Journal Mitzvah

Journal Mitzvah

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Tehilim Keter David, Psalm 119, Friday and together developing a direct line with HaShem




Tehilim Keter David, psalm 119


Baruch HaShem,


During the Torah studies and my connection with many friends Jews as well as Non-Jews, perceiving the needing of spreading Emunah, Bitachon in HaShem as a reminder, with Heavenly assistance and with the means of technology (Facebook, Whatsapp) I received the idea of forming a Group to read Psalm 119 every Friday and together developing a direct line with HaShem, as David Hamelech had in his psalms.


As Rebbe Nachman said us: “One’s main focus in reciting Psalms should be to find one’s own real life situation in them.” (Likutey Moharan I 282).


Our service of G-d is create a WHATSAPP group and FACEBOOK group to read Psalm 119 every Friday, keeping in mind that many other people are doing the same with Faith, Happiness, Love, Good intentions and Grateful our Father in Heaven for everything.


May it drawn down from Heaven all the good to the Jewish People, Holy Land, World Peace, and World Brotherhood between governs and people, believing that our prayers will cooperate to some extent for good and remembering that everything is in His Hands.


Next post next week, we will be able to set a time (hour) of the day for all of us to pray Psalm 119. Together with Holy One…


Thank you!


Shalom,
Gilson Sasson / Journal Mitzvah

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

HaGaon HaTzaddik HaRav Elazar Mordechai Kenig, tz "l




In absolute truth the life of a tzaddik is based on Torah lessons and constructions (students, charities and more) conducted for HaShem.


Thank you HaShem and thank you HaGaon HaTzaddik HaRav Elazar Mordechai Kenig, tz "l for the excellence that continues to bear sweet fruits of kindness.


Not just a man, an agent of G-d.


Dear friends, read this post in official website, the story itself is a great Torah lesson to you.


* Friends from Brazil, I will do a translation in Portuguese soon.



Monday, December 23, 2019

HAPPY CHANUKAH!!! level of love




May HaShem illuminate with Love each and every Jew in Israel and rest of the world. What we fail to realize for a few seconds in life is that Master of the World sees, listens to everything we are doing. What "level of love" can we give to Mashiach? How do we want to receive Anointed even though our hearts lack sincere and pure love? The very questions give the answer how far or near we are to recognize and know Mashiach.

Even if people, things don't change immediately, that's where faith keeps the boat going to its final destination.

As Rabbi Nachman says we each have a "good point," let our prayers and Torah study be for the general benefit of the Jewish People, bringing eternal Peace, shalom!

Thank G-d!

HAPPY CHANUKAH!!!
Gilson Sasson.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Jewish Art 770



Jewish Art 770

I would like to present an excellent artist Anastasia Kedrovskia, she makes paintings by Tzaddikim, the paintings are impressive with refined and expressive trait, rich in details, very good!

Anastasia Kedrovskia's skill proves she is a promising artist. Check out the samples in this post.














It can surely be beautiful paintings in your holiness home.

Please do not reproduce the images / paintings without permission of the artist, please contact the artist to purchase some of his masterpieces. Thank you!



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Friday, September 27, 2019

Have a sweet and good new year 5780




Shabbat Shalom dear friends / Shana Tova U'metuka Chaverim / Have a sweet and good new year, may you be blessed with health, happiness, wisdom and prosperity and great joy in the service of G-d.

Love and Peace “Shalom”

Gilson Sasson / Journal Mitzvah

Sunday, September 22, 2019

THE SEVEN BRANCHES OF THE MENORAH




THE SEVEN BRANCHES OF THE MENORAH

When a person is going through a crisis of faith, or even in doubt, it is very beneficial to say out loud, “I believe!” Simply expressing your faith in words is itself an act of faith, and it can take you to the true faith. Likutey Moharan II, 44

Always keep your head clear as these are the seven branches of the Menorah. Yet in all the messes and unclean things that are “set free and scattered” via Television, Newspapers, or low-level non-Jews, expressing their atheism, falsehoods and materialism, as our Sages say: Stay away, run from them, be quiet and don't get in the game to be angry, nervous or sad ... just saying, "I believe in G-d!" is our protection, otherwise there may be contamination of the evil through this openness that the person caused by not speaking holy words of Torah and prayers. “When a person faces serious difficulties in life, when he feels far from God, he must never become completely disoriented; he should think deeply about the great loving-kindness that God has shown him until then.” – The Tzetel Katan of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk.

