1) You should be very particular about your clothes. Never treat them carelessly, and make sure they are not stained or dirty. A person's clothes become his judges if he does not show them the respect they deserve. The greater the man the more care he must take over his garments, because the higher one's level the more scrupulously one is judged (29:3).

2) A person who fails to protect his garments from stains causes a division between the Holy One, blessed-be-He, and the Shechinah. This gives strength to the `wicked maid,' which is an expression for the forces of evil. Such a person is like a rebel against God's kingship, and therefore his whole livelihood will only come to him with great exertion and difficulty (Ibid.).

3) By making a beautiful garment for a Tzaddik the Shechinah is clothed in radiant garments, and the severe face which God shows to the world becomes sweetened (42).

4) See to it that your clothes are always in good condition. Never wear clothes that are torn. Torn clothes are an indication of weakness in the fight against evil, because the concept of clothing alludes to the mystery of the chashmal (Ezekiel 1:27) which is bound up with the idea of watchfulness (127).

5) The Evil One and the forces of the Other Side grab people by their clothes. They burden people with all kinds of worries about clothing. The trouble people have to go to for various items of clothing they need can easily become a serious distraction from religious devotion. Someone who is firm in his faith will not be concerned about this. Even if he has nothing to wear he will still do what he can to serve God to the full extent of his capability. In the end God will look down from the Heavens and see (Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom, 100).

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