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Advice froom the book+introduction

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Translator"s Introduction

   The Midrash tells us that Moses explained the Torah in the seventy languages of the world (See Rashi on Deuteronomy 1:5). On the other hand, the Sages said that when the seventy-two elders translated the Torah into Greek in the days of King Ptolemy, three days of darkness came into the world (Megillah 9a). Translation of Torah is both necessary and dangerous. It is necessary, because the goal of the Creation is that the radiance of Torah should spread everywhere, even to those who do not understand the Holy Tongue. But the danger is that its very radiance will be distorted when expressed in alien languages. The Holy Tongue was the vessel fashioned to contain the light of Torah; no other language is so perfectly designed. The aim of this translation is to help to make Rabbi Nachman"s teachings accessible to English-speaking readers who cannot readily turn to the original Hebrew texts. Likutey Etzot (Advice) is first and foremost concerned with practical guidance and advice. Advice is therefore not intended as a scholarly translation aiming at the faithful reproduction of every nuance of the original with laborious precision. Such a work would most likely be burdensome for many readers. Nor is this translation offered as a 'crib" ? a literal translation serving to help the student of Hebrew puzzle out the meaning of the original text. This would have been equally difficult to read, and far from attractive to the general reader. The depth and richness of Rabbi Nachman"s teachings called for more explanation than would normally be offered in a literal translation. And there are certain aspects of the style of the compiler of Likutey Etzot (each of whose paragraphs is a re+sume+ of a corresponding passage in Rabbi Nachman"s own writings) which do not lend themselves to direct translation in English. Advice is accordingly a free rendition, which at times expands on the original and at times contracts it. I have tried to convey all the relevant ideas in the original Hebrew text fully and accurately. But I have tried to do so in an English that would be readable and not stilted, in order to avoid stylistic obscurities which could easily become a barrier between the reader and the original idea. I have aimed to convey the ideas and also the spirit of the original, even if it meant altering the sequence of words and sentences. I hope that this translation will make it easier for my fellow Jews in the English-speaking world to become familiar with Rabbi Nachman"s teachings and to follow his guidance in pursuit of their own spiritual fulfillment and the ultimate perfection of the world. ''For the main thing is not learning, but doing"" (Avoth 1:17). Rabbi Nachman"s teachings are applicable to the entire range of Torah and to Jews in all places and at all times. As a compendium of Rabbi Nachman"s practical guidance, Likutey Etzot amounts to a handbook to the life of the Jew. Advice is not a book to read through at one go and then leave aside. To attempt to do so could be overwhelming and confusing. It is a book to work with steadily and persistently. One aspect of the spiritual work that is necessary is to work with the concepts presented in the book themselves. Each individual must make an effort to deepen his understanding of these concepts step by step in order to realize them in his own life. What is the fear of heaven? What is the love of God? What is it to know and perceive God? etc. What is his personal understanding of these and other Torah concepts? Is it a true and full understanding, or does he have misconceptions about what they mean? He must identify his misconceptions and discard them, seeking out more authentic meanings and making the effort to live these concepts in practice. I have become especially aware of the importance of this task because of the challenge posed by translating Likutey Etzot to find suitable English words with which to convey the concepts of the original Hebrew. I do not believe that there are ever precise equivalents in English which fully express everything contained in the Hebrew. Not only this, but I believe that even the English words which seem to be the most obvious candidates to translate particular Hebrew words can often be profoundly misleading. Whenever a Jew has been exposed to and absorbed cultural traditions other than Torah, it is perhaps an aspect of his personal galut, exile, that he is confronted by an almost unbridgeable gulf between Lashon Hakodesh, the Holy Tongue, and the language and traditions which he has imbibed. No translation could ever adequately bridge this gap. The concepts of Torah are inseparable from the words of the Holy Tongue which convey them. Each word and phrase ? and therefore each concept ? of the Holy Tongue has a unique character of its own, as can be shown by analyzing the mathematical properties of the word, its relationship with other words as they appear in various places in the sacred literature, etc. Each word and phrase is rich in echoes and overtones from the Bible, the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Kabbalistic writings, etc. Part of the greatness of Rabbi Nachman is to uncover whole treasure-houses of richness in the Holy Tongue. The languages of the nations are not merely collections of words and phrases, each one corresponding exactly to words and phrases of the Holy Tongue. Each language is inextricably bound up with the culture and world-view of those who speak it. The