Advice from the Tzaddik, continued: Achdut and Unity, Part 2
Continuing our translation of Etzot HaNahal, a compilation of advice from Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita based on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Today, we’re going to complete the section entitled: Unity (achdus) and Love of our fellow Jew.
Only see the other person’s charm
- Every Jewish person should only see the chen, the charm, of their fellow Jew. How did we actually receive the Torah? Only by way of each person seeing the grace in the other. Everyone loved each other, with a soul-deep feeling of affection. Everyone saw the other person covered in [spiritual] gems and pearls.
Every Jew is full of good deeds
- He prays; he lays tefillin; he travels to Uman; he gets up for Tikkun Chatzot and goes out to the field [to do hitbodedut] – there is no end of pearls, there is no end of diamonds in every single Jews. And now, because of some type of spiritual shortcoming, he’s going to be disqualified?!
- Even if the other person does things that aren’t good, what’s the big deal? I’m also doing really awful things myself. I also don’t guard my eyes… I also don’t sanctify my brit… I also spend the whole day long making awful spiritual blemishes – and this other person, he’s for sure doing a much better job of these things. If we’re going to go around checking the tzitzit of every other person – so by him, the blemish is obvious, but by me, it’s hidden. I know how to hide my own flaws. But really? I’m so much more blemished, spiritually, than he is, a thousand times more, until you can’t even count how much.
Praising our fellow Jews creates garments for God
- Every time we find something to praise in our fellow Jew, we dress the King in His garments of splendor. So, who cares if the ‘garment’ scratches me, a little? Or that it contains a few staples, or a few studs with sharp points that scrape me? Or maybe, it’s a very difficult type of fabric, that’s scratching me. What’s the big deal, if the garment scratches me? It’s still the garment of the King!
We should learn from everyone we meet
- We aren’t something special; we aren’t privileged. We need to love every single Jew!
- We aren’t worth more than any other person, and we aren’t more important than anyone else. Ultimately, we’re the least of the least, we are the least important. All we want to do is to learn from every single Jew.
- If you really want to be a Breslover Chassid, then you have to be prepared to learn and to receive from every single person. God forbid, that we should ever harbor a harsh judgment against any Jew! Rabbenu himself said, even if someone did the worst sins in the world, we still shouldn’t harbor harsh judgments against him.
Believe in every single Jew – even if they aren’t Breslov!
- People think that if this person isn’t a Breslover, then he’s already a rasha (evildoer). But he’s not a rasha. He’s not a Breslover, but he could still potentially be a million times more of a tzaddik than you could be. Even though you came close to the Tzaddik and he didn’t, this is none of your concern. Don’t interfere in these matters. The Rebbe wants us to believe in every single Jew, especially those who witnesses came and said ‘these are tzaddikim’, and about whom the stories of tzaddikim are told. The Rebbe wants us to believe in every person in the whole world, in every Jew in the whole world!
Hating our fellow Jew blocks God’s light
- For as long as a person sees a certain flaw in another person, he won’t be able to really see Hashem. Because every Jew is part of Hashem’s holy name, YKVK; every Jew is a holy name [of God]. If a person can see a flaw in another Jew, then he can’t see the name YKVK. Every Jew is a part of Hashem, mamash.
- A person doesn’t even feel that he hates people for nothing (sinat chinam). Rather, he feels that every harsh judgment he makes about someone else, and every time he gets angry at someone else – it’s always completely justified. He doesn’t even think for a moment that he’s committing a sin. He doesn’t even think that it’s a transgression. He doesn’t grasp the depth of the problem.
The biggest yetzer hara that a person has
- What’s the biggest yetzer hara (evil inclination) that a person possesses? It’s when instead of serving Hashem, and praying with kavana (proper intent), and doing an hour of hitbodedut, and going out to the field, and getting up for Chatzot to cry until the morning – instead he wastes his time moaning about his friend, and how his friend is bothering him, and disturbing him, and destroying him. He wants to bring the geula (redemption), and his friend is spoiling the whole effort! And so, he spends the whole day crying about these people who are bothering him. He’s already trying to be the Gadol HaDor, he wants that everyone should recognize him as the Rebbe of the redemption, that everyone should acknowledge that he’s the Gadol HaDor – but there’s just this one person who’s spoiling everything.