Rav Avigdor Miller was outspoken in his battle against television, to say the least, about the corrupt culture it promoted: "Would you invite a wicked person to preach at your table?" "Throw it out the window" (His Life and His revolution). Undoubtedly an hour watching television is an hour of lost Torah study forever, an anti-Torah, anti-God act. Some things from popular culture not only weaken the faith in HaShem, but distort the truth of the Torah, especially to our dear children who are beginning to study Torah. Television is not considered a bad thing at all in this society, although the content is released by censorship as 'normal', the content is far from appropriate. Much of what we see in today's world (ugly language, sexy clothes, etc.) was promoted through television, deconstructing what is right and what is good.

The yetzer hara attack can happen anytime nowadays, very common on Facebook’s post, do not be careless, do not let yourself be touched by involvement, always be careful to keep the faith 'Emunah' and be happy with what HaShem gives you. “Strengthen yourself in faith, completely avoiding all speculation. Do not look into philosophy, but believe in HaShem with simple faith.” - Rebbe Nachman’s Soul by Rabbi Azvi Aryeh Rosenfeld Z”l.


The only truth comes from HAKADOSH BARUKH HU! Keep the Faith that all that is bad will return for good.

Praise God! Praise God from the heavens – praise Him in the lofty heights! Praise Him, all His angels – praise Him, all His hosts!Psalm 148:1-2

Shalom,
Gilson Sasson

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Noam Siach book, Part II, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Bender, zt"l






From the book Noam Siach, Part II, excerpts from lessons given by Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Bender, zt"l.

REBBE NACHMAN’S MAIN INTENTION WAS TO GIVE PEOPLE ADVICE THROUGH WHICH THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO COME CLOSER TO HASHEM.

       
The Rebbe didn’t want people to talk about the miracles that he performed. He even said: “When I do a wonder, I beg Hashem that people will forget about it.” Because that wasn’t Rebbe Nachman’s point—his main point was to bring Jews closer to Hashem, through following his holy guidance. There are a lot of stories that one could tell. Rav Avraham b’Rav Nachman says that he could have written a “whole book” about the wonders that Rebbe Nachman did, but this was not what the Rebbe wanted. He wanted people to concentrate on the guidance that he revealed, concepts that rectify the soul in this world and the next, and even after the resurrection. To follow his advice—this was what he wanted from us.

    The Rebbe used to speak very much about the love one must have for all Jews in general, and especially for one’s fellow Chassidim. The Rebbe himself had such a love for his followers. He even sacrificed the wife of his youth for them! He sacrificed his precious children, his sons, for them, and Rebbe Nachman, himself, died young because of this: so that his teachings, his life’s work, would survive. The Rebbe’s greatest success was in that he completed all that he set out to achieve. His advice was faithfully carried out, even during his lifetime, by his followers. They made one hour of hisbodedus every day. They would get up at Chatzos every night [in order to say the Tikkun Chatzos, the lament over the destruction of the Temple, which is to be said at midnight] and then pray the Morning Prayer at sunrise.

    Even by us, we have people whom, thank G–d, are following our Rebbe’s advice: getting up for Chatzos and doing a little hisbodedus. They make sure to recite Shema at the right time. Thank G–d that this is going on, and it’s all due to Rebbe Nachman. He taught that one must strive to be constantly renewing himself, praying to G–d every day that He should help him follow this holy guidance. One must beg Hashem every day, and should even go to sleep at night while doing hisbodedus. This is how one should fall asleep. One must also beg Hashem that he should be able to get up every night at Chatzos.