language both reflects and conditions that culture and world-view. It would be simplistic to assert that there is a single unified culture and world-view prevailing over the entire English-speaking world. After all, this is the age of the ideological free-for-all which sociologists have grandiloquently called pluralism. The fact remains that in many cases the English words which seem to be the nearest equivalents of certain Hebrew concepts in fact carry quite different connotations as a result of the cultural influences dominant in the English-speaking world. There are whole modes of Torah thinking which cannot be readily expressed in English. At times the very structure of the English language seems geared against accommodating certain central concepts and ways of viewing things which seem obvious and simple in Hebrew. To give some examples: in searching for a way of translating the word yir"ah, it might seem that the most obvious English word to use would be ''fear"" ? and indeed this is the word most frequently used. But when the concept is yir"at shamayim, there is a terrible inadequacy about ''fear of heaven."" It turns the relationship with the Creator into a painful, anxiety-ridden experience and easily awakens thoughts of hellfire and brimstone which may have a place in other traditions but not in Judaism. The dangers implicit in such a translation are obvious: tell it to a child and you risk distorting his spiritual life for years. And once it is distorted, the only solution is for him to become aware of the distortion and refine his thinking later on. Another word which could be used for yir"ah is ''awe."" But it is also not satisfactory, besides its not being widely used in current English. There are no other obvious alternatives. Do you give extensive explanations every time the word yir"ah appears and end up with an intolerably cumbersome translation? Another example is the concept of zechut. Hebrew speaks of a person being zocheh to have a certain experience or attain a certain level. To speak in English of his ''succeeding"" in having that experience or attaining the level in question gives all the credit to the individual without bringing out the fact that he received Divine help to do so because of his spiritual merit. To speak of his ''being helped"" would ignore the element of hard work on his part. To say that he ''is worthy"" of the achievement or ''merits it"" may convey the idea  a little better, but they are hardly colloquial English. A far more extensive problem arises with regard to the whole system of concepts concerned with the destiny of the Creation and man within it ? a system which is the core of the Torah view of things. Among the central concepts of this system are Malkhut, Malkhut deSitra Achra, kelipot, tikkun, hitgaluth, kavod, le-ha-aloth le-shoresh, etc., etc. Simple and obvious as these concepts are in Hebrew, there are no straightforward ways of expressing them in English except with cumbersome locutions and extensive explanations. The lack of simple English words and phrases with which to translate them, points to a general lack in this age of scientific materialism, to resolve the evil within and to elevate itself to its source in God. Finding the best word to translate the concept in question is a problem confronting any translator. But it is a problem which is greatly compounded when trying to translate a religious work into English that will be acceptable to the late twentieth century reader. Even after making the necessary compromise of translating yir"ah by ''fear,"" teshuva by ''repentance,"" kavod by ''glory"" or ''honor"" etc., there is still the problem that these words and others like them included in the religious and spiritual vocabulary of English are very likely to have unfavorable connotations in the minds of certain readers because of the cultural shifts of the past sixty years or more. The decadence of English culture has given rise to a widespread cynicism which sees piety as prissiness, goodness as do-goodery and the ''straight and narrow path"" as archaic and irrelevant. Almost the entire range of traditional religious and spiritual language has been poisoned by the accretion of unfavorable connotations which makes it impossible to use them simply and directly without alienating the reader. It is a sad pointer to the spiritual barrenness of contemporary culture that there are no generally acceptable alternatives. It might be desirable to forge a new religious and spiritual vocabulary in English, and of course many writers and thinkers have tried. But no such vocabulary is used universally at present. To develop one"s own would be to speak in a language which no one else understands. The words and phrases I have chosen in this translation inevitably represent a makeshift solution. There could never be a precise translation. My hope is that Advice is less rather than more inexact! I have set out the problems at length in order to make the reader aware of them and to encourage him to work through the text critically: critical of the translation itself ? he should know that there is far more beneath the surface than it has been possible to convey in English ? and critical of his own conceptions and the inadequacies inherent in them. He must work on his spiritual concepts and discuss them with others in order to separate truth from falsehood and fashion kelim ? vessels ? to receive the light of holiness. I am all too aware of the deficiencies of this translation, and I am apprehensive that certain parts of it will mislead. I can only pray that no one will stumble because of its shortcomings. I am convinced that the way to advance is to follow the Rebbe"s words with simplicity and purity without sophistication. In the merit of the strength of the Tzaddik may we be worthy of witnessing the coming of Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple speedily in our days. Amen.    