Do not bend!

Good day, Rav David. I recently noticed that I am a traitor… If I am with someone, I am on his side, but as soon as a third person appears who is against the one I was with – I am subconsciously already on the third persons side. Later, of course, the mind turns on, but only later I remember that this has been the case all my life. It’s not very pleasant. Could you please tell me how I can fix it?

Hi Taras!

You reminded me of an old anecdote.
The two Jews come to the rabbi’s court to sue each other.

When the first has made his statement, the rabbi says after thinking, “You know, I think you’re right.”
Then another Jew asks the rabbi to listen to him as well.
The rabbi listens intently and then says, “You know, and you are right.”
Then one of those present could no longer resist and turned to the rabbi, “But dear rabbi, how can it be that they were both right?”
The rabbi looks at him and exclaims, “It’s amazing, but you’re right!”

But now seriously.

Rabbi Nachman teaches that everyone has their own vision of truth. And this is what we learn from another person (Rabbi Nachman calls it the friend’s (truth) point).

It is no coincidence that Jewish sages are taught:
“Who is wise? The wise is the one who learns from everyone ”(Fathers’ guidance).

Several points are worth mentioning here.

Despite the fact that everyone has their own inner justice, we cannot be objective when we listen to them. Rabbi Nachman says (Likutei Moaran, 238) that when there is a dispute between two people over an issue and there is a third who supports one more than the other, it is because the one with whom he agrees is closer to his (soul).

Therefore, our likes and dislikes are to some extent predetermined and we should not worry too much about it.

Rabbi Nachman says in his conversations that this world is full of quarrels that can literally tear a person to pieces and drive him crazy [1]. This is especially true today, where advanced technologies have been developed and widely used to brainwash and deceive people.

This should be remembered and monitored.

Rabbi Nachman draws a clear line between humility before the Creator (the opposite of pride), which every person should strive for all the days of his life — and shemazl — to be willing to bow down and serve every arrogant person. It is worth mentioning here that there is nothing more contrary to the worldview of Judaism than the desire to “turn the other cheek”. Since the society that formed us was under the influence of the above-mentioned paradigm, one should be aware of it and reject it in oneself. In this sense, Chekhov’s call is to be welcomed: “The slave must be squeezed out of us drop by drop!”

A very important point. Rabbi Nachman says that the purpose of a bad impulse is not so much to make a person fall, but to prevent him from getting up. Therefore, he tends to intrusively emphasize our shortcomings, instilling in man that he will never get rid of them. That is why it is vital for us to believe in ourselves – i.e. that the Creator desires our healing and will certainly help us if we humbly and stubbornly ask for it.

The wise say that those who want to purify themselves are helped from above.

And finally, last and foremost. All of the above is almost impossible to achieve without the daily practice of itbodeduti (personal prayer – conversation with the Creator). Rav Shalom Arush dedicated separate chapters to this practice in the book “On the Edge of the Forest”, which we publish on our website.

I am sure that if itbodeduti practice becomes a definite part of your lives, it will help you to solve not only the problem mentioned above, but also many others. And, in general, only if man really strengthens his connection with the Creator of the world will he live a real and fulfilling life. I wish it to you and to myself and to all the inhabitants of our wonderful planet.

Best wishes,
David Shenkar, editor of the Breslev Israel website.

[1] The whole world is full of quarrels. It is kindled between nations and cities, it occurs in every house, between neighbors, with everyone – wife, household, servants and children…

Know that everything is one whole. A quarrel between individuals, such as between a head of household and members of a household, is similar to a quarrel between kings and nations. After all, each member of the household is isolated as a separate nation, and they fight with each other in the same way as nations. And everyone can recognize what kind of nation he represents. Everyone knows that every nation has its own mindset – this is an angry killer, that is… And this applies equally to household members.

Even if someone avoids quarrels in the pursuit of peace and quiet, she is still drawn into quarrels and war. Looking at the wars of kings and nations, we find the same. It is rare for some people to want peace and not want to fight at all; soon she would likely bow down to her neighbors and more than once. But ahe is forced to join one side or the other against her will until she is drawn into war again.

The same thing happens in private life, in domestic wars. After all, a person in himself is a small world in which the entire universe is reflected. All the more, a person together with his household – all nations are displayed in them and they are at enmity and fight with each other.

Therefore, it happens that a person who is found in the forest in solitude can be mad. The reason is that all nations are present in man. When he is left alone, the various nations imprisoned in him begin to quarrel, and, as they overcome each other, he is forced to self-identify with one or the other. Together with these reincarnations, all his ideas are turned upside down, and this can really make a person mad.

When a person is in the midst of other people, the war between nations, taking place inside a person, finds a way out, breaks out. It spreads to others, capturing all households and neighbors …

And no one thinks about the end, about the fact that every day a person dies, every day he approaches closer to death – after all, the day which is passed will not return.


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