This is an awesome Torah teaching: You know why people are not b’simcha [happy]? Because really, let’s face it, they have never done one thing in their lives which gave them joy. So Rebbe Nachman says, what do you do? You should do one mitzvah [good deed] with so much joy that you think to yourself, “Even if I never ever do anything else, it’s worth it to live 100 years, even just for this alone.”
Rebbe Nachman says that the Bal Shem Tov makes it clear that when you do somebody else a favor, the joy should be so gevalt. When you do somebody else a favor, it should be clear to you, “It’s worth it to suffer 100 years of this world just for the privilege of doing somebody else a favor.”
But then Rebbe Nachman adds, if you do one mitzvah, one good deed, with so much heart, then you mamash reach the level of prophecy.
Remember, prophecy, the spirit of prophecy, only rests on you when you’re filled with joy.
The Gemara says that there is no prophecy outside of Israel. It’s only because, after the destruction of the Temple, we never reached the level of enough joy to have real prophecy anywhere else.
Sometimes you can feel it; that in heaven, there’s something going on but it’s not decreed yet. And sometimes (G-d forbid) it’s already written in a decree.
Do you know that, even a decree in heaven, when they’re still dealing with the decree in heaven, you can still change it.
You know, after the Germans went into Poland, people asked the Belzer Rebbe, “Can’t you do something? Can’t you pray?” He said, “It’s all over, the decree is closed. I can’t do anything anymore.”
But that is also not true. Because, everybody knows that by praying you can change everything in the world. The only difference is, the way you pray before the decree comes out and is finalized, and the way you pray after the decree comes out – I mean, you better pray about two billion times stronger.
Rebbe Nachman says, G-d forbid, when the decree is already called out in heaven, then you cannot even pray anymore, because the gates are closed. So you have to go through the back door. And the back door is, that you tell stories.
Stories open the gates
“Someone who attains this degree of joy will be able to know what decrees have been passed against the world, whether the decree has been sealed yet or not, and against whom judgment has been passed. And through this he will know how to pray for the world, because after the decree has been sealed the Tzadikim have to clothe their prayers in story form.” (Likutei Moharan, Torah number 5)
And the stories open the gates.
This is one of Rebbe Nachman’s deep Torah teachings. Imagine a girl loves someone very much, and she gives them the key to the door of her house. Later, she gets very angry, and she takes the key back. Yet the only thing is, she never takes away the key to the back door.
Rebbe Nachman says, the key to the back door is always open, it’s never closed.
With all your heart
So Rebbe Nachman says, and this is so important; imagine I’m so sad, and I can’t get out of it. So I say to myself, “Is there one mitzvah, is there one thing that I can do?” So I decide, “I want mamash to do this one mitzvah, this one good deed with all my heart.”
Do you see how deep this is? Rebbe Nachman says, what is called ‘with all your heart’? ‘With all your heart’ means that even if I never ever do anything else, I bless G-d that I was alive to do this one thing.
So Rebbe Nachman says that whenever you’re sad, think; “Is there one thing in the world I did, or I want to do, that can mamash keep me alive forever?”
But then Rebbe Nachman adds, if you do something b’simcha [with joy], then mamash you’re so full of prophecy that you know how much you have to pray for something. You know if the decree is sealed already or if the decree is not sealed. If the decree is sealed, it means it is not enough just to pray, you have to go through the back door.
Praying with all your heart
How do you know how happy you are, how much you are b’simcha? If you can mamash daven [pray] with all your heart, that means you’re mamash b’simcha. Because when you’re half sad, you cannot put your whole heart into praying. Because when you’re sad, you give up. Sadness is: ‘I don’t believe in prayer – that it can really change everything.’ The minute you don’t believe in prayer any more…
The heilege Bal Shem Tov says: I was only privileged to reach such a high level because I daven with all my heart.
Remember that Rebbe Nachman says, “You know what ‘with all our heart’ means? It means, with every ounce of energy you have.”
Praying is not an act, it’s a state. Mamash, I am mamash praying.
Do you know what praying is? Rebbe Nachman says praying is living. I receive life when I’m praying. People always think I’m praying for something. Praying is living. This is life. When am I closest to G-d? When am I doing my ‘inhaling’ for the whole day? When I’m praying.