    “That they should be ever-new in your eyes.” This statement of the Sages applies to all of Rebbe Nachman’s advice!  It has to be like new in your eyes every day! Totally new! Every day you should ask Hashem to help you get up for Chatzosto do hisbodedus. All this has to be new in your eyes every single day. You must try your best not to pray the Shema and morning prayers late. Of course, to pray at sunrise would be the best, but if not, then at least as early as possible.

    When a person isn’t well, then he can rely on the leniencies in the Code of Jewish Law. Rebbe Nachman himself said once, “When you’re healthy, you have to do, and do, and do some more, but when you aren’t, then certain leniencies are permitted. This refers to serving Hashem in ways that are really taxing, like Chatzos, for example.  When a person isn’t well, G–d forbid, say he suffers from migraines, regarding this Rebbe Nachman’s said,  “One must guard his mind.” Similarly he told Reb Ber, “Your Chatzos will be at three in the morning.”  When a person is well, however, he’s got to do, and do, and do some more.

    Reb Nosson said, “I heard from our Rebbe that the foundation of action and good deeds is giving charity.”  This is what Rebbe Nachman’s path is all about: Torah study, prayer, and giving charity. To get up early at a time that is auspicious for prayer, and especially to be so very careful with your time not to waste it, this is what Rebbe Nachman himself is all about. Rebbe Nachman’s power is so great that he really can help with all these matters. It isn’t just that he spoke about these ideas, and that they are written in his holy book. He taught about the importance of waking up at midnight to say Tikkun Chatzos, and there are Jews who are actually doing what he said to do. For those who can’t get up, then at least they can pray to Hashem to help them get up, and perhaps they will manage to get up a few times a week.  At least we know that there is such a thing. One must speak out loud to Hashem, and long for it and really struggle to get there. 

    His constantly encouraging people to serve Hashem and the love that he felt for the whole world was what gave Rebbe Nachman life. Our Rebbe loved other Jews so much that he always judged everyone favorably. There have never been such words of encouragement: “Gevaldt! Don’t despair! Never give up!”  He said one time, “I have people by me…the deepest pit in hell wouldn’t be sufficient for them, they would dig down deeper if they could.” 

    Our Rebbe never pushed anyone away.  By him, there was no such thing as a hopeless case. There were “bible critics”—so called “enlightened Jews,” living in Uman, that no one in the religious community could even look at! The Berditchever Rav once spent a Shabbos in Uman. Those “critics” came to him and he wouldn’t even look at their faces. He applied to them the advice of the Sages, “It is forbidden to gaze at the face of a wicked person!” The Shepetevker Rav also spent a Shabbos in Uman once, and the same thing happened. 

    (Note: Incidentally, the holy Baal Shem Tov also spent a Shabbos in Uman. He spoke with Rav David Chazan and said to him, “Many Jews will be saved by your gartel.” This Rav David was a great, and very hidden, Tzaddik. He had a cave in Uman where he often went to do hisbodedus for days at a time. Apparently, this is what the Baal Shem Tov was referring to when he said, “Many Jews will be saved by your gartel, (belt).”  This cave was very deep and ran from the small bridge near the old cemetery on which they used to carry the dead (which was called the “dead bridge”) until the great woods. It was during the bloody pogroms led by the murderer Gunta and the Haidemacks, may their names be erased, on the sixth of Tammuz 5528 (1768) that Rav David hid together with many other Jews in that cave, and no one knew that they were there. The massacre went on for a couple of days, from the sixth until the eighth of Tammuz, and all the Jews in Uman—men, women, and children—were murdered. Rav David and the others heard the horrible screaming, and when the noise stopped, they left the cave. There was a river of blood before their eyes, with severed limbs lying everywhere on the ground. They acted quickly and dug two mass graves where they buried all the martyrs, and because there were so many corpses, the two pits became like two small hills. Rebbe Nachman chose the spot between the two mounds for his grave. This Rav David was the one who wrote the famous scroll, “The Scroll of Uman” which begins with, “And David lamented...”  It was customary to read this scroll in the great synagogue of Uman every year on one of the days in Tammuz when the massacre occurred. They also read this scroll several times in our Kloiz in Uman.) 

