Double Jeopardy: Be Your OWN Judge And Jury And Be Free Of Fear

1540285_854165984600221_5388403622958219642_o“…when a person does judge himself, then the judgment passed on high is annulled and he need not fear of be afraid of anything, since his judgment isn’t “clothed” in anything else.

“For he has already nullified the judgments on himself by judging himself on his own…

“In this way, a person elevates fear to its source so that he will fear only God and nothing else…”

—Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Likutey Moharan, Lesson 15

One of the essential parts of hisbodedus, prayerful meditation in which an individual speaks to Hashem in her own voice, is learning to reflect on and evaluate our personal actions, words, and thoughts.

In order to evaluate ourselves with any sense of objectivity (and not be overly negative or unrealistic), it is important Continue reading Double Jeopardy: Be Your OWN Judge And Jury And Be Free Of Fear

Fed Up With Someone’s Dastardly Deeds? Take The Cosmic Way Out

Constellation_Fornax,_EXtreme_Deep_FieldFrustrated with someone? Feeling hurt or fed up? Angry or let down? Finding it hard to give them the benefit of the doubt?

Jewish law requires that you not hate your brother (or sister) in your heart. This means you shouldn’t nurse a grudge. If someone has done something that bothers you, you should speak to them and tell them what’s bothering you. Give them the chance to ask for your forgiveness or correct things. They might be very willing to do so. You might even find that the slight was completely unintentional. And even if they don’t seem to care, at least you tried.

But there’s another approach to fulfilling this halacha. Continue reading Fed Up With Someone’s Dastardly Deeds? Take The Cosmic Way Out

The Spiritual Birthright Of A Jew

1437400_22520526This week’s post is on Parshas Toldos, but before I begin I’d like to say I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile and tell you that there’s a good reason: It’s because I’ve been working on some exciting projects. Continue reading The Spiritual Birthright Of A Jew

Slipping On An Invisible Banana Peel

Banana_PeelWhile learning Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s most famous lesson, Azamra (LM 1, 282), with a newish learning partner, we came across the section which says when a person begins to take a good hard look at herself, she is liable to find that she has so many flaws, and such an absence of good deeds, that the forces of negativity hijack her self-condemnation and use it to push her into a bleak depression (G-d forbid).

And in fact, depression is a real pitfall of examining oneself with too much harshness. But, we still must examine ourselves if we want to grow. Continue reading Slipping On An Invisible Banana Peel

A Breslov Yom Kippur With Heart

PikiWiki_Israel_30958_Cities_in_IsraelYom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, contains all days and gives life to all days.

On this day the heart is quieted.

Our desire is for God alone. 

All kinds of disputes, spiritual or material, are resolved.

Peace comes bringing happiness and joy. 

—Likutey Eitzos, The Advice Book

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov makes a chain from five links of the inner Yom Kippur experience.

The first insight the Rebbe gives us is one of wonder: he tells us that the holy fast day of Yom Kippur is so charged with vitality that it actually gives life to all the other days. On this dynamic day our heart, however, is quieted, subdued. The lifeblood pumping heart is may be gentled, but the day itself gives life.

Feelings of the Heart

In popular culture when the heart pumps most fiercely, it is celebrated in music, art, and literature. The nations’ hearts spark and flare over intimate relationships, politics, war, and sports. Passion, intensity, and desire are admired. The general world ethos of the role of the heart fuels a multi-billion dollar music industry, from indie to Latin to opera, not to mention other art, entertainment, team sports, politics, and war.

Judaism values the the intense feelings of the heart, but in the form of Continue reading A Breslov Yom Kippur With Heart