3 Shvat 5781 / Saturday, January 16, 2021 | Torah Reading: Va'era
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A Shoelace    

A Shoelace

You can get a shoelace by purchasing it, but that shoelace has no taste; but, you can get a shoelace right from Hashem’s hand – that’s something else...


Compiled and edited by Ziv Ritchie
You know, when G-d gives you a taste, of how holy your soul is, how holy your neshama is. You know when G-d gives you a taste of that light which is really burning in side of you, of that great fire…
I want you to know, someone came to Reb Nachman and he was talking about our father Abraham. So Reb Nachman says to him, “Obviously, you don’t have the faintest idea who our father Abraham was. How could you know? Right. But whatever you think our father Abraham was; you are about one million times deeper than that. You are millions of times deeper.”
You know friends, whatever we think any holy person we know in the world is, we ourselves are much deeper.
And you know friends, when does G-d give us a taste…. You know friends, let me tell you something, if I know that I am very talented with numbers, so I know, ‘Maybe I should study mathematics, and be a scientist.’ If I know that I am talented in music, so I know, ‘Maybe I should study music.’ You know what our problem is? All of us, we don’t even know our talents in serving G-d, we don’t know our talents in making the world more beautiful. Because we never taste it.
So I want you just to hear this. This is a Torah from Rebbe Nachman, I am giving you in one sentence:
Hidden light
Harotze litom tam ohr haganuz:If you want to have a taste of the hidden light inside of you, he says, yarbe behisbodedus: There has to be moments, moments, moments, where you extract yourself from the whole world. Mamash, and you are just so close to G-d. and as I told you before, the moments you can be close to G-d have nothing to do with what you did before and what you will do after. You know sweetest friends, I want you to know something, when you love somebody very much, you can make a deal with them: I don’t care what happens between us, one minute a day I want to be close to you. You know friends, why we Jewish people made it after the destruction of the holy temple? Because three times a day I am close to G-d. Three times a day, when I pray, all the gates of heaven are open. Three times a day I am not in exile. Three times a day the holy temple is rebuilt.
Rebbe Nachman says one more thing, you know, when you get a taste of your own neshama, your own soul, whenever you do somebody else a favor with all your heart. Gevalt is that holy, gevalt is that good. Someone asks you a favor, and you mamash do it without reservation, with all your heart. At that moment, you get a little glimps, you get a little taste of what you really have inside.
You know friends, I want you to know, when someone asks us a favor, we always thing we are doing them a favor. It is not true. G-d wants to give you a taste of who you are.
Imagine I am up all night crying before G-d, “Please let me know who I am.” Right. The next morning I am very tired. Someone calls me up and says, “Can you do me a favor.” I say, “Listen, not now, I was up all night crying to G-d… Please call me next week.” (ha, ha) Gevalt, right.
But one more thing friends, again. It is awesome…. You know, it is not awesome to taste good cholent. But it is awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome, to have a little bit of a glimps of my own neshama.
What is it to pray
The heilege Reb Nachman, the Holy Baal Shem Tov’s grandson, the Chassidim asked him, “Rebbe, what is it really to pray? How do you pray?” So he says, “I want you to watch my little grandson Yisrolekle, who is three years old, he knows how to pray. He is my true follower.”
Anyway, they watched Yisroelke…
You have to realize something; the holy Reb Nachman, sadly enough, passed away when he was thirty nine. He got married a few days after his bar mitzvah, and so, when he was twenty five, how old was his daughter then? Twelve, right. So she got married, right? So when he was thirty nine, he had grandchildren already.
So the Chassidim began watching this Yisroelke. And you know, little kids of three, they want to tie their shoelaces, and sometimes they don’t have so much control yet, so he tore the shoelace. And you know, I don’t know about you, but most sophisticated people; if you tore your shoelace, you put a new one in, or you go out and buy one. But not Yisroelke, he is Breslever chossid, right, a follower of his grandfather. He tore his shoelace, he put the shoe down, walked to a corner, he began crying from the deepest depths of his heart, “Rebono Shel Olam, Master of the World, I tore my shoelace, please get me another one.”
Gevalt, right.
I want you to know, you can get shoelaces by buying it, but that shoelace has no taste. Imagine if you get a shoelace from the One, from the Only One, gevalt is that good, gevalt is that good. So good.
* * *
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 Breslev Israel store.

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