Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
SELF CARE AND EATING
Care for your physical body in order to give the body a share of the spiritual light attained by the soul.
Likutey Moharan I, 22
If the food a person eats is pure in accordance with the dietary laws and he eats it in a dignified manner without swallowing it hurriedly, his mental powers will be enhanced and grow while his innate folly will be subdued. However, one who eats like a glutton will be overcome with folly and lose his intelligence. The light of the Tzaddik will be concealed from him and he will be unable to learn from him how to love and fear God.
Likutey Moharan I, 17
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Be careful not to swallow your food in a hurry. Eat at a moderate pace, calmly and with the same table manners that you would show if an important guest were present. You should always eat in this manner, even when you are alone.
Chayey Moharan #515
When the slaughterer - the shochet - makes the blessing prior to the slaughter of an animal, he should have in mind to elevate the soul incarnated in the blood of the animal. The blessing of the shochet has an effect on the livelihood of the entire Jewish people.
Some shochtim fail to concentrate properly on the meaning of the blessing, harboring improper thoughts. Such a shochet standing with his knife raised ready to slaughter the animal is no better than a murderer. What pain this living soul experiences at that moment. She cries with a bitter wail because this shochet's blessing will do nothing to elevate her from her incarnation. On the contrary, she will be thrown even lower than before with "no rest for the sole of her foot" (Genesis 8:9 ) .
Woe to such a shochet! Woe to the soul he has killed and betrayed into the hands of her enemies. This adversely affects people's livelihood, and the little that is available can only be acquired with great toil and effort. Such shochtim cause the soul to become enslaved by the physicality of the body, strength ening material cravings and desires.
But when the shochtim are worthy, the soul is elevated and the grossness of the body is humbled and subdued. The body is the seat of animality, folly, darkness and death, forgetfulness, harsh justice and alien wisdom. In their place, soul and form are elevated. These are the roots of all that is truly noble in man - understanding, light, life, memory, loving kindness and Torah wisdom. Through them the world is blessed with abundance and prosperity.
Likutey Moharan I, 37
There are people who sleep away all their days. Some have fallen into their sleep on account of lust and wrongdoing. There are other cases where truly good people of beautiful character fall because of food. A person may sometimes consume food that is insufficiently pure to be fit for human consumption, and his mind then falls into a kind of "sleep".
When a person eats in holiness and purity, his physical face and the inner "face" that is his soul become radiant as a result. But if he eats without holiness, the food harms his heart causing him to lose this inner face, so that he falls into a "sleep". He may still imagine he is serving God, occupied as he is with Torah and prayer. But he is "asleep" in the sense that his devotions remain in the lower worlds and God has no delight in them.
It is vital to rouse such people from their sleep, but this is only possible if they first begin to stir on their own. The tales and stories told by the Tzaddikim have the power to rouse those who are asleep so that their days will not be wasted. It is a great privilege to find a Tzaddik who has the power to rouse you from your sleep. Otherwise you could sleep away all your days, God forbid.
Likutey Moharan I, 60
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BACK TO THE ESSENTIAL RABBI NACHMAN HOMEPAGE
By Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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