1) The gateway to Torah is through humility and meekness. Torah has the power to draw penitents and converts closer to God, and this is how the glory of God is exalted and magnified and the fear of God spreads throughout the world. This brings peace (14:2-5).

2) There are two kinds of peace. There is the peace `in one's bones' in oneself. This is the first priority, because at times a person has no peace in himself, as it is written: `There is no peace in my bones because of my sin' (Psalms 38:4). When a person develops genuine fear of Heaven he can attain peace within himself. Through this he is able to pray. And prayer leads to the second kind of peace universal peace, when there is peace in all the worlds (Ibid. 8).

3) The leaders of the generation, who give criticism and guidance, bring abundant peace into the world. They also make peace between Israel and their Father in Heaven (22:1).

4) As peace spreads in the world the whole world can be drawn to serve God with one accord. Because when men are at peace with each other they talk to one another and together they can think about the purpose of the world and all its vanities. People then talk to each other about the realities of life that in the final analysis, when a person dies, nothing remains of him except whatever preparations he has made for the eternal world which awaits him after death. Neither silver nor gold accompany a man after his death... When people understand this they will abandon their illusions and their idols of silver and aspire only to God and His Torah. Their only aim will be to serve God and seek out the truth. But when there is no peace in the world, and even worse when there is strife and dissension, men are not open with one another and they never discuss the purpose of life. Even when somebody is open about it his words fail to enter the hearts of other people, because people are not interested in finding out the truth, all they want is to win the argument: they are aggressive and full of hatred and jealousy. When somebody wants to win an argument his ears are not open to the truth. The main reason why most people are so far from God is because of the divisiveness and strife which are so widespread today because of our many sins (Ibid. 6).

5) Moral purity leads to peace (Ibid. 6).

6) The search for peace must be twofold: within the Jewish people as a whole and within each individual himself. Each person must resolve any conflicts which exist between the different parts of his character. He must also develop a harmonious approach to his life experiences as a whole, so that it makes no difference to him whether things are seemingly good or bad: he will always find God in everything. It is through Torah and the Tzaddikim that we can achieve this harmony. Both are called `peace,' and through them each person can feel his love for God regardless of his situation whether things are good or seemingly bad. He will also feel his love for his fellow Jew. This way peace will spread throughout the Jewish people (33).

7) To spread peace, give charity (57:6).

8) Divisiveness leads to atheism, and prevents people from praying with genuine devotion. But when men are at peace and open with each other, people can be guided away from their illusions and free themselves of their doubts and atheistic inclinations. When there is strife between people, they are not open with one another and it is impossible to speak to other people and draw them towards the truth. Even if people do talk to each other, their main concern is to win the argument, which means that neither side is open to the words of the other. Therefore true faith depends on peace (62:2).

9) The way to attain peace is through studying Torah law as set forth in the legal codes. Then you will be able to pray with all your heart (Ibid.).

10) The real meaning of peace is to fit together two opposites. So you shouldn't be disturbed when you come across someone who is the exact opposite of yourself and thinks the exact opposite.

Do not assume you will never be able to live amicably with him. And similarly if you see two people who are completely opposite types, you should not decide it is impossible to make peace between them. Quite the contrary! Perfect peace is achieved through the effort to make peace between two opposites, just as God makes peace in His high places between Fire and Water, which are two opposites. The way to achieve peace is through complete self-sacrifice to sanctify the name of God. Then it is possible to pray with genuine devotion (80).

11) God always takes into account the good that people do. It may be that something not so good was mixed up with it, but God pays no attention to this. If this is God's way, how much more so should we attempt to do the same. Never look for the bad side of other people or hunt out their shortcomings and weak points when it comes to religion. Look only for the good and always search out the merit and worth in them. You will then be at peace with everybody (II, 17).

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