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I was debating whether I should share the following words from Rebbe Nachman because I’m confident that they will be misunderstood. But I’m struggling and I hear how everyone else is struggling too, so I hope it can be a source of encouragement.

In the last words of a seemingly depressing Torah he said the following (תנינא קי״ט):  “Everybody says there is a world here and a next world. The next world we believe in, and maybe even [the good of] this world exists in some other place, but it seems that this world is ‘hell on earth’ and everyone is merely suffering all the time”. He then said “[The good of] this world doesn’t exist at all!”

What did he mean by that? Is this the Rebbe Nachman who was all about joy?

Earlier in the piece he describes that even the wealthy people that we all envy have constant worry, anger, pain, and depression. There’s no way around it. Like Job said “Man was created to exert himself”. Upon which the medrash asserts “Happy is he who exerts himself in Torah”.

You see, the sad truth is, we just can’t do it on our own! If we attempt to go about life and depend on our own efforts we are guaranteed frustration and despair. The only way to enjoy life is by genuinely relying on God. If we depend on Him sincerely when there’s nothing left in the bank, or we cry out to Him honestly to please ‘handle it’ for us when we’re ‘at wit’s end’, then we can have relief from the burden and anxieties of daily life. But if we stubbornly insist on being in control, then not only do we usually complicate the issue even more but we are left defeated and disheartened.

So why do we refuse to surrender to God? Well, since we don’t exert ourselves in Torah, we are too afraid to give Him control. Some of us don’t believe that we can do it and some of us even don’t believe that He can do it. But if we would steadily devote ourselves to Torah study, then we would learn techniques of true faith in God and have relief from the loneliness of this miserable world.

11 thoughts on “Another lonely day

  1. Great post really enjoyed it. The question I’m wondering is: is it possible to have “to much” Emunah? What I’ve been noticed for the my self is that in certain points of my life when I was just “relying” on Emunah I was really just faking my self at out, making excuses for myself and not taking responsibility for whatever it was that’s needs to get done.

    What would you say or Rebbe Nachman would say about the fine line of Emunah and taking matters into your own hands?

    Thanks I’m really enjoying the blog.

    1. Its true Shaya… alot of times your emunah really is just an excuse..LOL! JK!
      In my humble opinion, I think Rebbe Nachman would say that there is a fine line between Emuna and taking things into your own hands… A person has to try their best and have Emunah that whatever the outcome is, is what Hashem wants, and is in the persons best interest. We waste alot of time worrying about outcome when really as Davy explained this world is horrible anyways…. I think we need to learn to take a step back, go about the motions, but still only rely on Hashem, and that what he does is for the best.

      1. Good point Effie! We do need to take a step back. The difference between someone who trusts in God and someone who doesn’t is all in the mind. Externally, they both do everything they can to help their position. But internally the non-believer worries about the outcomes and the believer remains relaxed.

    2. Hey Shaya. Thanks for the comments!

      Your question is very often asked and considered one of the most grey areas in hashkafa. Although I think the answer is rather simple. Emuna starts where effort ends. In a healthy and balanced way, we must do absolutely everything in our power to help our own situation. But the results are ultimately not in our hands. So as we do what we can, we need to involve Hashem every step of the way. It’s only proper to solely rely on Hashem when someone feels there’s nothing else they can do.

  2. very true its very hard to put your package on his back and say take care of it.not bec its to much for him or he cant take care of it. its our own will not to give up the reigns to him bec we have to be the one in charge.{when in truth were far from it}

  3. Davy, I want to ask something unrelated to this post, but want to hear your Breslov perspective as I’m reading one of Rav Arush book’s on education and he talks a ton about ‘having joy’. Now you know me well, I’m VERY black/white, conservative, basically the exact opposite of the typical breslov person. But look at Rav Elayshiv, would you consider him joyful? What defines joy? Does it mean you have to dance and smile? Or does it mean that you are content with your life and happy to do mitzvahs? Maybe you can address this in a seperate post.

    It’s for me to know ‘am I joyish’? I’m definately not depressed. I like my life, I like learning, enjoy davening (although I can’t do it hours on end like someone like Rav Arush), BUT I’m not dancing around and I like to be closed in. I don’t like social functions. On Simchas Torah I don’t like it even (just being honest) because it goes against my nature, I have more simcha just sitting down to learn and I actually feel depressed more on that day cause I know what I am supposed to be doing I HATE to do and I don’t do.

    Looking forward to peoples feedback to give me some perspective on HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M REALLY JOYFUL AND HOW TO INCREASE MY JOY EVEN KNOW I’M A RESERVED PERSON?

    Thanks,
    Mordechai Gitt

    1. Mordechai: Thanks for your comments. You raise an interesting question. Joy is a huge topic in Breslov, with many sources that I haven’t seen yet. Let me think about it some more and I’ll reply at a later time. regards, Davy

  4. Hi Mordechai: Although dancing and singing are a means and a product of joy, being joyous definitely doesn’t mean that you have to dance and sing. Reb Nosson says (in מנחה ז) that the main simcha in the world is that we’re Jewish. Being happy that we merit a special relationship with Hashem is the ultimate joy. So much so that even if we feel very low and far from Him at the moment, we can still bring joy to our hearts that we are Jews.

    Here are some other comments:
    1) Although I don’t know, I would bet that Rav Elyashiv was very happy 🙂
    2) Just because you like your life, it doesnt mean you’re happy. You mentioned that you like learning and davening. What if you didnt? Would you still do it? Would you still be happy? I think happiness is an emotion that isn’t contingent on any activity or situation.
    3) On simchas torah, if you dont like the partying, you should be yotzei quick hakafos and then celebrate that we merit to have the torah with whatever makes Mordechai Gitt happy! Maybe a piece of steak or a walk in the park? The idea is to celebrate what a zchus we have.

    Finally, I know you pretty well and I respect that you know who you are. You are a classic introvert. That’s how Hashem made you and you embrace it well.

    Blessings…

    1. Thanks for your feedback. But EVERYONE needs to work on improving their joy. Does Rebbe Nachman give any concrete tips on a few very good tips to improve ones joy in every mitzvah they do.

      It seems to me (no sources , just common sense) that the best way to get joy is be thankful for every detail of our lives. EVERYTHING, our wife, kids, being able to make money online without backbreaking work, to breath, smell etc… just to be extremlely observant of all this stuff and feel how lucky we are.

      if you have any other tips that specifically bring out joy I’m all ears

      Mordechai

      1. Hi Mordechai: You’re right. Everyone needs to work on their joy. The short answer is yes. Rebbe Nachman has a lot of advice on how to increase our joy. I hope to talk about it in this blog. One thing he says is critical to Joy is Shmiras Habris. If we don’t protect our bris, then we create demon souls that kill joy and bring depression, רח״ל.

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