Home Faith Waiting and Wanting

Waiting and Wanting

by Yehudis Golshevsky


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

“Even when no words come, do not despair. Come back day after day to your secluded spot and wait. Just wanting to speak to G-d is in itself a very great thing.”
(The Empty Chair*, p. 93)


What does this mean to me?
The sages taught that the early tzaddikim would spend three hours in prayer—the first in silent preparation, the second in actual prayer, and the final hour in expressing gratitude. What was the silent preparation that they did? One element was certainly the building up of longing and yearning; wanting is generated by the waiting. When we wait for something, anticipation builds; when we just jump into prayer without allowing ourselves to first feel a yearning for G-d, the prayer lacks vitality. Prayer is the way in which we bind ourselves to G-d, but the bond is only as strong as the longing that animates it. There’s a world of difference between a quick hug when you run into someone that you see all the time and the heartfelt embrace when you finally have a chance to hold someone you love that you haven’t seen in a while. Just because G-d is with us all the time doesn’t mean that we can take Him for granted! Every meeting is important enough for us to yearn and long for it.


A prayer:

“Master of the universe,
help me to yearn and long and feel
powerful desire for You all the time;
help me to yearn to serve You
and study Your Torah
with a will.
For it is only through activation of my own will
and longing for the good
that I will be able to accomplish all of the wonderful
acts that I have in my potential to carry out.”

(Likutei Tefillos I:100)

We encourage hearing your feedback and may anonymously publish your remarks. Please send email to: [email protected]

To view the past emails, click here.


NarrowBridge.Org sends out twice weekly inspirational emails. These emails include small doses of Rebbe Nachman’s wisdom, enabling us to get through the week in a more spiritual way. If you are not signed up and would like to receive these emails, click here.
These emails are sent free of charge and are part of the ongoing work of the Breslov Research Institute to make Rebbe Nachman’s Torah available to people of all languages. If you enjoy these emails and our other work and would like to contribute to our mission, we encourage you to do so by clicking here or the PayPal (P) icon below. All US donations are tax deductible.

*“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.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment