Compiled and edited by Ziv Ritchie
Rebbe Nachman says, imagine, G-d forbid, someone is on life support, he is breathing oxygen. How much is this person alive? He is alive, right? Even if a person is chas veshalom on life support, he is also a little bit alive, but nebuch, do you want to live like this? No, chas veshalom. Then you take a person who is mamish healthy and strong like a lion. He is alive. Do you know, the life energy which is coming down in Chutz Laaretz [outside of Israel], and the life energy which is coming down in Eretz Yisrael, is like a person who is living and breathing, and the other one is on oxygen. We are not on the level to feel it. Even in Eretz Yisrael we are not strong enough to feel it. Rebbe Nachman says that the life energy which is coming down in Eretz Yisrael is something else. Something else…
Why is it that Eretz Yisrael is even more important than freedom? Listen to this; is there anything deeper than, ‘I want to be alive?’ I think that when I am breathing and I am hanging around that I am alive. No. A Yid knows that there is something available which is really meant for me: mamish, mamish, mamish to be alive. Mamish to be alive.
The Gemara says, if you are in chutz laarets it is like you are a little bit of a pagan. If you are in Eretz Yisrael you are mamish connected to G-d. I want you to know something, we always think ‘pagan’ means that I bow down to a tree. No. the Zohar Hakadosh says, when I love somebody very much, I give them what I want to give them face to face. How do I give something to a person that I don’t like? I throw it from my back. You know, in the Torah, idols are called, Elokim Acherim, the way it is translated by most is ‘other gods.’ Right? do you know, the way the Zohar Hakadosh translates it is Elokim Achorayim. That means G-d gives you life, but He throws it from his back. Unbelievable. That means, in Chutz Laaretz, you are an eved elokim acherim, you are serving G-d, but the way G-d gives you everything is that He just throws it from his back.
And again, let it be clear to you, the truth is, Rebbe Nachman says, Tzadikim, even in Chutz Laaretz, wherever they are, is Avira d’Eretz Yisrael [the air of the Land of Israel]. You know, some Tzadikim, wherever they are is Eretz Yisrael. All the Rebbes said, when you come to the grave of the holy Bal Shem, it is mamish the air of Eretz Yisrael. Some of us have had the privilege of being by Rebbe Nachmans grave. You cannot say that by Rebbe Nachmans grave chas veshalom G-d throws from his back.
What is Yisrael? Do you know what Eretz Yisrael means? Yashar Kel / receiving strait from G-d. The land where we are receiving face to face from G-d.
Why was Yosef Hatzadik privileged to feed the whole world? Yosef Hatzadik was always connected to the deepest life. Yosef Hatzadik is giving out life, Yosef Hatzadik is giving out food, Yosef Hatzadik is connected to the highest level of life.
The truth is, he says, in Chutz Laaretz, the life level is very very shvach [weak]. Yet, he says, a Yid has to know, that whenever I say Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokenu Hashem Echad [Hear O’ Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One], at that moment I receive life on the level of Eretz Yisrael.
Why is it that when we didn’t go into Eretz Yisrael, then G-d gave us the mitzvah of tzitzis? Because when you wear Tzitzis, you also receive a little bit of life on the level of Eretz Yisrael.
Why is it that when I put on Tzitzis, it says, Ureisim Oso / I can see G-d. because when I wear Tzitzis, at that moment I am receiving life from G-d face to face.
Rebbe Nachman says, every Beis Medrash [synagogue] where you learn Torah, and you daven [pray] is a little bit Eretz Yisrael. It is mamish true, sometimes you are completely out of energy, and you walk into a Beis Medrash, and you receive a little more life. You can breathe for real.
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Excerpt from “Rebbe Nachman Says”, The Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev as Taught by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach z”tl. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s books are available online at the BreslevIsrael store.