Introduction to Likutey Etzot and the Kitzur Likutey Moharan   This volume is an abridged selection of the practical guidance contained in Likutey Moharan, which is a collection of the pure and holy teachings of our great and sainted teacher, the concealed light, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, may his memory be for a blessing. He himself instructed me to prepare this book because the underlying purpose of all the awesome teachings which he revealed to the chosen people was action. ''For the main thing is not learning but doing"" (Avoth 1:17). This was clear to all who were privileged to take refuge in the shade of his holiness. His whole longing and desire was to lead men to the ways of righteousness in practice: to open the eyes of the blind and let those who were bound, go upright; to say to the captives, go free (paraphrase of Isaiah 43). To come to those imprisioned by desire and trapped in the net of the vanities of this world and teach them the path they should travel and the actions they should follow ? ''which, if a man will do them, he will live through them"" (Leviticus 18:5)...live the life of eternity! This was his intention in all his tales, his conversations, his stories and the advice he gave to individuals. This was his only purpose. This was why he instructed me to collect from his discourses an abridged version of anything which had relevance to practical action and prepare a separate book, in order that we should be worthy of observing, practicing and fulfilling everything that came from his lips. All of his discourses and teachings possess immeasurable breadth and profundity. They are filled with remarkable guidance about how to lead an upright life. There is no wise counsel in the world that is not contained within the words of our holy teacher. They possess a universalism that is incomparable. Anyone who applies himself to his words with intelligence will be able to draw from them sound guidance and wise counsel for everything he needs. Whatever his soul requires, he will lack nothing in the words of the Rebbe, which are deeper and wider than the sea. But no two faces are alike. Not everyone is able to search by himself and find what he needs. For this reason we shall set forth here the bulk of the practical advice which emerges from the teachings of the Rebbe. We will concern ourselves with the simple meaning of the words... Then anyone who wishes to add to our selection should come forward and do so. For one who attains perfect wisdom can find many more things like this in each discourse contained in the larger book. The words of the book are deep indeed, and every discourse includes many different subjects, explanations etc., as well as being filled with guidance, advice and encouragement in devotion to God. The larger part of the contents of this volume were examined by the Rebbe and found favor in his eyes.  Guidance in a World of Uncertainty Excerpts from Likutey Halakhot, Yoreh Deah, Hilkhoth M"onen U"Menachesh 3. By Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov.  Why are people superstitious? Why do they try to use magic and sorcery to find out what course of action they ought to follow? The reason is because by themselves they have no idea at all what they should do. They find themselves faced by a situation which demands that they make a choice ? to do this or that. And because of their uncertainty they resort to superstition. ''a deer stopped me!"" ''The piece of bread I was eating dropped from my mouth!"" ''A bad sign,"" they say. ''Better not go through with the business deal!"" ''Will such-and-such a day be a lucky day to start on a certain venture?"" (Sanhedrin 65b; Rashi on Leviticus 20:8). This kind of mentality is sheer folly. No one will ever find genuine guidance this way. The anguish of choice and doubt is an inescapable feature of this world, filled as it is with all the diversity of the lights and shades and seeming contradictions that God has created in it. But there is a realm which transcends Creation. Here all is unity, and all is good. In this realm, guidance and advice have no relevance. They are only needed when there are two paths and we do not know, which one to choose, how to behave, what to do. It is only in the realm of the created that guidance and advice are necessary, because here we are never clear where each thing leads to. If we were, we would never have any doubts at all what to do. For example: a businessman is in doubt whether to invest in one kind of merchandise or another. His whole reason for trading is because he has a particular aim in view: to make a profit,  and this in order to make a living for himself. Any doubts he has about which kind of merchandise he should buy come only because he does not know which of them will give him the best profit. The merchandise itself is of no interest to him. He has no need for the yarn, the wax, or whatever it may be in themselves. All his doubts and uncertainties are concerned, only, with how to make the most money. That is his goal. Our ignorance of where things will lead is what makes for all the doubts and uncertainties in this world. No one knows what advice he should follow for the sake of his soul. But if you look to the ultimate purpose of things, if you are truthful and honest