Sichot Haran

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Sichot Haran
by Nathan of Breslov, translated by Wikisource

#1- His Holy Wisdom[edit]

1[edit]

"Ki ani yada`ti, ki-gadol Hashem, ve'adoneinu mikol-Elohim/For only I know that Hashem is great, and our Lord [greater] than all gods" (Ps. 135:2). King David, alav hashalom, said: "Ki ani yada`ti/Only I know" — "ani yada`ti / I [i.e. specifically I] know," for the greatness of the Blessed Creator is impossible to tell to someone else, and even to oneself it is impossible to tell from day to day, according to what dawns on him and sparkles [mitnotzetz: an illumination from the Ohr haChayim/Light of Life] for him on that day. He cannot tell himself on another day the shining and the sparkling [hitnotzetzut] of the greatness of the Blessed One that he had yesterday. And therefore he said: "Ki ani yada`ti" &mdash "ani yada`ti," for it impossible to tell at all. And he said that what is written after that, "Kol asher-chafetz Hashem, `asah; bashamayim uva'aretz/Whatsoever Hashem pleased, he has done; in heaven and on earth" etc., is a completely different matter and completely distant from the praise, "Ki ani yada`ti," for his intention in these words, "Ki ani yada`ti" is impossible to tell at all, and it is very, very high, high beyond high, impossible for the mouth to tell; only "I knew" specifically, as mentioned, and as written in the Zohar (Vol. 1, page 103): "Nod`a basha`arim ba`alah/Her husband is known at the gates (Prov. 31:23)" — each person according to what he fits in his heart, as explained in a different place [LM #73,#63].

96[edit]

It is proper for a man to accustom himself to be in `Olam haBa/the World to Come, that is, to be separated from cravings, as in `Olam haBa, wherein there is no eating, drinking or any of the beastly cravings which end and are lost, in this world. And like we see with a sick person, that because he is a little close to `Olam haBa, he is repulsed by eating, drinking, and relations, and has no craving; on the contrary he is tired of and repulsed by all the cravings because he is nigh to `Olam haBa where there is no eating or drinking, etc. So should a man accustom himself while still in his living life and in his health, that he be able to conduct himself without cravings as in `Olam haBa. And certainly he would not able to bear at all the life and delights of this world; so much so that because of this, forgetfulness is a lofty attribute, even though it is a not-good trait; despite this it is level whereby it is possible for a man to live in this world. For, there is a very great angel, who has a thousand heads, and each head has a thousand tongues, and each tongue has a thousand voices, and each voice has a thousand melodies; and when this angel stands up to sing, it is certainly so very beautiful and pleasant that it is totally inestimable and inconceivable. And now, let a man himself remember his inferiority and lowliness compared to this -- so how can he endure his life? He will certainly be so disgusted with his life that he dies before his time. And so if he would remember his inferiority -- especially as with meany people who are very dirty and abominable with sins -- certainly if there was no forgetfulness at all it would be impossible to him to pick himself up at all to serve Hashem Yitbarakh. And because of all this, forgetfulness is a lofty trait for this reason. But the man ought to himself remember to not lose his world, God forbid. And our Sages obm said, "that haKadosh Barukh Hu will give ShaY (שַׁ"י=310) worlds in the future to each and every tzadik," etc. Now let him estimate in his mind the greatness of one world; how many, many buildings it has, and how many, many courtyards and throughways, and how many, many cities and countries; and the vast area of each world, and so many, many stars and constellations that there is no count, and wonderful and awesome celestial spheres that are in each and every world. For all these are in one world of the worlds. And now, ShaY worlds that each tzadik has, so precious is are its greatness, delights and pleasures and they are inestimable and infathomable. And behold, ShaY worlds that the Tzadik has -- he builds them from disputes. For, all the words of dispute which each person speaks are an aspect of stones, for, letters are called stones, as is brought in Sefer Yetzirah, "Two stones build" etc., and they are aspect of pieces of stone, for, the stones that come by way of the words of dispute are divided and have no connection, and the Tzadik picks up these stones and joins them, and builds houses from them, for he makes peace between them, and joins and arranges them together upon each other, until he builds a house from them. And this is the aspect of shalom bayit/peace in the house, for he makes the aspect of peace from these pieces of stone. And a city is made from the houses, until a full world is made from them, and so ShaY worlds. And this is aspect of, "le'hanchil ohavai yesh/That I may cause those that love me to inherit יֵשׁ/YeSh/substance" -- "those that love me" specifically, aspect of love and peace [for, by the peace and love that he makes between the pieces of stone are made the ShaY worlds]. And this is what Avigail said to David, when Naval disputed with him and spoke ill of him, as it says there, "Amrah lo, ve`atah yada`ti ki bayit ya`aseh lekha Hashem/She said to him, Now I know that Hashem will make you a house," that is, via the dispute "ya`aseh lekha Hashem" a house from the stones, as mentioned above. For the Tzadik inclines to the side of chesed/kindness and judges all those who dispute against him favorably, that their intentions are for the sake of Heaven, for, the world would not be able to bear the light of the Tzadik whose light very great for the world to bear, and also because there are many great judgements and accusations against the true great Tzadik, therefore they dispute against him, and thereby they silence the judgements and accusations, as we see, when there is a harsh judgment against a man, and a man dons zealotry and says, "I will go and execute vengeance with him and do justice with him," and thereby he silences from him the other plaintiffs that accuse, whose judgement he would not be able to bear. Hence this one who goes and takes vengeance against him does him a very great favor, for surely it is better and more favorable for him to bear the judgement of this one, which he can bear, than to bear their judgement, God forbid, which would not be possible for him to bear; as we have found with Pinchas, with the deed of Zimri, for, if not for Pinchas, Yisrael would God forbid have been liable to destruction, but because Pinchas went out and was zealous for the zealotry of Hashem, thereby he silenced the judgement from off of Yisrael, as is written, "Bekan'o et kin'ati betokham velo kiliti/when he was zealous for my zeal within them, and I did not destroy," etc. Likewise this one who disputes against the Tzadik and says, "I will do to him and show him my strength and take vengeance against him," thereby he silences from him the remaining judgmenets, as mentioned. And he also does him a favor, when the Tzadik needs to go from level to level, then they try him, whether he has power to stand in the heikhal/hall of the King. And the hall of the King is aspect of the mouth of the Tzadik which is called heikhal which is gematria Ad-nai which is aspect of mouth, as is written, "malkhut -- peh/Kingship [is] the mouth." And the tzadik disputing against him is a trial for this Tzadik upon whom is the dispute, whether he has power to stand in the hall of the King, in the mouth of the tsadik who is disputing against him, and thereby he raises him from level to higher level. Hence he does him a favor.

