It’s Elul, the time to prepare for Rosh HaShana, the Jewish new year. Women are learning May You Have a Day on their own and together with friends and family. They tell me a chapter or two a day is making a real difference in their life. (There are 120 chapters!) Read a chapter such as the one below. Share your thoughts with a friend, relative or a child. Talk it over with Hashem. Get started. You never know how far you can go unless you begin.
Rebbe Nachman explained that whenever you want to do something with kedusha, you will face obstacles, especially when what you are yearning for is connecting to the Tzaddik. This year is the world has been in turmoil. The yetzer hara is staging obstacle after obstacle to being in Uman for Rosh Hashana. Yet, the Chasidim keep arriving, BH.
What I keep thinking and feeling and breathing is this: It must be vital to not only to each individual Breslover and those with a kesher to the Rebbe, but actually vital to the balance of the world for the Breslovers who are able, to be there for Uman Rosh Hashana and daven by the Rebbe. The point is for those obstacles to increase our yearning and desire.
(In no way is this meant to be a criticism, God forbid, to those who decided for health and/or reasons that the risks, especially this year, are not appropriate for them to take. Even Reb Noson was not able to go one year.)
Chapter 29: Obstacles
There is a secret code-word among Breslovers. If you want to
know if someone is a Breslover, mention the word “meniot”.
This word means “obstacles”.
Meniot arise every day. Obstacles pop up to whatever it is you truly want to do. When Breslovers speak of meniot, they are usually speaking of obstacles that have something to do with spiritual growth.
Rebbe Nachman teaches that the greater the value of your goal, the bigger the meniot will be. But things are not what they seem. Obstacles aren’t sent to stop you from fulfilling and achieving your goal, instead, they are sent in order to strengthen your desire to achieve your goal!
Want to get something important done? Know this: The magnitude of the obstacles you will face is in direct proportion to the drive and desire you need to achieve something. Rebbe Nachman explains that any time you want to do anything involving holiness, you are going to face obstacles. Do not let them stop you. They are there to specifically increase your desire.
When you see an obstacle while you are engaged in doing something holy, like trying to come closer to Breslov teachings, rest assured that these meniot are a very good
May you have a day in which you remember the deeper purpose of every obstacle you encounter.
Photo credit: Chasidim on Stones in Bug River (Beneath Reb Noson of Breslov Ohel) by Vladi Melnik