    The point is that everyone had been there. So what? They, the “critics,” ran the town of Uman. They had some influence with the Czar, so much so that one of them, Hirsch Ber, even received a gift from the Czar of a golden sword. They were very well educated and the Czar thought a great deal of them. The Czar felt enriched by having such people in his land, such wise people, so, naturally, their opinions counted for something. When some Rebbe came to the town, if they didn’t approve, this Rebbe would not have been able to continue living there.

   Rebbe Nachman didn’t flatter them, either. When our Rebbe traveled from Zlatipola to Breslov, the road passed through Uman. (We are familiar with this road. It used to pass through Uman, Kiblitch, Teplik, Ladizhen…until it reached Breslov.)  It was then that Rebbe Nachman stopped in Uman.

    The Rebbe saw a hidden Tzaddik there, he was the kosher slaughterer in Uman. As soon as Rebbe Nachman entered the town, this hidden Tzaddik could sense who he was.  He ran to the Rebbe straight away. All this happened in Elul, before Rosh Hashanah, because we know that Rebbe Nachman entered Zlatipola in Elul and also left in Elul of the following year. The Rebbe said to this shochet, “My whole purpose, my essence, is Rosh Hashanah!”  The shochet then asked Rebbe Nachman for permission to travel to Breslov by using a holy Name since he was a kosher slaughterer and there were several days of work to be done right before Rosh Hashanah.  The one hundred kilometer trip from Uman to Breslov would take ten to twelve hours to travel, and he wanted that the Rebbe should grant him permission to finish the slaughtering for those who needed it.  (By using a Name, he would have a miraculously short journey and reach Breslov in only a few minutes.) Rebbe Nachman answered, “No! People have to travel to me by horse, not by Names.”

    In any case, the Rebbe was in Uman for Shabbos and stayed at the home of Rav Avraham Chayim who had an inn. Afterward, Reb Avraham Chayim became a follower of Rebbe Nachman, together with his son, Reb Moshe.

    On the very Shabbos that Rebbe Nachman spent in Uman, a prominent general was staying in the house across the way from Reb Avraham Chayim’s. Those “critics” heard that some Rebbe had come to Uman, so they wanted to see him. Without their permission, he would never be able to stay anyway. The “critics” were a father and two sons-in-law. The father’s name was Chaikel and the two sons-in-law were Hirsch Ber and Landau, a doctor. The two sons said to their father-in-law, “We’re going to rest a bit. You go and see if there is anyone there worth talking to. If so, we will go and visit him later.”

    Chaikel went in to see Rebbe Nachman. The Rebbe asked him what he wanted. Chaikel answered, “I heard that a great man has arrived. I’ve come to see him.” The Rebbe said to him, “There, across the way, is another great man.”  He pointed to the general’s lodgings. “Why don’t you go and see him as well?”  It was as though Rebbe Nachman had given him a slap in the face. That was the end of the conversation.
    So Chaikel returned, and they asked him what had happened. He answered, “Well he didn’t exactly treat me with respect, but I can see that there is someone there to talk to.” So, they themselves went to see the Rebbe. When they went in to see him, he was in the middle of a giving a talk to his followers. Immediately as the two entered, he interrupted what he was saying and started to discuss a complex mathematical problem. They realized that he was talking to them, so they asked him how to solve the problem. The Rebbe solved the problem for them and they were astounded. They could see, “This really is someone…a totally different type of person.”

   Right after this, Rebbe Nachman traveled on to Breslov, but they already had a great longing for him. Several letters went back and forth between them. Later, when Rebbe Nachman moved to Uman permanently, they were already on the way to becoming his followers. They were very distant from Yiddishkeit. Hirsch Ber was one of the greatest Maskilim of the time, truly a manifestation of  “the serpent’s forehead” (skeptical heresy, see Likutei Moharan, Tinyana 4). He once said, “I swore long ago to never so much as mention G–d’s Name, but whenever I go in to see Rebbe Nachman, I feel as if he is tugging at the corner of my coat saying, ‘Hirsch Ber! There is a G–d in the world! There is a G–d in the world!’” The end of the story is that Hirsch Ber traveled to London, where he died and was buried. His grandsons wrote to Reb Nachman of Tulchin and asked him to explain to them what a “Rebbe” is.  As their grandfather was dying, and his soul departing, he was heard uttering the words, “The Rebbe! The Rebbe! The Rebbe!…Only the Rebbe, the Rebbe!”  Thus, they wanted Reb Nachman to write back and explain what a “Rebbe” is. From this we can see that he truly did repent.