30[edit]

to do

על המבלים זמן בשביל נקיות ומאריכין בבית הכסא הקפיד מאד מאד והתלוצץ מאותן האנשים מאד והאריך הרבה בענין זה. והכלל כי לא נתנה תורה למלאכי השרת (ברכות כה:), ואין צריך להחמיר יותר מן הדין ועל פי הדין האסור הוא רק כשנצרך לנקביו ממש כמו שכתוב בגמרא (שם כג.): הנצרך לנקביו אל יתפלל, הנצרך דיקא. ואפלו כשהוא נצרך לנקביו ממש יש גם כן דינים בזה בדיעבד ובשעת הדחק כמובא בשלחן ערוך סימן צ"ב עין שם במגן אברהם שהרי"ף מתיר לכתחלה ביכול לעמד עצמו עד פרסה וכו'. נמצא שעל כל פנים כשאינו נצרך לנקביו ממש אין צריך להחמיר ולבטל עצמו מתורה ותפלה בחנם מחמת חששות וחמרות יתרות ושגעון בעלמא. רק טוב להתפלל בבקר תכף אחר עמידתו ממטתו. אם אפשר בקל לפנות אפשר ואם לאו לאו ויתפלל כך. ואפלו אם חושש במעיו לא ישגיח ולא יסתכל על זה כלל. גם אין צריכין להאריך בבית הכסא כי הוא מזיק מאד לבריאות הגוף וכמה חלאים באים מזה בפרט בבית הכסא שלנו שצריכים להיות תולה בהם והתולה בבית הכסא מזיק מאד מאד בפרט החלי הידוע שקורין "מורידין" ד בא מזה מאד, רחמנא לצלן. על כן צריכין לזהר מאד מלהאריך בבית הכסא. ואין לחפש אחר חמרות ומרה שחורה בזה, כי לא נאמר כלל בדורות הללו. והוא עצמו היה גם כן בזאת הטעות מקדם והיה עושה דברים זרים מאד בשביל נקיות וכמעט שבא לידי סכנה על ידי זה וגם לא נמלט מחלאים רחמנא לצלן על ידי זה. ועתה הוא יודע ואומר שהכל שגעון וחלילה לבלות זמן היקר על זה. ובאמת אי אפשר בשום אפן שיהיה הגוף נקי לגמרי ולא ישאר בתוכו כלום כי הלא אפלו מי שמתענה משבת לשבת הוא צריך לנקביו גם בסוף השבוע אף על פי שלא אכל מקדם כמה ימים, כי בהכרח שישאר קצת בהגוף. ואמר שדבר גדול הוא אצלו שדבר מענין זה כי יוצא מזה דבר גדול מאד דהינו שלא לבלות זמן בשביל זה ושלא להאריך שם. ואפלו אם לפעמים הוא מכרח להאריך טוב לצאת ולחזר מלישב הרבה שם:

