Translated by Aaron Yoseph
The essence of Breslev Chassidus, our Chassidus, that no-one knows about the other one's service of Hashem. Each one gets up early and does teshuvah, “I fell and got caught up in my desire to eat.” He does teshuva and asks for help to eat with holiness and purity, “Because I have to correct things, so I have to eat. I mustn’t go mad.” The Tsaddik teaches us a path, and we accept to follow the path. The Rishonim already wrote about treading the middle path. The Tsaddik teaches us why - because this is exactly how Hashem created your nature, and this whole reality. You have to be like this and that, and live normally and peacefully in this world.
No-one has control over your heart or over what you want. So the ones who serve Hashem get up early, before the morning comes – “When one comes to kill you, get up earlier and kill him,” – the Yetser Hora wants to kill you, so get up early and do teshuva about your unclean thoughts, clarify anew your emunah that Hashem alone renews the creation and only He is here. “And that’s why I’m here – to connect this world with Hashem. To remember Hashem’s providence in every thing.” If you didn’t merit to – then do teshuva about it. When he speaks to others – it’s all kindness, helping one another. There are in this all sorts of hints of encouragement, how one Jew helps another and reveals Hashem’s Kingship. So too in eating he should have in mind to be satisfied, meaning from the illumination of the Will, that he’s satisfied from this [Hashem’s] Will - that Hashem gave me – otherwise he’ll never be satisfied. If he fell, he does teshuva for it. So too with business - if in the middle he worried and didn’t trust in Hashem, he does teshuvah for it, without any stringencies or confusion. In every thing he does teshuvah – “Why did I forget Hashem?”
In this way he knows clearly, “I have a day of Torah and Tefillah and correcting the Creation. Whoever merits to learn Torah – “Not for my glory, that I should be something - but for the glory of Heaven, that the Divine Presence should dwell in the world.” He asks for holy seichel and daas, and then his prayers become full of longing and yearning for Hashem. We bring the creation back to Hashem. We say the words with feeling in our hearts, and in this way a person reconnects himself to the Creator, along with the rest of the Creation. This is the main connection of Heaven and Earth. Then a person gets so much pleasure from his prayers, but knows that this isn’t the main task. The main task is that when he gets home, he should do everything L’shem Shomayim, with this intention that he’s understood from the words of the Baal Shem Tov and Likutei Halachos. There are some people who do everything with the holy intentions of the Arizal, and happy is their portion, but we can all live with the words of R' Nosson, which are based on the words of the Baal Shem Tov, and brought down to us in a very simple way.
The one’s who serve Hashem go with this always, and there are certainly thousands like this. They get up at midnight. Why does he up at midnight? It’s cold at night, and there’s a nice warm blanket – isn’t a shame about the blanket? But there’s a coldness to the soul and it needs to be aroused to return to the warmth of holiness, to come back in teshuvah, to put his heart into the page of Gemara, to taste the taste of a idea in the Gemara – the question and the answer. Today is the yahrtzeit of the Maharsha – Ah! Such sweetness! There are people who serve Hashem perfectly. Every day they do teshuvah, and purify their deeds. But nobody knows who they are. Once they were called the “thirty-six Tsaddikim.” Then they became known as the “Admor” and his children. Nowadays they are the thousands of Breslever Chassidim, that nobody know about. It’s possible to live like this properly.
The general revelation of our holy Rebbe is this true way of serving Hashem. The Rebbe comes down to our reality. How he builds people up! Because to start – we need so many starts, and this is what everyone really wants. It’s just that, practically, a person learn things and he has a problem - that he forgets. Or he didn’t learn, and he doesn’t know to look at the deeper dimension of the thing, and sometimes it doesn’t apply to him – which is the main problem. Because the Yetser Hora, in the heat of the moment, burns that a person should just take the thing. He doesn’t take any lessons from his mistakes, and he’s miserable again. He doesn’t believe in what he’s learnt. He wants to be more religious than the Torah. He doesn’t accept it, and he cheats himself. He doesn’t accept the daas. Because the Yetser Hora clothes himself in mitzvos, to want more, and so I’m not happy, and he can’t find an eitzah for himself. He can’t keep himself up in serving Hashem.
Why not? He did learn something, but he forgot a lot, and he never grasped simply how it was practical for him. What’s the eitzah?
Hashem doesn’t ask of you anything that you can’t do - only what you can. What is that?
There is a great light of truth – that Hashem is here, and there is also a simple truth - that there is a King in the world. A King – and we have to accept the yoke of His Kingdom and do the King’s will. Just like you understand that you need to do the will of the King, so too you should know that in that in everything you do, check and you’ll see how you are forgetting that the King’s will is in that thing also. It’s not a problem - do like the moon, which stands facing the sun. There is the light of the Tsaddik here, without which everything is confusing – either everything’s allowed, or everything’s forbidden, or you go mad, and don’t know the way – the eitzah is to stand facing the true eitzahs that can transform darkness to light. Want to receive something from this. At first it doesn’t shine, so accept the yoke of Heaven. Generally there is a simple eitzah – to receive the light of the very first eitzah – that I have good points. Malchus is also prayer – “Ribono Shel Olam, help me. Give me a bit of light.” Hashem helps straight away and reminds you that good points are good – it shines to you that Hashem delights in you.