and your only aim in whatever you encounter is to achieve this ultimate goal, then you will find perfect counsel. Indeed your path will become increasingly clear, because the ultimate goal is one. It is a unity which is wholly good. Here there is no need for doubts or guidance at all. The goal is the joy of the World to Come: to acknowledge God and to know Him. It is true that there are many different paths of devotion which can lead a person to God. Many times King David pleaded with God to ''guide me to walk Your path in truth,"" ''lead me with Your counsel,"" ''guide me in truth and teach me,"" and so on. But the main thing is that your intentions should be pure, because ''God desires the heart."" If your intentions are truly directed towards God in everything that you do, then no matter what you do or what path you follow, it will bring you to the ultimate goal. The only condition is that you must never turn aside from the words of the Torah. ''In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."" (Proverbs 3:6). ''In all your ways acknowledge Him"" ? whatever you do, let your intention be directed towards God, who is the ultimate goal. And then ''He will direct your paths"" ? God will guide you along the paths of righteousness and send you counsel, and then you will know how you should behave. The only way to find genuine guidance is by turning to the ultimate goal, which is to know and perceive God. God is, as it were, the fountain and source of all the guidance in the world. In the sphere of the ultimate goal of unity and goodness there is only one counsel. All individual pieces of genuine advice and guidance derive the truth they possess from this realm. In the created world in which we live, the only way to find the right path is to bind the world, with all its diversity and uncertainty, to the realm which transcends Creation. Bind every detail and situation in this world to God. Let your only purpose be to achieve the ultimate goal. Let all your actions be for the sake of Heaven. In the sphere of the ultimate goal on which you set your eyes you will find the counsel you need to guide you through this world. But someone who fails to bind this world to the World to Come and pays no attention to the ultimate goal will never know what he should do. Having cut this world off from the only purpose which gives it any sense, he must always be divided in his mind and he will never know how to act. Ours is a world of separation and plurality. Nothing is ever really clear in this world. Someone who ignores the ultimate goal will never have any sense of direction. There is nothing at all to guide him because his aim is not to achieve the ultimate goal for the sake of Heaven. No matter which way he goes, it will be no good for him. Take the example of the businessman who doesn"t know which merchandise will be the more profitable. If his purpose is not in some way for the sake of Heaven, be it to use the profits for charity, to sustain himself while studying Torah, or to devote them to other mitzvoth...if his purpose is purely material, then even if he does make a profit it will still be no good for him. His days will be filled with worry, tension and anxiety. And in the end he will go naked to the grave, just as he came into the world. What pleasure will he have then from all the profits he labored for? Neither silver nor gold nor jewels nor pearls accompany man in the grave (Avoth 6). Only his Torah and good deeds go with him. Regardless of the course this person follows in his lifetime nothing will help him. But when a person"s whole aim is centered on the ultimate goal, then it makes no difference what path he follows, because everything will always be for the best. As the Sages said: ''Whether one does a lot or a little, what counts is that one"s heart should be directed towards Heaven"" (Berachot 17a). By binding this created world to the realm beyond Creation, one will find guidance from the fountain of all counsel. For the essence of all guidance is to lead us to attain the ultimate goal. This ultimate goal is therefore the source and the root of all true guidance. Each one of the six hundred and thirteen commandments of the Torah is called ''counsel"". Moses bound himself to God so completely that he was worthy of apprehending the ultimate goal. Through this he could receive the entire Torah with its six hundred and thirteen rules of holy counsel. But of the heathen nations, who were not worthy of receiving the Torah, it is said: ''Take counsel together and it shall be brought to naught"" (Isaiah 8:10). ''The Lord bringeth the counsel of the nations to naught"" (Psalms 33:10). They are bereft of guidance or direction because they are bound up with this world and they have no regard for the ultimate goal. This is why they are entangled in the foolishness of their superstitions and divination. Being tied to this world they try to find guidance in signs and signals from material objects. ''A deer crossed my path,"" ''The bread fell from my mouth,"" ''It"s a lucky day to start"". They rely upon things bound by space, time and physicality because they are absorbed in the material desires of this world. They have severed this world of diversity and doubt from the transcendent realm which alone gives it meaning. Therefore they must seek advice from their idols. This was precisely what the cunning serpent in the Garden of Eden suggested. He tricked man into eating from the Tree of Knowledge because ''the tree was good for food... and was to be desired to make one wise"" (Genesis 3:6). He said to them ''Eat from this tree and create the world"" (Bereshith Rabbah loc. cit.). He thereby turned things upside down. The real task is to bind this created world to the realm beyond Creation, and this we do through faith, which is the foundation of the whole Torah. By believing that God Almighty created everything, we bind the whole Creation to that which is beyond Creation, namely God. But on the advice of the serpent who said ''Eat from this tree and create,"" the heathen nations have turned things upside down. They have made the created, material world the foundation of everything. The sorcerer and the diviner try to find guidance by using material objects. But the truth is that there is no guidance to be found from this physical world, only through binding it to the ultimate goal, which is beyond Creation.  