108[edit]

It is [already] known that learning the Zohar is very, very mesugal [capable of bringing good effects]. Now know, that by learning the Zohar, desire is generated for all types of study of the holy Torah; and the holy wording of the Zohar greatly arouses [a person] towards service of Hashem Yitbarakh. Namely, the praise with which it praises and glorifies a person who serves Hashem, that is, the common expression of the Zohar in saying, "Zaka'ah/ Fortunate!" etc. regarding any mitzvah; and vice-versa, the cry that it shouts out, "Vai!" etc., "Vai leh, Vai lenishmateh/Woe to him, Woe to his soul!" regarding one who turns away from the service of Hashem -- these expressions greatly arouse the man for the service of the Blessed One.

#117- And These are Additions to the Previous: Nice Roses and Flowers Which We Have Gathered and Collected From Among The Conversations of our Great Teacher, Rabbi Nachman, Which Are Still in Manuscript[edit]

128[edit]

He told in his praise that he knew all the words of the Etz Chayim and the Pri Etz haChayim and all the writings of the Ari of blessed memory; of the book of the Zohar, and the main part being the Tikunim. And what was understood from his words was that this was in the days of his youth. And he acclaimed exceedingly, several times, in praise of the vast holiness of the Tikunei haZohar. And he was regularly involved with it the most, even year-round, even outside the days of Elul. And he said that in the book of the Tikunim are included all the wisdoms in the world, etc.

#131- Conversations, Stories and Inyanim/Circumstances of Various Torahs and Story Tales[edit]

#147-151 Regarding the Story Tales[edit]

147[edit]

I heard one of his followers say that before Rabbeinu obm told the tale of the King's Son Who Was Made Entirely of Gemstones which is printed [in Sipurei Ma`asiyot #5], he said before telling it, "I know a story that contains the entire Divine Name of 42 letters," and then he told this story. But nonetheless we do not know if this is the story of the 42-Letter Name. And I too heard from his holy mouth several years ago, saying that the Baal Shem Tov obm knew a story that contained the 42-Letter Name, and he spoke with me then regarding the 42-Letter Name. And he asked me to find an explanation in common language [i.e. Yiddish] regarding the two Letters vav and tzaddi that are in that name, and I could not find [it]. And according to [my] understanding it was because he already knew the secret of that name, but only these two letters vav and tzaddi he was still unable to insert into the matter that he wanted to clothe this Name in.

148[edit]

When he told the tale of the Prayer Leader that is printed in Sipurei Ma`asiyot he asked us afterwards, "Who told the story that there were factions in their chronicles?" — regarding the factions that were made at the time there was a storm wind in the world, etc. We replied to him that one of the strongmen of the Warrior told this to the Prayer Leader, as explained there. And he nodded his head that it was so, and we understood from his words that there is a very profound intention in this, why specifically one of the guards told this. And from this, learn that in each and every utterance of the stories there is a very, very profound intention, impossible for the mouth to speak or for the heart to ponder.

