1) Everybody has ideas about the way to live. But as far as the great mass of people are concerned, their ideas are all as bad as each other: they're all worthless. Don't pay any attention to their advice. And all the more so, be sure to ignore any guidance offered by wicked people. They are the enemies of truth and the source of everything corrupt and destructive. All they have to offer is the advice of the primordial serpent, which is the antithesis of the Holy Covenant. Anyone who follows it will be covered in filth. He will become alienated from truth, faith and prayer, and he will be unable to come to the Land of Israel. Have nothing to do with their ideas. Bind yourself to the true Tzaddikim and those who follow their ways. Their guidance is the `seed of truth.' Through it you will be able to observe the Covenant in purity. You will attain goodness, truth, faith and prayer and be worthy of coming to the Land of Israel (7:3).

2) Observing the mitzvah of tzitzit, the fringes, carefully is a protection against the `advice of the serpent.' One who fulfills this mitzvah carefully will be guided only by the Tzaddikim (Ibid.). 3) Someone who lacks faith in the Sages will never know what he should do: he will always be racked with doubts and he will have no idea what course he should follow (61:1).

4) When a person follows the guidance of the Tzaddikim, it sweetens the harsh judgements, and through this he will be helped and freed from his troubles. But if he fails to follow their advice, he may well come to grief, God forbid, and the responsibility will be his alone, as it is written: `The foolishness of a man perverts his way' (Proverbs 19:3). If a person does follow the advice of the Tzaddikim, and later on things do not go well for him, he can be sure that this has been sent to him from above (143).

5) Cry from the heart and you will find true guidance. You must cry out to God from the very depths of your heart. The darkness will crack and deep counsel will be revealed. Through this your faith will be strengthened. In the end you will have perfect faith. Healing will come and great goodness will be brought into the world (II, 5:3).

Online English translation of Likutey Etzot
A compendium of Rabbi Nachman's practical teachings on spiritual growth and devotion.
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5766 / 2006