Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum



It is very good to attach yourself to a true Tzaddik. In the upheavals at the time of the coming of the Mashiach, God will "grasp the ends of the earth and shake the wicked from it" (Job 38:13) . But one who is attached to a true Tzaddik will be able to cling to him so as not to be cast off with the wicked. By holding onto the Tzaddik he will remain firm.

Sichot Haran #22

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Those who draw close to a true Tzaddik have a taste of the Garden of Eden. For "the Tzaddik is the gardener of the garden" ( Zohar II, 166b) .

Sichot Haran #252

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Heed the wise

One who ignores the words of the wise can go mad. The main reason people are mad is because they refuse to follow good advice.

If a madman were to listen to sane people, he would definitely not behave like a madman. His madness might convince him that he needs to go about in torn clothing and roll in the dirt. But if he were to follow the advice of one of greater intelligence who tell s him that this is unnecessary, his madness would disappear .

The root of madness lies in not wanting to listen to the words of the wise. Understand this well.

Sichot Haran #67

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Anyone who listens to me and carries out everything I say will certainly become a great Tzaddik , come what may. The main thing is to throw aside your own ideas completely and do only as I say: fulfill everything to the letter. Obviously, the more you study, the more successful you will be.

Chayey Moharan #320

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The true teacher

Everyone must search very hard in order to find a true teacher who can help him attain great wisdom and Godly perception. This requires an outstandingly great teacher who has the power to explain this deep wisdom in terms comprehensible to the simplest people.

The lower a person's level and the further away he is from God, the greater the teacher he needs. Thus when the Jewish people were on the lowest of levels in Egypt , sunk in the forty-nine gates of impurity, they needed the greatest rabbi and teacher of all: Moshe Rabbenu. For the lower down and further away from God a person is, the greater the teacher he needs. He needs a master craftsman who has the ability to bring the supreme wisdom of Godly perception within the grasp of one as lowly and far away from God as himself. The sicker the patient, the greater the doctor he needs.

One should therefore never say, "It is enough for me if I attach myself to someone respectable and God-fearing, even though he may not be on an outstanding level. First let me simply be like him!" This is a mistake. On the contrary, the more a person recognizes his own lowliness and great distance from God, the more he should search out the greatest and most outstanding doctor for his soul and strive to draw close to the greatest possible teacher. For the lowlier the person, the greater the teacher he needs.

Likutey Moharan I, 30

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Benefit of the Tzaddik after death

The true Tzaddik can greatly benefit even a person who has died and gone to the next world, as long as that person is sufficiently worthy to come to the Tzaddik to rectify his soul.

Be aware that the main obstacle encountered there by one who is undeserving is that he is not permitted to come to the true Tzaddik to be purified. He is simply pushed aside and led on the wrong track by all kinds of confusing doubts, as if the Tzaddik has no power at all. Even there , just as in this world, there is great opposition to the Tzaddik among the destroying angels and evil forces .

The most important thing is to be constantly aware of this so as not to let yourself be deceived there. Stay firm in wanting to go to the true Tzaddik and nowhere else, and then you will certainly be permitted to do so.

Chayey Moharan #309

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Seeing as I am going before you, what do you have to fear?

Chayey Moharan #225

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Pity in the world to come

Nobody likes to be pitied. In this world we see how people feel pity for those who are hungry, thirsty or suffering in some other way. People react with pity when a person lacks clothes or shoes. No-one wants to be the object of others' pity. In order to avoid it, people chase after worldly success.

Someone with clear spiritual vision can also understand the pitiful state of certain souls in the world to come. Some souls there are literally naked, but it is impossible to show them any pity. For in this world when a person lacks clothing, other people can collect money and buy him a coat. But in the world to come when someone lacks "clothing", there is no way to help him - because the clothes needed there are Torah and good deeds, which cannot be given as charity. However, one who is attached to the true Tzaddik can run to him to get a spiritual garment with which to clothe himself.