149[edit]

[Rabbi Nachman] told the Tale of the Seven Beggars printed in Sipurei Ma`asiyot [Story #13] over several days, and each time he told a matter related to what people were telling him, which caused him to start telling the story.

In the beginning, on the night of the holy Sabbath it began because of sniffing-tobacco which he received from one of his people and which was mentioned in a letter that I sent to my friend, that he, of blessed memory, received it; and I wrote to him, [telling him] to be happy. Then he commented on this; he spoke up and said, “I will tell you how once they were happy!” [I heard that he said it in these words: “What do you know about how to rejoice from out of melancholy?! I will tell you how they once rejoiced!” — Chayei Moharan #63]. And he began to tell the story. He told the whole introduction to the story through the end of the First Day pertaining to the beggar who was blind. And all this was on the night of the holy Shabbat, and I [Rabbi Natan] was at my home in Nemirov [while Rabbi Nachman was in Breslev].

Afterwards on Tuesday my friend [Rav Naftali] came to my house and told this story and I stood trembling and astounded, for indeed I had already heard from him many awesome stories, but a story like this I had not ever heard from his holy mouth. Afterwards I went there and I came to the house of our Rabbi of blessed memory when he was already closed in his room. In the morning, which was Wednesday, I entered and approached him and spoke with him a great deal, and I told him stories of the world that I had heard recently, and afterwards he spoke with me regarding the said story which he told on the night of the holy Shabbat, and he said that he greatly desired to know (i.e. tell) the end, that is, what happens on all the rest of the seven days of celebration; and also the whole conclusion of the ending of the story of the king's son who had received the kingdom from his father during his lifetime, with which the story began. And he told me, then, that similarly, each day of the seven days of celebration, each day one of the Seven Beggars would come and bless them and give them a wedding gift etc. And he also told me about the order of the story of the elders with the memories, which matter I did not hear in completely clear order from my friend, and he, of blessed memory, himself explained me a little of it in order. And he also spoke with me regarding the blind one who boasted that he does not remember anything at all (in Yiddish, Ich gidenk gar nisht) that the explanation of Ich gidenk gar nisht is that he remembers when he did not yet have any existence etc., and he found this a wonder.

Afterwards I greatly yearned that he should start telling about the Second Day, but I did not attain it, for meanwhile his attendant came and said, “Rabbi, it is mealtime.” And he set the table before him to eat and I had to leave from his presence. Afterwards, after he slept a little after eating, afterwards I returned and went in to him, and stood before him, telling him several things from worldly affairs, and mostly from Berdichev, where I was close to at the time. And I spoke with him regarding that everyone is full of many worries and lackings, that all the big rich people lack severely, each and every one, etc. And afterwards I spoke up and said to him this verse (Eccl. 3:11): “He has set the world in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end;” see the comment of Rashi. He, of blessed memory, replied, “Isn’t this our story?” And immediately he asked where we are in the story. And I was immediately frightened due to my great yearnings I had for hearing this, and I answered him in trepidation that we are on the second day. He answered and said, “On the second day they again yearned” etc. And he then told on Wednesday the whole story of the Second Day, and afterwards on the night of the Holy Sabbath the story of Third and Fourth Day, and afterwards on Sunday the story of the Fifth Day, and afterwards on the following Tuesday the story of the Sixth Day. And afterwards he told the story of the Sixth Day. After he told the story of the Sixth Day we stood before him, and one of his people told him some story. He answered and said, “Isn’t this exactly related to the story of the Seventh Day?” And he said it seems the world is telling his story and he very much wanted to tell it, but we did not merit it being told then, and he did not tell any more of it.

150[edit]

One time he said, "Whoever I get and receive money and so forth from, I give to [that person], for in my receiving I give." (And this is the concept explained in the story of the Sixth Day in The Seven Beggars, where someone boasted of the wonders of the power in his hand; see there.)

151[edit]

The story of the Third and Fourth Day, he told on the night of the Holy Shabbat, as mentioned above. And then at that time his grandson the child was on his sickbed, and he had great affliction from this, for his illness was very serious, specially since his daughter the righteous Mrs. Udel, may she live long, the mother of the child, had great pain in child raising; God save us. Hashem keep her now.