This explains why the Torah concludes its warnings against sorcery and divination with the words: ''Be whole with the Lord your God."" Unless one binds the created world with the realm which transcends Creation, one can never attain wholeness or perfection. The only perfection is with God. Without Him, everything is incomplete. When one binds everything to God, then one is ''whole with the Lord."" You must bind everything ? yourself and the entire creation ? to God. Then you will be whole and perfect, and then you will find perfect counsel. This is why genuine guidance and advice comes only from the Tzaddik. Ordinary people are far from the ultimate goal, and therefore they have no true guidance to offer. But the Tzaddikim can perceive the radiant light of the ultimate goal, and they are therefore able to give perfect advice to each individual, because the goal they perceive is the source of all true counsel.  EMETH VeEMUNAH    1) In essence, redemption is dependent on faith. The root cause of the exile is simply a lack of faith (Likutey Moharan 7:1). 2) Faith, prayer, miracles and the Land of Israel are all one concept. They are all dependent upon each other (.). 3) There are people who attempt to give natural explanations for all the miracles which take place. They are atheists who have no faith in miracles. When all such people have disappeared and faith will have spread throughout the world, then the Mashiach will come. Because the redemption depends upon faith (.). 4) The only way to attain faith is through truth. Faith is only applicable in the case of something which cannot be understood rationally. Where one can understand something rationally there is no question of faith being involved at all. But there are certain things which can never be understood rationally. How can one come to have faith in the things one must believe in? Faith depends upon truth. If you will only search for the truth with complete honesty you will eventually realise that you must have faith in God, in the true Tzaddikim and in the holy Torah. You will realize this in spite of the fact that such faith is not something that is susceptible to our rational understanding, bound as our rational faculties are by the material nature of our existence. If you think about things with uncompromising honesty you will get a glimmer of understanding that this really is the truth. Reason will not help here. You need faith that is strong and total. Understand this well (. 2). 5) The only way to find truth is to draw closer to the Tzaddikim and follow their guidance. Do not turn aside from their words either to the left or the right. Then the truth will be engraved within you and you will achieve genuine faith. By the same token, keep well away from bad influences. Pay no attention to the suggestions of those who are the enemies of the truth, who raise every kind of question about the truth. You can succeed in this through observing the mitzvah of tzitzit, the fringes. (See Tzitzit 11). Tzitzit are a hedge against immorality which is directly contrary to the Holy Covenant between God and the Jewish people and is one of the strongest forces which can undermine truth. The guidance and advice of worthless people actually breeds immorality. Through observing the mitzvah of tzitzit you will be able to purify yourself and observe the Covenant, which is the foundation of faith. All the teachings of the Tzaddikim are bound up with this (. 3). 6) Pray with strength and put all your force into the letters of the prayers. Through this you attain faith (9:1). 7) The people who deny that miracles are possible and claim that everything that takes place has a natural explanation can actually witness a miracle themselves and still try and glaze over it and explain it away. Naturally, this attitude of mind is very damaging to religious faith. It is harmful to prayer, and people"s understanding of the true significance of the Land of Israel becomes obscured. All this contributes to the lengthening of the exile (. 2). 8) The less faith there is, the more the face of God is concealed and the more fiercely His anger burns. At such times the Tzaddikim shy away from accepting positions of authority and honor and the world is left without true leadership. But if people learn to hold their anger in check and to break the force of anger by showing love instead, then God"s own anger will be sweetened. The true Tzaddikim will again be willing to accept roles of leadership and honor and the world will be ready for the true leader who has the power to bring each person to his own complete fulfillment (18:2). 