Even You Are Dear To God

Camille Pissaro The Little Bridge“…you must have faith in yourself. Believe that even you are dear in the eyes of God. A measure of God’s goodness is every individual’s importance to Him.” —Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

How can you pray if you don’t believe that God is listening and that you are important to Him?

You can’t. Continue reading

Being Honest About Honor

869097_70856057Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgment for all humanity. But despite its profound ramifications, Rosh Hashana is actually a very down-to-earth day.

On the New Year, we are judged and awarded (or not), all the ‘stuff of life’ in this world—life, health, wealth and sustenance for the coming year.  What we’re given depends not only on our actions during the past year, but also on how effectively we judge ourselves on this day, and open our hearts to God. Continue reading

Is Uman Rosh Hashana Okay For Women?

IMG_3785 My Rosh Hashanah is something completely new. And, God knows it’s not something I inherited from my fathers. God Himself gave me the gift of knowing what Rosh Hashanah really is. That all of you are dependent on my Rosh Hashanah goes without saying. The entire world depends on my Rosh Hashanah. —Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Q. I’ve heard that there are women who go on Rosh Hashanah and I really want to.

A. There are some women who do go to Uman on Rosh Hashana. There are however several good reasons not to go: Continue reading

How To Get Over Your Fears and Phobias With Hisbodedus

1145028_474663293Do you have a phobia, such as fear of flying, a fear of public speaking, or a fear of animals?

Do you have a common fear that’s not quite at the level of a phobia such as a fear of the IRS or other officials, a fear of dentists, a fear of what people think about you?

Do you have an existential fear, such as a fear that your life has no purpose, a fear of loneliness, or a fear of death?

Rebbe Nachman teaches us how to Continue reading

Happy People Just Don’t Understand

1395385_10151931788843971_421453804_nBased on a phone call with a chavrusa (with her permission.)

Pollyanna. Naive. Just plain dumb. Whatever you call them, happy people bug me.

Don’t they know that the world is a terrible place?

Don’t they know that they are in for a big let-down. If not now, soon enough?

Are they really that naive? Do they really have faith in the ultimate goodness of life?

As for what you wrote (Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s advice )to “force” yourself to be happy, to act silly, to lift your spirits, I’m sorry but happiness is not in our control. If we’re sad we can’t be expected to fake it. That’s disrespectful of our real feelings. I bet God doesn’t expect us to fake it.

Let’s face it: Only stupid people are happy. Continue reading