    We see from here that Rebbe Nachman’s whole point, even though he was a great and awesome holy sage, was to set everything aside and conduct himself with total straightforwardness and simplicity in order to bring Jews back to Hashem: to bring them back to the old, time-tested, path. The truth is that his path to Hashem was really the original one; it is the path that all the ancient Tzaddikim walked. People wanted to make slight alterations, but the Rebbe would not allow even that. “This path is the old path, and it also has to be the new path. And it will endure.” Rebbe Nachman said further, “There won’t be any difference between the guidance I give and that which Moshiach will give. It’s just that they will listen to Moshiach, whereas, to me they do not.”  Moshiach will give the same guidance, he will say that a Jew has to wake up for Chatzos and that a Jew must pray at the proper time.  This is Rebbe Nachman’s whole enterprise, to put new life into this path, so that it should not go lost.

    This is what is written in the holy Zohar: “Since the Temple was destroyed, Hashem has nothing to comfort Him. He cannot be comforted, except through the efforts of those Jews who get up for Chatzos and mourn the destruction of the Temple. That is His comfort!” That is how Hashem comforts Himself, with those Jews that do this. Without them, there is no comfort at all. See how there have been so many Tzaddikim, with all their service of G–d. Even so, He has no comfort unless he sees a Jew feeling the loss of the Temple, feeling that he is lacking something in his life, without the Temple.

    A person can be so learned and still not feel that he is missing the Temple!  He is prepared to dedicate so much time to his learning, but to beg Hashem to rebuild the Temple, this he doesn’t have time for!

    In Uman there lived Nochum Shuster who was originally from Lomza, a small town full of great Torah scholars including Rav Mordechai, the Rav of Sokolov, and also Rav Shlomo Gavriel. Many young scholars would go to Lomza to learn. Reb Nochum Shuster was an ignoramus; he didn’t even know how to pray. He was literally a total ignoramus. He used to go to the Beis Medresh at midnight and cry in the corner, while saying “Tikkun Chatzos.”  People used to laugh at him: he couldn’t even read, and he was saying “Tikkun Chatzos!” They would make fun of him, “Nochum, what are you saying?” He would answer, “I’ll tell you. You are all great scholars, and you have your learning, so you don’t feel anything lacking in your lives, that we don’t have our Temple, but me, I’m a simple person.  I don’t know how to learn, so I truly miss the Temple!  This is why I’m begging Hashem to rebuild it as soon as possible.” So said this simple Jew! This young man answered them very well.  They understood what he was saying, and those famous scholars, the Rav of Sokolov and other great scholars like him, became Breslover Chassidim because of Nochum Shuster. 

    A person can sometimes say something that is so true that it penetrates to the depths of his friend’s heart. This Nochum would say, “They don’t even realize that the Temple is gone! What’s missing? He’s such a scholar; he learns. So, that’s it, he already has his Temple.”

    When it comes to Rebbe Nachman’s teachings, even the smallest flame can ignite a massive tree trunk. Such a small flame as Nochum Shuster brought such great people closer to Rebbe Nachman. Why? It wasn’t because Nochum Shuster had some special ability; it was only because Rebbe Nachman’s power was within him. He was a very naive, simple, person: a very good, simple, Jew, and Rebbe Nachman spoke through him. That’s how it is with our Rebbe. As it says in the second chapter of Iyov, “The small and the great are there.”  Who is really great, and who is really small?  We’ll only know there, (in the next world)!  Here, someone can be a scholar, a genius, and over there, some little Jew is sitting in the corner crying before Hashem. Who is the great one and who is the small one? Only there will we find out…

    There is such truth to be found with Rebbe Nachman, such simple purity to be found by our Rebbe, without any conceit at all. Just, “Be a simple person, get up at night, be careful to pray at the earliest time. Stand in a corner and pour your heart out to Hashem.”  If you do so, then “Happy are you, and good is your lot.” You will be living the life of the next world in this world! 