9) Nobody should accept a position of leadership and authority unless he has attained the ultimate level of faith. There are people who believe in God but still have a trace of superstition within them. People like this should never bcome leaders. Then there are those who pride themselves on their devotion to the good of the world. They claim that this is their motive for seeking power. But really they are interested in the prestige. The devotion they claim to have is simply a rationalization. When people like this gain power it can result in a terrible godlessness, the negation of faith. But Heaven takes pity on the world and these people are deprived of the reins of power (., 3). 10) Make sure that you never let your faith become weakened. A person whose faith is weak is unable to accept honest criticism. This is very damaging to the cause of peace because it results in all kinds of aggressiveness, exile and conflict. The end result is godlessness and idolatry, false ideologies and false religions. True faith is the foundation of everything. It is the seal of holiness. You must guard it well because through doing so you are protecting holiness itself (22:1,2). 11) To attain complete faith you must come to the true Tzaddikim of our era. They alone have the power to explain and communicate the authentic faith of the Jewish people to our generation, and therefore they are the ones who bring faith to the people of this age. They can do this because they have achieved the summit of holiness (.3). 12) Faith and truth are a shining face. They are joy and lif. They are the gateway to the length of days. But falsehood shortens the days of man"s life. Falsehood is death and idolatry, a dark-face (23:1). 13) All the noble qualities of the soul depend upon faith. Faith is the foundation and source of all holiness. 14) Even a person who attains a certain level of religious insight and understanding must take good care to ensure that the perception he has is suffused with faith. Intellect alone is not something to rely upon (24:6). 15) There are people who have an extensive knowledge of Torah yet they lack personal worth. The teachings of people like this stem from ''fallen Torah"". Their influence can have devastating effects. It can cause people to reject even the most basic tenets of faith. Those who remain firm to their belief in God find themselves under attack and exposed to ridicule and contempt. When such a situation develops, the remedy is to open your doors to genuine Torah scholars and offer them hospitality. This is one of the ways of coming to genuine faith, and the hold of those who oppose the faith and look down upon believers will be broken (28:1-3). 16) Charity is only perfect when it is combined with faith. The same is true of all the blessings which flow into the world through acts of charity. They are only perfect when there is faith. Faith is the source of blessings. Keeping the holy Shabbat ? which is called the ''source of blessings""? is the foundation of faith (31:2). 17) All things depend upon faith for their perfection. Without faith, nothing is complete. Even the Torah itself, which is the source of true wisdom, has perfection only through faith. Faith is the foundation of the whole Torah. It is the basis of everything (.). 18) When a person is asleep he enters the category of ''faith"", and this refreshes his intellect, which is the manifestation of his soul. The refreshment a person gains from sleeping can help him to attain new levels of religious awareness and perception of God. He can actually receive a new soul from the light of God"s countenance (35:3-5). 19) Any flaw in people"s faith is tantamount to idolatry. Because of this the rains are withheld (Taanith 8) and the world has no contentment or peace. No one helps his neighbor. Everyone is for himself, and because of the lack of cooperation people have to travel from place to place in order to find a livelihood (40). 20) Truth is the source of genuine wealth. Anyone who spurns the truth will come to poverty in the end and people will despise him. But one who endeavors to live truthfully will receive abundant blessings (47). 21) Falsehood damages the eyes ? physically and spiritually. When a person tells lies it stirs up all the impurities in the blood and he falls into depression. The resulting tears are very harmful to the eyes. The blood of dishonest people is loaded with impurity. To speak the truth you must first purify the blood (.). 22) Falsehood is evil and corrupt. A person who is false casts God"s protective care from himself. But a person who is truthful will enjoy God"s care and protection in all ways (. 23) There is only one truth but a whole multitude of lies. You can only say one truth about any given object ? just what it is and nothing else. Silver is silver and only silver. Gold is gold and only gold. But lies can be multiplied without end. Silver can be called copper...or tin...or lead...or any other name you can think of. That is why the truth will come out in the end and all the current opposition to the true Tzaddikim will disappear. The basic cause of this opposition is the terrible spread of falsehood everywhere. Where the truth is acknowledged to be only one there is no place for opposition. So the truth will remain and endure forever because the truth is one: that God is one. In the end all the lies and falsehood will pass from the world and this one truth will remain. For ''the truth of the Lord is for ever"" (Psalm 117:2). 24) Your goal should be to become merged with the One and to connect ''after the Creation"" with ''before the Creation"" to make a unity which is all good and all holy. To join ''after the Creation"" with ''before the Creation"" means constantly to connect the created world in which we live with the transcendent realm which is beyond Creation and its source, and which alone gives this world its meaning. If you want to achieve this, guard yourself from falsehood and speak only the truth. Be perfectly truthful then you will become merged with the One, because the truth is one.  25) The gates of holiness are opened through faith (57:8). 