We are pleased to present a recording of the class of the webinar series on Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom (Sichot Haran)
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Topic: Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom:
Sichot Haran 154 — The Secret path to righteousness
Sichot Haran 155 — BE HAPPY OR ELSE!
Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, Chapter 154
I heard that the Rebbe once said, “My achievements came mainly through simplicity. I spent much time simply conversing with G-d and reciting the Psalms.”
This is how he achieved what he did.
He said, “If I only knew that G-d would make me into the unique person that I am today, I would have accomplished in one day what took me an entire year.”
[That is, the Rebbe would have been so enthusiastic, he would have done as much in a single day as he used to do in an entire year.]
The Rebbe deeply yearned to serve G-d like the ignorant common people. He often said, “Ay! Ay! Prustick! Oh! Oh! Simplicity!”
The Rebbe also said, “I have spoken with many great Tzadikim. They all said that they attained their high level through Prustick—absolute simplicity. They would do the simplest things, secluding themselves and conversing with G-d. This is how they attained what they did. Happy are they.”
The lesson beginning “One must be very careful always to be joyful on the Sabbath” is in chapter 17 of the second part of Lekutey Moharan.
This lesson was revealed on a Friday night. The Rebbe began by asking me, “Are you joyous on the Sabbath?”
I answered, “I sometimes have religious apprehension. Ich bin amal frum.”
The Rebbe said, “This is not the way. The main thing is joy.”
The Rebbe revealed the above lesson, speaking of the importance of Sabbath joy.
This joy is fundamental.
Fear can only be elevated through such joy.
You may be stringently religious—Frum—but this is only elevated through Sabbath joy.
The Rebbe discussed this at length, lecturing us to be in a joyous mood on the Sabbath. He said that we should do everything possible to bring ourselves to such joy, as recorded in this lesson.
The Rebbe said, “All of your income is decreed from the beginning of the year. But what you spend for the Sabbath and festivals is not included in the decree. Are we not taught this? Even a simple family man can make himself happy with tasty food such as fish and good soup.”
The Rebbe then told me, “Now you have something to make you depressed.”
He had just lectured us to be joyous on the Sabbath, and I had not been worthy of such happiness. This made me even more depressed.
[The Rebbe had actually read my thoughts. As soon as he declared that we must be joyous, I began worrying because I had not attained true Sabbath joy.]
When the Rebbe said, “Now you have something to make you depressed,” it actually gave me much comfort and encouragement. For it made me realize that I should not worry about rejoicing to the point of becoming depressed.
When the Rebbe lectured me about this, I answered, “I have a very great desire to be filled with joy on the Sabbath.”
[I meant that even if I was not worthy of actual joy, I still had a great yearning for it. The Rebbe had spoken many times about the importance of desire and longing.]
The Rebbe called those around him, “Have you hear what he said? He spoke well!”
The Rebbe also told us to sing many Zemiros and other Sabbath songs. He said, “Do not pay attention to any obstacles. Others may be sitting at the table and not seem to have any desire to sing. Strengthen yourself and sing with joy. Conduct the Sabbath table in a happy mood. The main thing is Sabbath joy.”
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