    This is what Rebbe Nachman wanted during his lifetime, and that is what he wants now. And, thank G–d, our Rebbe is successful! Our Rebbe is very successful in this! It really ought to be so much more the case, but still, the Rebbe is succeeding. As he himself says, “The main completion of person is that after he is gone, something of him should remain. That after he passes, something remains!” It isn’t completion when the Tzaddik is only in the upper world. He needs to be above and below—he has to be down here too! How can he also be here? When there are Jews here, in this world, who follow his advice—then he is also down here!

    It is already so many years after Rebbe Nachman’s passing, one hundred and seventy-two years, and even so, there are still people who are getting up at night to do a little hisbodedus, and are careful to recite Shema at the right time. This is a sign of Rebbe Nachman’s power. This is what he wanted, and, thank G–d, this is what he has! Hashem should only help that his teachings will grow and spread as much as possible, that we, ourselves, should grow and continue in the most beautiful way, and that more people should join in and follow this path.

    Rebbe Nachman judged everyone favorably; he was a great lover of the Jewish people, of every single Jew. He wouldn’t let anyone give up hope. “Don’t despair!” He used to say, “The deepest pit in hell wouldn’t be sufficient for some of the people who have come close to me.” They do come close, and they become truly human, and they are taken out.

    (Someone asked, “When did Reb Moshe Tzaddok’s come close to Breslov?”) Moshe Tzaddok’s came close to Breslov when the activities of the marauding bands had stopped. That period lasted three or four years. When Czar Nikolai was assassinated in 1917, there were many Czars. There were new Czars all the time. Anyway, after the Great War was over, something different happened. Whenever there had been a war before, after it was over, every soldier had to return his weapons to the government.  If he didn’t, they would arrest him. But after W.W.I, there was no real Czar. Everyone just took his weapons and went home. That was where all the  bands came from. They killed Jews, and the killing lasted for three or four years. It was terrible: they just killed and killed; so many Jews.

    They said about Moshe Tzaddok’s…I don’t know—we’re talking here about someone whose repentance was like coming back from the dead.  People said that he had joined up with these bands, that this unfortunate man had become one of them, may Hashem have mercy. Afterward, once the Communists were in, everything quietened down. It was better for the Jews after they took over. G–d have mercy, they had their heresy, but in physical terms, they were more prudent. The communists executed all the members of these bands. When they found out that Moshe Tzaddok’s had been one of them, they were out to get him. It was a real miracle that he escaped and that the Communists didn’t kill him.

    In the meantime, his father had passed away. His name was Tzaddok, and he was a little Jew, a wagon driver. So Moshe Tzaddok’s came to our Kloiz to say Kaddish. No synagogue would even let him in, so he went to the Breslov synagogue because they don’t throw anyone out of there. He said Kaddish, but didn’t put on tefillin and started to go on his way. Yankel Zhitomir approached him and said, “Moshe! You’re saying Kaddish, you might as well put on tefillin too!” He answered, “Nu. So give me tefillin.”  He put on tefillin, and then immediately went on his way.