26) We only speak of faith when the one who believes does not know why he believes. But even so, for the believer himself the thing he believes in is perfectly clear and obvious to him ? as if he saw it with his own eyes. This is because his faith is so strong (62:5). 27) One of the ways to develop faith is through working to draw those who are far from God closer (. 3-5). 28) When people lack absolute faith they can fall into the trap of confusing the means with the ultimate cause. They may think they believe in God as the ultimate cause of everything. But in practice they put their trust in the means. For example they believe that their livelihood is totally dependent on their business activities and the energy they put into them ? as if without them God would not have any other means of providing them with their sustenance. In effect they believe that their business activities are the source of their livelihood and not just the intermediate factor. Or they may believe that it is the medicine which causes the cure, as if without it God would not have any other means of sending healing. Once people believe this they inevitably become preoccupied with the means ? chasing after the right medicaments, throwing themselves into their work, and so on ? and they forget to turn to God, the root of all things and the ultimate cause. It is true that we do have to concern ourselves with the means. But we must not make the mistake of confusing the means with the ultimate cause and put our faith in the intermediary. We must have faith in God alone ( 6). 29) Everything we do ? praying, learning Torah, carrying out the mitzvoth ? has one fundamental aim: to reveal the kingship of God (77). 30) If you are very strong in your faith you will eventually reach understanding of what you believe in. The stronger your faith the greater your understanding will be. At the outset you have no option but to have faith because you cannot understand the matter rationally. Through faith you will come to understand it. Except that then there will be new, more exalted levels which are still hidden from you and beyond your ability to understand rationally. Here again you will have to make the effort to believe. You must always have faith in the levels that are hidden from you. In the end you will understand them also. And so the process goes on. The main thing is that your faith must be so strong that it spreads to all your limbs. This faith will bring you to true wisdom (91). 31) One who always wants to be victorious is very intolerant of truth. The truth may be staring him in the face. But because he is determined to win at all costs he ignores it completely. If you want to find the real truth you must rid yourself of the urge to win. Then you will be able to see the truth if you wish (122). 32) Faith contains the power of growth. A person with perfect faith will grow and develop in his devotion to God no matter what he may have to go through. Regardless of the obstacles or difficulties he may encounter, nothing will throw him off course. He will accept whatever he experiences with patience. People who are put off by the obstacles and difficulties which confront them when they try to serve God have a certain lack of faith. They are left with a feeling of heaviness and depression, a lack of enthusiasm. Why is it that people don"t make real efforts to draw closer to those who lead lives of piety and justice? If they really had faith they would run to them as fast as they could. Why do people not pray properly? If they had genuine faith, they would really believe that God stands over them while they are praying and hears every word that emerges from their lips. Then they would pray with tremendous fire and yearning. But instead they are listless and depressed. It is because they lack this real faith. That is why they are far from the Tzaddikim, from the pious and just, and from true devotion to God. When a person has genuine faith nothing can stand in his way. No matter what happens he will grow in the service of God (155). 33) Controversy and divisiveness can cause even God-fearing people to start having doubts about their beliefs. The answer is to be silent. And to leave the battle to the Lord (251). 34) A person should be so honest that when he carries out the mitzvot and all their fine details it is for the sake of God alone. Even if he were completely alone with no one to watch him, he would still carry them all out scrupulously. Being free of the slightest hint of dishonesty, he would never do anything merely to impress others. 35) When troubles strike, God forbid, it is because the truth has become flawed. A person with troubles must be very careful not to become ensnared in error and falsehood because of them (II 2:4). 36) At all times one should give thanks to God for everything one experiences, and especially when one is released from danger. This, combined with the study of the law, will cause truth to radiate in his speech. He will be able to perfect all aspects of his speech. Perfection in speech comes only through truth. He will pray in truth ? and this is perfect prayer. He will be worthy of learning Torah from a true teacher who will give true guidance in the path of truth. He will find his true partner in life and true partners for his children. The way to attain all this is through thanks and acknowledgement of God and the study of the law. In this way one can draw the blessing, and holiness and joy of Shabbat into the other six days of the week. Then the simple unity which underlies all the diverse phenomena of this world will be revealed, and one will believe and know how all the different things in the world stem from the blessed unity of God. To know this is very precious. Even in God"s eyes it is something wondrous and precious (.). 