12 Cheshvan 5782 / Monday, October 18, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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Rebbe Nachman’s Promise    

Rebbe Nachman’s Promise

Rebbe Nachman promised that whoever does an hour a day of hitbodedut will enjoy longevity until he succeeds in attaining the correction of his soul...


Translated by Rabbi Lazer Brody

In Forest Fields, Part 19
A person can’t be called a baal teshuva unless he does teshuva  every single day, and real teshuva  means an hour of personal prayer that includes the confessing one’s misdeeds, asking Hashem’s forgiveness, and resolving to improve. Personal prayer not only hastens one’s individual redemption, but the overall Geula, or full redemption of our people as well. Rebbe Nachman implores us (Likutei Moharan, I:79) to avoid being an obstacle that delays the Geula. So, when we invest an hour a day to personal prayer, we actually hasten the Geula. The more people that speak to Hashem in personal prayer every day, the faster we’ll see the Geula. Not only that; the angels that are created from one’s personal prayer implant a desire within other people to seek Hashem.
Eternal promise
A person once asked me for advice how to be happy. I gave him a one-word answer – teshuva! Do an hour of personal prayer every day, and you’ll be happy. As long as a person fails to do teshuva – to return to Hashem with all his heart – he can’t be truly happy. The reason is simple; uncorrected transgressions are like lead curtains on the soul. They block Hashem’s light and make a person feel heavy, dark, and therefore worried and depressed. An hour a day of teshuva and personal prayer makes the lead curtains disappear, taking a tremendous weight off a person’s heart and soul and enabling his soul to enjoy the exquisite and sublime illumination of Hashem’s Divine light.
There are no shortcuts to an hour of personal prayer every day. One who hasn’t yet tasted the sweetness of an hour of personal prayer doesn’t yet know what real teshuva is. True teshuva means speaking with Hashem, for the Prophet said (Hoshea 14:3), “Take words with you and return to Hashem.” Rebbe Nachman of Breslev gave those fortunate people who practice daily personal prayer wonderful promises for posterity, as he wrote in a famous letter:
To my close and dear pupil,
I request that you stop for a moment and listen carefully to my words. I am speaking for you eternal benefit. Know that I had much work to do before I brought you close to me. You can understand a bit and feel the miracles that stimulated your coming close to me. And so, one of the conditions that I stipulate with those whom I draw close to me is that they don’t allow others to fool them, and that they don’t fool themselves. You’ve heard frequently and have understood that my main method and advice for attaining one’s complete soul correction and achieving what’s possible to achieve is none other than hitbodedut, that a person designate a place for himself where he can speak his heart to Hashem, and ask for all his material and spiritual needs, to confess all his misdeeds whether intentional or accidental, under duress or by free will. He should thank Hashem for all His favors, material and spiritual. I have succeeded in arranging with Hashem that any person who implements this advice with complete simplicity, stands before Hashem for an hour a day of [personal] prayer – even if at this particular point in time he experiences no spiritual arousal – even if he can’t say a single word, only that he should force himself to yearn to speak to Hashem, he shall merit everything good! There will be no severe judgment on him from Above, for with this [advice] he shall correct all three parts of his soul – nefesh, ruach, and neshama and all the [spiritual] worlds that depend on him from the time of Adam the first human until the coming of our Savior. This is solid valid truth, and I guarantee it. Signed, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev
Rebbe Nachman also promised that he arranged with Hashem that whoever does an hour a day of hitbodedut will also enjoy longevity until he succeeds in attaining the correction of his soul. Therefore, anyone who wants to enjoy length of days and the promise that he’ll enter the Garden of Eden straight away without having to be cleansed in Purgatory – as well as the other promises that we mentioned in this chapter – should do an hour of personal prayer every day with no excuses.
To be continued.

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