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Unlocking The Power Of Yearning

by Yossi Katz

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…

From Reb Nosson’s Letters: “You can accomplish anything through desire and yearning. Accustom yourself to speak the words of your desires. Wake up! Rise and stir the good in your heart to articulate your yearnings and desires in personal prayer! Accustom yourself to yearn and to ache with longing for G-d—at all times—and to bring these desires to your lips.”
(Healing Leaves, p. 81)




What does this mean to me?

How is it possible that you can accomplish anything through desire and yearning? Just what sort of “anything” does Reb Nosson mean?

Reb Nosson is speaking here of spiritual aspirations—and they are indeed accomplished through yearning. The Kabbalists explain that the highest human faculty is not speech, nor is it cognition—it is the will, the realm of desire and yearning. The prime mover within the human being is not thought, but wanting. Not the visceral wanting of physical things (although one can definitely drag the lofty force of yearning down there too), but the yearning and longing to draw closer to G-d, to absorb the teachings of the Torah, to feel bonded to G-d in prayer.
Reb Nosson teaches us that we must “accustom ourselves” to feeling the yearning, because the force of longing needs exercise and direction. If we develop it, we will find, over time, that our yearning influences our thoughts, our speech, and our actions—and brings us ever closer to the goal.




A prayer:

My soul thirsts for You, my G-d.
Will I ever merit to feel You beside me?
There are so many obstacles that keep me
from being what I want to be-
a good person, conscious of You-
but only I myself can change this.
Help me make the effort to come closer to You.
Help me long and yearn and strive
for Your nearness.
(The Gentle Weapon, p. 110*)

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This was my first e-mail from Rebbe Nachman’s teachings. It hasn’t been long, but I’m already filled with happiness in a short time and am hungering to receive more e-mails!

Wonderful words, thank you!!

Many thanks for the email – this has come at a time in my life when many times all I can say is Baruch Hashem and – Hashem Yerachem…. and cry and Thank G-d for all the blessings even within the nesanyos……
Your email has been there to give me words when I had none to give.

Love it! it’s like the concept…”the more you say thank you the more you will have things to be thankful for” it’s like a magnet..
Thank You, it will carry me through the day today!

To view the past emails, click here.

*“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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