37) When people"s faith in God is weak all kinds of false doctrines and beliefs gain influence. But when their faith in the truth is strengthened, these ideologies lose their grip and become discredited. Even the nations who were far from God abandon their fallacies and come to believe in the truth. They may not actually convert. But although they remain in their place, they acknowledge God and believe and know that there is One who was the First, blessed-be-He. At times, however, they do actually convert and become proselytes (.). 38) Faith is attained through attachment to the Tzaddik who has attained the level of ruach hakodesh, the holy spirit. Through this ruach hakodesh man"s faculty for symbolic thought is refined and cleansed, bound up as it is with the power of imagination and fantasy. Only then can he attain perfect faith in God and in the constant renewal of the world. This is the foundation of everything. The whole world depends on it (8:7,8). 39) Faith depends on a person"s mouth. We must say we believe ? say it out loud! As it is written in the Psalms (89:1) ''I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth."" When a person has a crisis of faith, or even passing doubts, it is very good if he says out loud: ''I believe."" Just expressing your faith in words is itself one kind of faith. Through doing this you can come to genuine faith (44). 40) In the same way one should also be very careful never to say anything which implies even a slight lack of faith, let alone complete disbelief. Even if you believe in your heart, you should never express disbelief even as a joke, or even if you are only quoting someone else in order to ridicule them. It is very wrong to do this and it is very damaging to your faith. Even as a joke it is forbidden to say anything which implies disrespect of God (.). 41) It is far better to have even simple-minded faith than to believe in nothing at all. When your faith is simple-minded you may even believe certain things which are not true. But at least you will also believe in the truth. If you reject all simple-mindedness you may end up rejecting everything and you will become totally cynical. Then you won"t even believe in the truth (Rabbi Nachman"s Wisdom, 103). 42) Perfect faith is when you believe in God without any sophistication at all ? without signs or miracles, speculation or philosophy. Your faith should be simple and pure ? like that of women and simple folk (. 33). 43) There are people who are well versed in Torah and still have no belief in God. They are diseased. The name for their disease is Raasan (a type of leprosy. See Ketuboth 77b). Make sure that you keep well away from these people. The rabbis warned us that the very breath of their mouths can be harmful to honest people and it can arouse their sexual desire. Such scholars are themselves usually sexually immoral (. 106). 44) When you take such joy in Torah and mitzvoth that you literally dance for joy, it will strengthen your faith (Likutey Moharan II, 81). 45) When a person is in a state of ''constricted consciousness"" and weak in his faith, this is the time for difficult devotions such as fasting etc. But someone with total faith can serve God with all things. Because ''God does not act like a despot over His creatures"" (Avodah Zarah 3a) (86). 46) Faith is accounted as charity (Rabbi Nachman"s Wisdom, 44). 47) The power of faith is very great. Through faith and simplicity alone, with no sophistication whatsoever, you can reach the level of Desire, which is beyond even that of Wisdom. Your desire for God will be so strong that you simply do not know what to do because of the great longing. You cry out with yearning (. 32). 48) There are certain cases where people are riddled with doubts about their faith because they were not conceived in holiness. Added to this is the effect of their own misdeeds, because there are certain sins which cause people to lose their faith. A person who finds these thoughts entering his mind should be ashamed and broken-hearted, and he should cast them out of his mind completely. 49) A person with faith has a very good life. Without faith there is no life at all. No one in the world can be free of troubles and hardships of one kind or another, because ''Man was born to struggle"" (Job 5:7). But a person who has faith can find comfort even when he has to endure pain and suffering. He knows that God loves him and intends everything for his own ultimate good, to purify and cleanse him. For everything that God does is for the best. But the sophisticated disbeliever has no one to turn to when trouble strikes. He can find comfort nowhere. There is nothing to encourage him. This is why he has no life at all. He walks without God and he does not come under His protective care. But through faith your life can be good always (Rabbi Nachman"s Wisdom, 102). 50) True faith in the unity of God comes through the Tzaddikim. They are the tip of the letter dalet ($SZ12$FFc1s$FFb1$SZ11) of the word echad, which means One (Tikkuney Zohar, 21, 55b; Likutey Moharan 10:5). 
 

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