Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
WILL AND DESIRE
When a person is content to want only what God wants, this makes God the King. But when a person desires something other than what God desires, this gives strength to unholy forces. A person must nullify his own will to the point where he has no will and desire for anything except what God desires, whether it be that he should have wealth and children or not, God forbid. It should be the same with everything else he wants. He should desire only what God desires. This makes God alone the King
Likutey Moharan I, 177
The Hebrew letters are consonants: without vowels, they cannot be pronounced but remain like a body without a soul. Without the soul, the body is unable to move or do anything.
The vowels - the soul that animate s the letters - are formed through yearning and desire, whether for good or bad. The yearning for evil creates bad vowels, which make the letters join together and interact to produce bad effects. But if a person yearns to repent, good vowels - good souls - are created and the letters join and interact to produce good results.
It is not sufficient for a person to feel longing and yearning in his heart alone. He must express his longing and yearning on his lips. This is the basis of our prayer service. The yearning in the person's heart creates soul and letters in potential , but it is when the person expresses his desire with his mouth that the soul is produced in actuality . For the soul comes forth from the mouth, as it says, "My soul came forth through his speaking " (Song of Songs 5:6) .
In order to bring forth your soul from potential to actual existence, you must express your yearning and longing in words. This is how you turn your desire into a reality and accomplish what you want, and this is why it is so important to speak to God every day and articulate your desires and good intentions with your lips.
Likutey Moharan I, 31
* * *
How precious when you sigh out of longing for something holy. The sigh you emit because you are far from holiness breaks the bond of impurity that was trapping you. Now you can bind yourself with the cord of holiness. But the opposite is true when you sigh with desire for something wrongful, God forbid.
One sigh of regret over your sins and great distance from God is worth more than many fasts and other forms of self-mortification. The sighs you emit when you desire something holy can actually break the force of your bodily urges, enabling your soul to draw nearer to your body and communicate to it something of her own perception of God.
Likutey Moharan I, 109
* * *
Thirst is a very great desire. It is wonderful to long, yearn and thirst for God.
The greater your thirst for water , the greater your pleasure when you reach water and drink. Therefore the pleasure is caused by the thirst!
The same is true of holy longing and yearning for God and for true devotion.
This will be the main delight of the world to come, which will be a time of desire and longing. This is the "desire of all desires", the level to which Moses ascended when he left the world. Likewise Abraham paid "four hundred silver shekels" for his final resting place (Genesis 23:16 ) . The holy Zohar says these are the four hundred worlds of yearning that the Tzaddikim will inherit in the future.
They are worlds of yearning because then we will be worthy of true thirst and yearning for God. Quenching this thirst will be the main delight of the future world.
Sichot Haran #259
Human thought has tremendous power. Thought alone can bring about many things. Even prices in the market rise because of people's thoughts and expectations.
When thought is concentrated intensely, it can exert great influence. All the faculties of the mind, conscious and unconscious, down to the innermost point, must be focused without distraction on the intended result.
When many people do this together, their thoughts can actually force what they are thinking to come about.
The concentrated thought must spell out every step of the desired result in detail. It is not enough for the thought to be merely overall, because this is an "incomplete vessel" and may even be deceptive.
Keeping your mind intently focused on your goal can also help you in studying the Torah. For example, you could focus intently on the thought that you want to complete all four sections of the Shulchan Aruch . You could calculate that if you study five pages every day you could complete all four sections in a single year. Picture in your mind exactly how you will go about this course of study. Concentrate so strongly that you are literally obsessed with the thought.
The same approach can also be applied to other studies, such as the Bible or the Talmud and its commentaries. If your desire is strong and your concentration sufficiently intense, your plans will be accomplished.
Sichot Haran #62
BACK TO THE ESSENTIAL RABBI NACHMAN HOMEPAGE
By Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5767 - 2006-7 All rights reserved