New series: The English translation of the Etzot HaNachal book of advice from Rav Berland
We’re very pleased to introduce you to a new series here on RavBerland.com: an English translation of the Etzot HaNachal book, which contains snippets of advice based on Rebbe Nachman’s teachings, from Rav Eliezer Berland.
Today, we’ll start with some advice from the first chapter called:
Unity and love of our fellow
- Rav Avraham ben Rav Nachman says that in any place where you find the phrase written “famous fake leaders”, each of us should only think about himself, and to believe that he is the “famous fake leader” being spoken of.
- A person should know that whenever people are speaking of a ‘famous fake leader’, it only applies to him. Apart from him, there is no other ‘famous fake leader’. [We need to call all the other chassidim, and admorim, and apologize to them.]
- A terrible error has crept into Breslov. The Rebbe (Rabbi Nachman) never intended for this [that people in Breslov should criticize other forms of chassidut]. It’s known that each Tzaddik establishes his own form of chassidut, and that he has a group of people that he works with, to help them serve Hashem. There are all different types of chassidut. We shouldn’t speak about anyone else. We should only serve Hashem quietly.
- God forbid, Breslov isn’t about criticizing other people’s chassidut. If you are criticizing another person’s chassidut – this isn’t Breslov! This is your own ‘chassidut’ that you’ve created.
- Breslov is the opposite of this: Breslov is when a person knows that “I am the most simple Jew that there is, and the lowliest Jew. And there is a Tzaddik who can rectify the neshama (soul) at its root. But I’m just a simply Jew. I really hope that I’ll be able to last the distance, and to stick close to this Tzaddik for 120 years, because only then, maybe, he’ll really be able to fix me.”
But, this doesn’t mean that the Tzaddik just presses a button a then I’m instantly rectified, and now I can go and criticize everyone else. It means exactly the opposite.
6. Anyone who possess some extra degree of perception – maybe he prays better than average, or he guards his eyes better, or he thinks he’s holier, or better at learning, or understands better, or more deeply than others…Anyone who believes in him, and who attaches themselves to him, or follows him, he is performing the mitzvah of “come and be attached”, the positive mitzvah to become attached to our chachamim (Torah sages).