In the world to come, many people will be left outside. They will cry out bitterly, "Give us something to eat!" People will offer them food and drink saying, "Eat! Drink!" But those outside will say, "No! No! We cannot use such food. What we need is the food and drink of Torah and devotion!" Others will be left outside naked. They too will cry: "Give us some clothes to cover ourselves." People will come to them saying, "Here are clothes." But they too will answer: "No! Such clothes are completely useless to us. We need mitzvot and good deeds in order to cover ourselves."

Happy is the person who eats many chapters of Mishnah, drinks many Psalms and clothes himself in good deeds in this world!

Sichot Haran #23

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The gravitational pull of the Tzaddik

All things and all creatures stand on the earth all the time. The only way anything can leave the earth is if some countervailing force overcomes the pull of gravity, distancing the object from the earth in accordance with the strength of the countervailing force. As soon as the countervailing force ceases, the object returns to earth.

Thus when a person throws an object upwards, the force that he applies distances it from the earth: the greater his strength, the higher he can throw it. Afterwards, however, when the countervailing force is spent, the object falls back down to the ground because of the gravitational pull of the earth, which draws everything to it. Were it not for this, nothing would stay on earth, because the earth is a round ball and everyone in the world stands on its surface. It is because of the earth's gravitational pull that a thrown object falls back down to earth as soon as the countervailing force ceases.

The Tzaddik is the "earth", for "the Tzaddik is the foundation of the world" (Proverbs 10:25 ) and everything rests upon him. The Tzaddik has a gravitational power of attraction that draws everything to him, for the true Tzaddik is the foundation of the world and everything derives from him. All the other Tzaddikim are only branches of the true Tzaddik, each according to his level: one may be a branch while another may be a branch of a branch. For this unique Tzaddik is humble and lowly and makes himself like dust: for "I am dust and ashes" (Genesis 18: 27 ) . He is the foundation of the world precisely because he is "dust" and thus he supports everything.

And it would be fitting for all humanity to be drawn to this Tzaddik who is the "dust" and has this "drawing power". However , people are separated and distanced from the Tzaddik by a countervailing force, because of the words and deeds of certain individuals who forcibly distance people from the Tzaddik in accordance with the strength of the countervailing force. However, when this countervailing force ceases, the person is once again drawn to the Tzaddik, who is the "dust" and possesses a gravitational force of attraction.

Some people remain very far from the Tzaddik as long as they are still under the influence of the countervailing force. But as soon as this force is interrupted, they draw close again. And when traveling to the Tzaddik, the nearer he comes to the place of the Tzaddik , the greater his desire becomes, because he is approaching the source of attraction.

Likutey Moharan I, 70

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The coin in front of the eye

The sun shines constantly with the same intensity at the beginning and middle of the day. What blocks the light of the sun is only the earth, which intervenes between man and the sun. Owing to the position of the earth, the light spreads only gradually as the day begins but steadily increases until it spreads over the earth.

Similarly, the light of the Tzaddik shines constantly while the barrier is on the side of the receivers. The cause of the barrier is the intervening "earth" - this material world. People are so deeply sunk in the material world that they are unable to receive the light of the Tzaddik.

The Torah is enormously great and broad, but a tiny handbreadth - this world - stands before people's eyes, preventing them from seeing the light of the Torah despite the fact that this entire world is merely a tiny handbreadth in comparison.

How could something so tiny block something thousands of times greater?

To understand this, consider how a small coin held in front of your eyes can prevent you from seeing a great mountain, even though the mountain is countless thousands of times larger than the tiny coin. However, because the coin is directly in front of your eyes, it blocks your entire field of vision.

In the same way, when a person enters this physical world, he remains sunk in the vanities of the world and imagines that there is nothing better. This tiny insignificant world stands in his way, preventing him from seeing the amazing light of the Torah, which is thousands of times greater in comparison. This is exactly parallel to the way the great light of the sun is blocked by the intervening earth even though the sun is many times greater than the earth.

