I am always happy when I read something that makes me feel good about myself and what my potential is. This is one of the things at attracted me to mussar seforim. That knowledge of our potential also attracted me to the teaching of Reb Nachman of Breslov. While I own a number of Breslov seforim, I’ll be the first to say that I’m no where near the level of calling myself a chossid of Reb Nachman. I do, however, get a lot of mussar and chizuk from his teachings.
R Lazer Brody recently posted a fantastic essay on the importance of Believing in Yourself. It always amazes me that Hashem allows me to hear a d’var Torah or read something that happens to be exactly what I needed at that time. R Brody’s post was one of those things that I needed to read today.
Here’s a taste of what he says:
Observant Judaism is also like a war. The Yetzer, or Evil Inclination, has an array of weapons and forces at his disposal, to deter and discourage a person from making Tshuva, or to break the heart of a person who’s trying to effectively become a ben- or bat-Torah. If you believe in yourself, you’ll be able to wipe the floor with the Yetzer.
The whole essay in all of its glory can be found here.
I too had Breslov books and went to a shiur once a month. What really turned me on to Rabbi Nachman’s teachings was when I became willing to try hitbodedut and it changed my life.
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz (Monsey) once told me that a big attraction of Breslover thought for him was its combination of Chassidus and Mussar.
Thanks, Bob. I think the two go and in hand.
Too bad he doesn’t give credit for the mussar he teaches to the true tzadik and spiritual father of the movement, the righteous and humble Reb Joseph Zundel Salant of Blessed memory. He wanted not fame nor monetary gain from his charitable causes, his torah and mussar teachings and his position as first chief rabbi at the bet din in jerusalem. He only accepted the possition on the terms that he would not be paid, as he refused to make money on issues of Torah and as soon as they could find a suitable replacement he would step down, which he did shortly after…giving the official title of “first Cheif Rabbi Of Jerusalem” to his sucessor and son-in-law, the Great Rebbi and renound author Smuel Salant. He was a true tzadik and served Hashem completely all the days of his life. May we merit from the Godliness he brought to these lowely levels that we dwell in and may he be at peace. Let us remember him always.
Were it not for R Yosef Zundel, R Yisrael Salanter would have not been who he was and would have kept his last name of Lipkin.
Reb Yirsrael Salanter loved Reb Zundel greatly. Rabbi Yosef Zundel Salant passed away on Friday October 12, (3rd Cheshvan) 1866 and was buried on the Mount of Olives. Among the many instructions that Rabbi Zundel mentioned in his will was that that no eulogies be held for him, and no titles should be added to his name on the tombstone. The famous Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, founder of famous ethical Mussar Movement and prime student of Rabbi Zundel, is recorded as saying “I have not found a true servant of G-D like my mentor Rabbi Zundel!”