Hisbodedus - Jewish Outlook

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You have to do hisbodedus all the time. Hisbodedus is translated as ‘meditation,’ but that is not what it is. Hisbodedus means being alone with G-d. Being alone with G-d.

You know, according to the world, meditation means, “being alone with yourself.” I am not knocking it, it is also very important, I am sure it is very good, but that is not what Rebbe Nachman is talking about. Rebbe Nachman is talking about being alone with G-d.

You know, when we pray we say, “Ata Hu HaShem levadecha. G-d, You are alone.” Do you know what that means? G-d can only reveal Himself to somebody who knows the secret of being alone with G-d. This is the deepest.

When people get married, the chuppah is very beautiful, but it is all nothing. Right after the chuppah, the bride and groom have to be alone a little bit. Because the real connection is by being alone. And alone with G-d doesn’t just mean I am sitting there and I say, “Ah, I know there is one G-d. I appreciate it. G-d, ‘hi’.” It has got to be deeper than that. Mamash, pouring out your heart before G-d.

Rebbe Nachman was mamash pouring out his heart to G-d every second.

Rebbe Nachman said that he could not live more than three or four hours without talking to G-d.

And the way to do it is, mamash, tell G-d everything. You know, we pray a lot to G-d. How about Mamash just telling G-d everything.

Judge ourselves

When do we have time to look at ourselves and mamash judge ourselves properly? This is the deepest, friends.

I don’t know about you, I know about me. We don’t have the faintest idea how to judge ourselves: Am I good? Am I bad? Am I gevalt? Am I a creep? What am I?

And do you know when I have a little bit of closeness to my own heart? When I am alone with G-d. Because, when I am alone with G-d, you know what is shining? The inside of the inside of me.

And again, remember, being alone with G-d is not a head gesheft [thing]; “I sit down, I have a little mantra….” Please forgive me, I am not knocking it, but that is all head stuff. Being alone with G-d is inside, inside, neshama [soul] stuff, it is the deepest depths of my being.

Don’t be afraid to be a gevalt

On the one hand, we are afraid to go wrong, but we are also so afraid to be a gevalt [exceptionally good]. You know, today, psychology is talking a little bit about being afraid of success, but Rebbe Nachman already said that two hundred years ago, but even deeper. Gevalt, are you afraid to be as holy as the Bal Shem Tov? Are you afraid to be the holy of holiest?

And I don’t mean ignoring the world, because some people think ‘holy’ means ‘aloof from the world.’

Holy means it is so close

Let me tell you the outside of it. Do you know what holy means? Why is G-d called holy? Because He is always there. He is mamash right there. You know, a holy person is not somebody who is far away. Holy means: “it is so close.”

And friends, I want you to know, there is a torah from Rebbe Nachman, and mamash, I don’t think you can be a Jew without knowing it:
Why is it that when we say “Shema Yisrael HaShem Elokenu HaShem Echad, G-d is One,” we close our eyes? Rebbe Nachman says, if something is far away from you, you keep your eyes open. The closer it gets, the more you squint your eyes. Rebbe Nachman says that G-d is so close, you have to close your eyes in order to see it.
It’s so deep.

And I want you to know something. Why is it that we cannot see ourselves, unless we have a mirror? Because we are so close to ourselves.

But when do you really, so to speak, have a little mirror for your insides, a little holy mirror? When you are alone with G-d. Mamash, at that moment, your inside is shining. And when your inside is shining, you are not afraid to be the highest.

Holy arrogance

What is the deepest secret of life? The deepest secret of life is to be absolutely humble, and to be absolutely arrogant. Mamash arrogant.

They always talk about ‘surrender,’ it is a real pagan word. Do you know what it means to ‘surrender?’ “I am a shmate [rag]. I am nothing.” Chhhh. “I surrender to G-d. I surrender to Yiddishkeit.” What do you mean, ‘surrender?’ Rebbe Nachman always talks about just the opposite: to mamash reach such a high point.

Let me ask you a question: would you say a baby has to surrender and stop wearing diapers? One day the baby says, “Mother, I surrender. I won’t wear diapers anymore.” Baruch HaShem, you reached the level that you don’t need it anymore. G-d doesn’t want us to surrender anything. G-d wants us to reach so high.

The deepest secret of life is how to be absolutely humble, and how to be absolutely arrogant. Because, unless you are arrogant…

Rebbe Nachman talks about it a million times, azut dekedusha, holy arrogance. Without holy arrogance you can’t do anything.

Is there anything more arrogant than praying; I am sitting here by myself, and I say to G-d, “Mamash, I want to talk to You.” Really, you mean to say, G-d has nothing else to do than to listen to you? Praying is the biggest chutzpah in the world.

Why didn’t G-d make a covenant with Noah, only with Abraham? When G-d says to Noah, “I am destroying the world,” Noah didn’t have enough chutzpah to tell G-d, “Don’t do it.”
G-d says, “If you have no chutzpah, I cannot deal with you.”

G-d says to Abraham, “I’ll destroy Sodom,” and Avraham speaks up to G-d, and he says, “No, I don’t want You to do it. If there are 50 tzadikim [holy people] there, and I will be able to turn the city over from being bad to being good.”

I want you to know something so deep. What is the most important thing that we have to teach our children? Humility? Sadly enough, they will learn that a little bit in the world, because there are always enough people who knock us off and put us down. You know what parents have to give over to their children? Holy arrogance. Because maybe if learned from somebody else, it will just be arrogance. Not holy arrogance.

The balance

This balance of arrogance comes from a very deep place in your heart.

The question is not, ‘are you are arrogant or are you humble.’ The question is really, what is your relationship to G-d. How do you look at G-d? How do you look at yourself?

The deepest question in the world is, can you really forget yourself for five minutes? Don’t surrender. Surrender means, you make yourself like you are nothing. You are a gevalt. But can you forget about it for five minutes? Can you live in a world, where there is mamash only G-d?

Rebbe Nachman says there are three levels:
First, there is only me.
Then, there is me and G-d.
Then, there is only G-d.

Unless you experience for a few minutes every day that there is only one G-d, you are not balanced.


When you are sitting, and you are talking to G-d, it has to be clear to you; every word you utter is clear prophesy, because, at that moment, you are connected to such a deep place.

Sometimes we don’t know what to do. But imagine, if we would know really how to be alone with G-d, and I would stand before G-d, and I would say, “Master of the World, I don’t know what to do.” And suddenly, coming out from within me, from the deepest place of my soul, I would hear myself uttering the words answering what I have to do. No question, it is clear prophesy. You have to realize that G-d is sending words into you.



Daily Torah Quote

Joke of the day

A not–so–young man and woman were sitting on the porch of the hotel catching a little breeze. The woman turned to the man and said, “It’s really something – you look exactly like my third husband.”

The gentleman asked her, “How many times have you been married?”

She replied, “Only twice so far!”