20 Cheshvan 5782 / Tuesday, October 26, 2021 | Torah Reading: Chayei Sarah
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Rebbe Nachman's Sonnet - Song of Delight    

Rebbe Nachman's Sonnet - Song of Delight

Rebbe Nachman’s classic sonnet has delighted the hearts of Breslevers for over 200 years. The Rebbe speaks in praise of Moses, the Torah, and all of Hashem’s creation.


“The Essential Rebbe Nachman”, Part 8


Song of Delight - A sonnet by Rebbe Nachman of Breslev

In praise of the Torah of Moses
No other beliefs and customs compare with our faith.
Their wise men invented customs using human reason.
Moses ascended on high garbed in a cloud.
The Necessary Existent spoke with him each time, so he distanced himself from woman.
Despised, sickly and oppressed though we are,
We received a good teaching from him – God's wisdom, which comes forth from nothingness.
 Moses – king in Yeshurun – and our faith are like two inseparable brothers.
Neither his soul nor his pure body deviated from one another.
Israel and the nations
As numerous as their souls, so are their many opinions and diverse arguments.
Their forms of worship are new, having arisen only recently.
Their thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways are not their ways.
Our souls are one: we do not turn aside to their many images.
The power of the soul
My strong, wise soul: Why have you not taken pity on yourself? Why have you forgotten the Craftsman who raised you, Who has fed you sweet dainties and clothed you in purple?
Now you are trampled by the flock and under the feet of gross worldly desires. You are bare and naked. Your festive wine has turned into a cup of tears.
Be strong! Renew your strength. Don't be like a great elephant or camel that even when pulled along by the nose by a mouse will still not kick free, only through folly since he doesn't know his own strength.
But you, my wise, strong soul: What will you do on the day of reckoning and what will you answer the One Who sent you on your mission? Don't look for fleeting pleasures, for your body is frail and lowly, while time roars ahead, and this could be your body's last day.
Pierce your heart of stone and shine from there to me with a little glimpse of your face, which is bright as the sun, beautiful as the moon. Don't be still and silent! Raise your sweet voice in songs and thanks.
Open your mouth and bring forth your pleasant words before the Holy One blessed be He. Raise your eyes on high and remember your ancient love.
God's glory in nature
Rivers, streams, channels of abundant waters, and seas great and small,
Wondrous, diverse in colors, tastes and characters,
Swarming with creatures small and great – each one contains species without number.
All laud and praise God with all their limbs.
They constantly utter words and never deny their Ruler.
Precious jewels and pearls glint in their depths:
Hidden within them are the lights of their vessels.
Destiny of the soul
The souls hewn from beneath the Throne of Glory
Pine constantly to become one with their Source.
The soul draws life and kindness from the kindnesses of David.
She has not lost the grace of the spirit dripping from Eden 's garden.
Palatial dwellings and tents of peace are marked out for each and every soul with signs of majesty.
"What has God done?" the angels will ask, racing on their missions like shooting stars.
Far remote from all delights will be those whose paths are corrupted.
They will be left hungry and disgraced with only the hollow of the sling as their lot.
Let us not be lost! Let us return to God!
Let us accept bad and good with love and bedeck ourselves in honor of our eternal Father.
The holy land
The earth was created surrounded by spheres, with many lands and states around it.
The children of man all have their languages and beliefs.
The buds, flowers and fruits of the earth
And even the collapse of states are through her winds.
The earth alone endures, with the spheres encompassing around her.
Torah protects from impurity
Demons and spirits fly through the air,
Hearing God's decree and holding sway over the four root kinds of damage: the ox, the pit, the tooth and fire.
In three ways like angels, in three like men,
They flee in the face of the holy Covenant, of which it is said, "He shall surely be circumcised".
Striking as if with rods in their weird forms,
Spell-weavers and magicians compel them by adjuring them with names.
But the holy Torah protects us from all impurities;
Charity saves from terrible deaths.
The suffering of exile
Prophecy we do not have.
With the teeth of the nations gnashing against the unique people, we are bereft of understanding.
They discuss how to administer the bitter cup of sorrows.
We shall bear their yoke until the Poor One arrives.
The son shall explore his father's treasures.
With a crown of glory the beloved son is crowned.
Then we shall sing a new song.
Our King! Each and every one will point with a finger of flesh.
The Torah will be unforgettably sealed in each one's heart.
Death will be consumed for ever like the fading scent of incense.
Spiritual healing
Let us acquire a heart of wisdom to understand the design of our body, the proportions of its joints and the structure of its limbs.
This necessary understanding helps us to know the Creator Who formed all these creations,
Who heals all sickness and each one's pains – the blind and the lame, the leprous and afflicted, he who worries and he who is in pain.
Let us eat only to sustain our souls, restraining our natural cravings.
Chazak!!! Be strong!!!
Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is the director of Azamra. “The Essential Rebbe Nachman” is available for purchase online here.

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