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Eating

This is one of the top Torah teachings of Rebbe Nachman. You know, most of us always think of life in terms of, “What am I doing with my life? How much money do I make? What’s my future? What’s my past?” This is cute and sweet, but it’s the outside of it. Inside – life itself is so deep.

Rebbe Nachman says, at the moment when you put food into your mouth, if you want to, you can receive life on the highest level. You can take a bite of an apple and receive eternal life, or you can just receive the apple. It’s up to you.

The story goes that: Most Breslov Chassidim were poor. Reb Nosson, the greatest pupil of Rebbe Nachman, was once invited by Rebbe Nachman’s grandson, who was very wealthy. He didn’t feel right going there, but since he was invited he went, though, the whole day he was crying inside, “Gevalt, my Rebbe was so holy, and here this grandson is into money.” Reb Nosson relates, “I came to the house…” and due to the affluence, he regretted that he went, since he wasn’t accustomed to this kind of riches. And then the food was brought in, and he says, “Oy vey. With these of golden plates and golden spoons, who knows? Forget it!” But then, he continues, “Rebbe Nachman’s grandson walked in, and he made the blessing, hamotzi [blessing over the bread].” And he says, “The way he put the food in his mouth, I swear to you, I haven’t seen it since Rebbe Nachman.” Mamash, the grandson was eating with the utmost readiness to receive life on the highest level.


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How do you know which part of the service the congregation has reached? It’s very simple – if one third of the congregation is outside then they are davening (praying); if half the congregation is outside then they’re reading the Torah (Bible). Ah, but if everyone is outside then the Rabbi must be giving a speech!