"The path of the Tzaddikim is like a radiant light" (Proverbs 4:18 ) - a radiant light like the sun, which shines constantly. The only obstacle is the earth, which blocks out the light even though the earth is tiny compared to the sun. In the same way, the Tzaddikim radiate constantly, except that the earth - this-worldliness - intervenes and prevents people from seeing their great light. Despite the greatness of the light of the Tzaddikim and the insignificance of this entire tiny world in comparison, the world nevertheless intervenes, preventing one from seeing their light, as in the example of the coin.

However, if one remove s this tiny barrier from before one's eyes - averting one's eyes from this world and instead raising one's head and lifting one's eyes beyond the intervening world - one attain s a view of the great and amazing light of the Torah and the Tzaddikim. For in truth their light is countless thousands of times greater than all of this world and its vanities. It is just that this world stands before people's eyes and does not permit them to lift their eyes upwards to see the light of the Torah and the Tzaddikim. It is like the small coin in front of the eyes that prevents one from seeing a great mountain.

But it is easy to remove the coin from before your eyes - and as soon as you do so you will see the mountain, which is so much larger. Similarly, with a simple movement you can remove this world from before your eyes. You will then be able to see the great light of the Torah and the Tzaddikim, which radiates in all the worlds.

Likutey Moharan I, 133

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Faith and understanding

If you believe in the Tzaddik without any understanding, you may lose your faith, because from faith alone one can fall. But if you also have some understanding, you cannot lose your faith .

Likutey Moharan I, 255

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The writing on the seal

It is impossible to understand the Tzaddik himself since his intrinsic essence is beyond our grasp. Only through the followers of the Tzaddik is it possible to understand the Tzaddik's greatness. People are nearer to the Tzaddik's followers than they are to the Tzaddik himself and thus can understand them somewhat when they see them to be mature , hard-working , God-fearing people. One who sees the truth can thus know the greatness of the Tzaddik from his followers.

This is similar to a seal. The writing on the seal is unreadable because the letters are back to front. Only when one takes the seal and stamps it on wax can one understand the letters and designs inscribed on the seal, and one then sees what is written on the seal. Similarly, through the Tzaddik's followers one can come to understand something of the Tzaddik himself.

Likutey Moharan I, 140

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The beauty, pride and charm
of the entire world

There is a true Tzaddik who is the beauty, pride and charm of the entire world . And when this beauty and splendor is revealed - when this Tzaddik who is the beauty of the world becomes known and magnified in the world - the eyes of all who draw close to him and are included in this true grace are opened and able to see.

The main thing is to look at oneself. In drawing close to the true Tzaddik, it is proper to examine all one's personal traits and attributes in comparison with his . When this Tzaddik who is the grace and beauty of the world is revealed, the eyes of all who are close to and merged in this true grace are opened and they see and examine themselves. They can also see and contemplate the greatness of God and look upon the world since their eyes have been opened by the revelation of the splendor of the true Tzaddik.

When this Tzaddik is revealed and known throughout the world, he has a name in the world. And attached to and clothed within the name of the true Tzaddik is the Name of God, for "His Name is attached to our name". Thus when the name of the Tzaddik is magnified, the Name of God is greatly magnified, for "His Name is attached to our name" ( Yerushalmi Taanit ch. 2) . Through the magnification of God's Name that comes through the revelation of the true Tzaddik's glory and beauty and the fame of his name, people's consciousness and power of vision are expanded and their eyes are opened.

The world then has a Master of the House who watches over the world - a Head of the House, who repairs and strengthens the House. For the repair of the Temple comes about through this.

However, at times the opposite happens when one who does not come in the Name of God attains fame and his name is magnified, causing the concealment of God's Name. Famed masters of occult wizardry then proliferate - the very opposite of God's Name. When the light of holiness is concealed, flames rage in the world causing outbreaks of fire - all because of the fame of these false leaders who cause the Name of God to become hidden. The radiance of the true light is subdued and the flames rage - "from on high He sent fire" (Lamentations 1:13 ) - causing the burning of the Temple .