   Moshe Tzaddok’s later became such a ba’al teshuva.  It was incredible!  I remember, in Uman, when they took away the synagogue and there was no other mikveh. I said to him, “Moshe, you know what you have done! The repair for the spiritual damage you did will be… to build a mikveh. Build a mikveh in your house.” He was a wagon driver and had a big stable full of horses. “Make a mikveh there, and that will be your tikkun [fixing]!” He made a mikveh. He had to dig more than fifty steps deep under that stable until he struck water.  We used to go to use that mikveh. It couldn’t be heated because it was so deep down. What’s more, if smoke would escape, they would know about it, and someone might tell the authorities. This was the only mikveh in Uman. (It is well known that observing the laws of family purity at that time was done at great personal danger.) The mikveh was so cold, and you had to go down fifty steps to get there. It was dark, and cold…Gevaldt, that mikveh was real self-sacrifice! They even told on us. This is what happened: there was a cover above the mikveh, and there was straw on the cover, and the horses stood on the straw. The Communists came to visit Reb Moshe Tzaddok’s and asked, “Why do you have a mikveh?” He replied, “Do you see one?” They went in, saw only a stable, and they left. He kept that mikveh for years. Every immersion was in his merit. He did the most complete teshuva possible!  Before, he had been one of them, but he repented, and made it possible for new generations of Jews to come into existence. He became a ba’al teshuva, and he also had a decent livelihood. During the hungry years, he gave us food to eat. Rav Avraham Sternhartz used to go in to eat a meal at Moshe Tzaddok’s home every time he went to Rebbe Nachman’s grave. Moshe lived near the grave site, down below, and he used to go to him regularly to eat. All of us used to go to him regularly, and he would feed us well. He had a decent livelihood, his kashrus was le’mehadrin, and his house was too. When he came away from Rebbe Nachman’s grave, his eyes would always be swollen. He would just pour out his heart and cry before our Rebbe. If you had seen him, you would have thought that he was some Rebbe with his beard and peyos and tear-stained face.

    This was Rebbe Nachman’s power: to take a person like Reb Moshe Tzaddok’s who had done such terrible things and, thank G–d, make him into what he became! It was not just he alone, but afterwards he built a Jewish home and had a family which was raised in holiness. He fulfilled all the mitzvos; his hospitality was incredible. He was a wagon driver for the non-Jews too. Thank G–d, he had a house with furnishings and there was what to eat there. Ah, he was so hospitable!  Everyone would always go into his house. “Moshe, is there anything to eat?”  Everyone would eat well. Moshe Tzaddok’s. The poor fellow, was finished off by Hitler, may his name be erased. One could say of him just what the Gemara says about Yoav ben Tzruya: his house was open to the poor, and made free to all, like the wilderness. He gave food to Jews.
    What is the connection to what we are speaking about here? It is that we should know that we have such a great Rebbe who loves the Jewish people: a merciful leader who only asks from us, “Listen to me! Do what I ask of you! I’m not telling you to do anything so difficult.” Is this too hard? The night is so long; one can get up and do such good things during that time. Chatzos lasts for two hours. The Rebbe says that Chatzos begins six hours and twenty minutes after the stars come out, and it lasts for two hours. For those two hours, you have to be awake, doing good things, and this can draw you so much closer to Hashem. This is a fundamental  practice of Judaism! Talk a little to Hashem, and make sure to recite Shema at the right time. Pray at the right times and give a lot of charity—then you can experience Gan Eden in this world. This is Gan Eden in this world, and this is the Rebbe! This is what the Rebbe wants! He doesn’t want anything else from you, he doesn’t want you to tell wondrous stories about him. This is not the point of our Rebbe! The biggest miracle is when you take a person the way he is, and he becomes a ba’al teshuva. That’s a miracle. 

    We see that the holy writings of the Baal Shem Tov, of the Mezritcher Maggid, and all of the books of all the holy Tzaddikim speak about Chatzos. All of them speak about Chatzos and hisbodedus—this is the path of the holy Baal Shem Tov, and all of them speak about making sure to recite Shema at the proper time. Rav Tzvi Hirsch of Ziditchov, one of the later Chassidic masters, speaks about Chatzos, with words of fire. When he speaks about the time for prayer and reciting Shema, his words are like fire, fiery words. He was already one of the later ones, fifty years later. He passed away much later. When you look in his work “Sur Mei’Ra”, you see how on fire he was: on fire about Chatzos and on fire about hisbodedus.

    We have to thank Hashem that we don’t take the words of our Rebbe lightly. That on the contrary, his words are important to us. We must see to it that we really do fulfill his holy words of advice. That each of us should say to the other—be strong! We must constantly encourage one another!

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