within our group, when we rejoice, even the least among us experiences a feeling of closeness to G-d that is beyond all description.”

I have found this to be so very true; that a growing awareness of Rebbe Nachman’s path has opened me up to experiencing such profound joy in the simple fact of my Jewishness and my emunah. I also love the statement above about Rebbe Nachman being so overjoyed that he danced alone in his room. Just the image of that in my mind makes me want to get up and dance here in my room too!

A prayer:
Loving G-d, please help me rejoice
On Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.
Let me feel the great happiness
Of knowing that I am one of Your holy people,
And that I have a share in such a beautiful inheritance.
When we finish reading Your Torah
And start it again,
May I renew my attachment to You
And acknowledge Your G-dliness in the world.
Please, G-d, raise up my soul
To come close to its Source.
Fulfill all our wishes only for good.

(Between me & You, p. 266)

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