What is past is no more, for the Temple has already been burned. Now, however, God is waiting to return to us and rebuild our Temple . It is only fitting that we should not obstruct the building of the Temple . On the contrary, we should make every effort to build it. This is why it is so important to rise for the Midnight Prayer in mourning over the destruction of the Temple . For perhaps you or I caused the destruction of the Temple in a previous incarnation, and even if not, perhaps you or I are obstructing the building of the Temple now, which would also be considered as if we had destroyed it.

Likutey Moharan II, 67

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Death's helpers

It is a hard and onerous task for the Angel of Death to kill everyone in the world physically and spiritually all on his own. That is why he has helpers everywhere: the doctors to kill physically and the false leaders to kill spiritually.

Avaneha Barzel

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Walking tongues

"They have set their mouth against heaven and their tongue walks about the earth" (Psalms 73:9) .

Now that atheism has spread, people have thrown off all restraint and openly revile every Tzaddik and God-fearing man. The true target of their unbelief is God Himself, but they are ashamed to speak openly against God and therefore loosen their tongues against people.

This explains the meaning of the verse: "They have set their mouth against heaven" - for they are really speaking against God. However, they are ashamed to speak out against God directly so "their tongue walks about the earth": they loosen their tongue against God's followers in the world. But the truth is, "They have set their mouths against heaven."

Sichot Haran #38

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Bang! Bang!

Certain popular leaders lack genuine credentials but sometimes imagine they have the power to work miracles. People come to them asking for children, and if later they are granted children, these leaders take all the credit.

It is like the case of a certain man who was walking along the road when all of a sudden he saw a wolf. He was very frightened and stuck out his stick as if aiming a rifle. He pretended he was about to open fire on the wolf in order to frighten it away. At that exact moment, someone who really did have a rifle shot and killed the wolf. The man holding out his stick thought that he himself had killed the wolf, not realizing that the wolf had really been killed by the gunshot, because you obviously cannot kill a wolf with a stick.

Similarly, in each generation there are certain true Tzaddikim who accomplish everything through their prayers. All the changes in men's fortunes and everything else in the world come about at their hands. However, there are popular leaders who think that they themselves work the miracles. They are like the man who thought he killed the wolf with his stick, but in fact, everything is in the hands of the true Tzaddikim.

Chayey Moharan #455

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Marks of the Breslover Chassidim

God has granted me three things:

1. I have broken your pride - no matter how you pray, they will say, "He's a Breslover Chassid!"

2. Sin will never cling to you. Even if you commit a sin, it will be without hands and legs.

3. You will never be able to look in the face of false leaders because you have already tasted the Hungarian wine.

Avaneha Barzel

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Three sets of followers

I have three sets of followers. The first come to grab shirayim (foods from the Tzaddik's platter). The second come to hear my Torah teachings. But the third are baked and inscribed in my heart.

I want you to be among those who are baked in my heart. And for that, I must be baked in your heart!

Siach Sarfey Kodesh 1-102

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My real intention

You may be good, pious people, but that was not my intention. My intention was that you should be the kind of people who roar out to God for entire nights, like animals in the forest.

Siach Sarfey Kodesh 1-120

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Pray to find the Tzaddik

You must ask God persistently to be able to draw close to the true Tzaddik. Happy is the one who succeeds in drawing close to the true Tzaddik in his lifetime - happy is his lot! For after one dies it is very hard indeed to draw close. One must pray over and over again to come close to the true Tzaddik in one's lifetime. For the Evil One has made it his mission to confuse the world. Israel is very close to redemption now and people have tremendous longing for God, the like of which did not exist in earlier times. Everyone is longing for God. This is why the Evil One has craftily sown dissension among the Tzaddikim and established many false popular leaders. Even among the true Tzaddikim there are divisions, to the point that nobody knows where the truth is. This is why one must beg God to succeed in drawing close to the true Tzaddik.

Likutey Moharan II, 78

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By Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5767 - 2006-7 All rights reserved