He, of blessed memory, went in on the night of the holy Shabbat and sat at the table in great pain and did not take his time at this meal at all. We blessed right away [reciting] the Grace After Meals before people started entering in to him as they always did. Afterwards, after the Grace After Meals the remained sitting at his holy table and opened his holy, pure and awesome mouth and then said this wonderful and awesome discussion, which had holy Torah as always in most of his holy discussions, and the whole discussion pertained to the great pain he had. For example, he spoke then of the Heart that is pursued, etc.

And afterwards, during that conversation he answered and asked where we were in the story. Immediately we panicked and answered him in panic and awe and fear that we are on the Third Day. Immediately he answered and said, “On the third day again the couple remembered, “How can [the speech-impaired beggar be brought here]…” (as printed there) and he told the whole story of the Third Day and explained there is a little resembling what he told earlier. Then he finished the story of the Third Day, that a celebration was made there etc.; then he said in these words: “Zei haben a hilwe gitan [They had a blast].” Right afterwards he told the story of the Fourth Day, and as soon as he finished it, he immediately and right away left the table quickly.

And because I was very busy in my mind going over the two awesome stories of the Third and Fourth Days and I immediately reviewed them with the people who were there so no word would be lost from them, because of this I forgot the whole holy discussion mentioned that he spoke before it. A pity it is lost. Honor and praise to the Living God for letting us be privileged to remember and record these stories that even according to little inspiration in my heart I have no vessel of speech and writing to speak of the high awesomeness of their level. [See Chayei Moharan #64 regarding the inception of telling of the Fifth Day.]

Afterwards on Tuesday it was close to Pesach and he left his house because they were plastering the house with mud for Pesach. And he went to the house of the Rav [of the city], and there we stood before him. And I do not remember what matter they spoke before him that had some little connection to some matter of the story of the Sixth Day, and because of this he told the story of the Sixth Day, and afterwards someone told him etc. as mentioned.

And behold, then it was close to Pesach as mentioned, and in my opinion the secret of the parting of the Sea of Reeds is hinted in the matter of the ten walls of water. And see Likutei Halakhot in Yoreh Deah hilchot tolaim (halachah ד) and explained there is the matter that Hashem enlightened my eyes with in this.

The rule is that with each story that he told, the story came about via some conversation that he had and spoke with us regarding worldly stories, and in the midst of them he began to tell the story via the story having some utterances having some relation to the story in his heart. And this was like it`aruta di'ltata [arousal from below], to draw down perceptions of Godliness that he clothed in that story. And so it was with each and every story.

And so it was with several Torot he revealed that were not at a fixed assembly time. And in all this we always saw the wonders of Hashem and the greatness of the level of the Tzaddik, that all the utterances in the world were for him Torah and revelation of Godliness. But much more did we see this with this awesome story of the Seven Beggars which is wonderful awesome high revelations without bound. As an understanding person will understand by himself if he puts his heart to them with an eye of truth to understand and perceive holy wonders of the boastings of each one mentioned there each day, and in particular the greatness of the holiness of the boasting of the seven beggars themselves who boast each day: that the blind one boasted that he doesn’t look at the world at all, therefore he is actually blind to this world; and likewise the deaf one who doesn’t hear any sound of this world etc., therefore he is deaf etc. etc. And likewise with each speech of this story which are all wonderful revelations even according to meager minds even though we do not understand them at all. And all this revelation, it is all through stories of worldly matters; through them it came about that he had pity on us in such extraordinary compassion and revealed to us all this, in order to benefit us and our children forever.

He said regarding the tales that he told that it would be better to not reveal of them what any of the clues hint to, for when the thing is hidden, more can be accomplished with it that is needed. But he was forced occasionally to just reveal some hint, in order they should know there are hidden things in them.


#152- Other Teachings[edit]

#158- His Effort and Toil in Service of Hashem[edit]

#173- His Awesome Attainment[edit]

#210- His Opposition[edit]

#216- Distancing Oneself From Speculation, and Strengthening One's Faith[edit]

#227- The Greatness of Hitbodedut, Personal Meditation and Conversation[edit]

#235-308 Conversations of Our Great Teacher, Rabbi Nachman[edit]

Notes[edit]

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.