Rebbe Nachman says… the holy master Rebbe Nachman says… The greatest sin in the world is to be sad. The greatest sin in the world is not to be filled with joy.
Joy brings what we want
You know, my beautiful friends, all of us want so much… we need so much…. Do you know why we don’t have it? Because whenever you ask for something from Heaven, whenever you ask for something from another human being… do you know when they deliver the goods? At that moment when you are filled with joy.
Just imagine if I am asking for millions of tons of things from heaven, and here, so to speak, the heavenly mailmen come knocking on my door; they want to give me everything. I open the door, and I am sad, broken. First of all, who wants to have anything to do with a sad person? So they throw me a few crumbs and they take off. And, even deeper than this, G-d wants to give me so much, you need a lot of strength to carry it. And you know, when you are full of joy, you are full of strength, you can carry anything, you can carry the whole world on your head, on your shoulders. You can carry the whole world on one finger. But if you are sad, you can’t take the whole thing. You take only a little bit, and the Heavenly mailman takes off.
You know beautiful friends, if you ask somebody for a favor, and you sit there and you cry and cry, they can’t get rid of you fast enough.
If you are filled with joy… if you are filled with joy, if your heart is dancing all the time… your eyes are dancing, then people want to be close to you so much.
Joy brings peace
You know, friends, what the world needs most? Everybody thinks we need peace. Yes, we need peace, but you know why we don’t have peace? Because we don’t have enough joy in the world.
And this is what the holy Rebbe Nachman says… people only hate when they are sad.
Imagine there is somebody in the world who I hate the most, I can’t stand that person. I just hate the person. And every day I hate that person more. And imagine that my daughter is getting married, and at the height of the joy of my daughter’s wedding, I take my daughter by the hand and I get on the table and I start dancing. It is the happiest moment of my life. Gevalt, gevalt, how could I ever thank the One, the Only One, for that great moment? You think I am in paradise? Ha, much higher than paradise. At that moment the door opens, and my arch enemy walks in. So I am asking you, my dearest brothers and sisters; what do you think will happen? You know what will happen? In the middle of the dancing – and remember I told you, I am beyond paradise – something will happen to me, and I will reach even higher and even deeper. I jump off the table and run to the door, and I will embrace and kiss my arch enemy. And I will say, “My most beautiful, most precious friend, where were you at the wedding?” And I won’t be lying, because at that moment it will be clear to me that we never hated each other.
Friends, there is only one anti-hatred; it is joy. And if you and I are dreaming of one day the whole world being one, know it is only with joy.
Sadness makes you so dirty
You know beautiful friends, we all have certain reflexes, they don’t come from our head, they come from the inside of our inside. Do you like to hold hands with a person who has dirty hands? No. And even if you have to because you have good manners, so you shake hands, but you try to get your hand back as fast as possible. Someone with clean hands? You like to shake hands. And if you love somebody, you hold their hands forever.
Our holy Rabbis teach us that sadness makes you so dirty. I don’t know what it is… it is a spirit of uncleanliness, a spirit of unholiness, which descends upon you.
And believe me friends; most friendships break up because there is not enough joy in the world.
And here, I want you to know something. Rav Nachman says; why are you so sad? Because everything goes wrong in your life. But, gevalt, gevalt, do you know why everything goes wrong? Because you are so sad.
The gift of joy
But again, my friends, if you will ask me, “I am so sad. How do I get happy?” Believe me, I wish I would know the answer. I can only bless you, that G-d should give you the gift of joy.
Life is in the hands of G-d, joy is in the hands of G-d. And G-d is giving joy to those who He feels fit. And even if you are not fit – misfits like you and me – there is only one way… there is only one way; to pray and to pray…. To pray and to pray.
Friends, you pray for everything. But do you know what Rebbe Nachman says? Every second, every split second, you have to ask G-d, and cry, and beg Him; ‘”Please G-d, let my heart be filled with joy.”
One ray of light and another ray of light
My beautiful friends, let me sing with you a prayer. This is what it says:
Simcha Leartsecha, let there be joy… let there be joy in Your whole world.
Vesason Leirecha, let there be bliss in the holy city.
Utsmichas keren leDavid avdecha, let the salvation grow.
You know, beautiful friends, the salvation of the world, the redemption of every individual, doesn’t happen suddenly. It comes slowly.
One morning, one early morning, or maybe late at night. It was so late, it was so late… it was so late… the world was so dark… so dark, but it was one minute before dawn. And, you and I know, that whenever the world is darkest, dawn is breaking. So the Zohar HaKodesh, the holy Zohar, the book of splendor, the text book of the deepest, deepest secrets of our holy teachings, this is what it says:
Once, late at night, Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai and his son, Rebbe Eliezer, were standing on the mountain. It was so dark, it was so dark, gevalt, what a dark period to live in, right after the destruction of the Temple. Suddenly, one ray of light, one holy ray of the sun… for one second – a ray of light. And then another ray, just a little bit less dark. And slowly, slowly, G-d’s greatest light, the sun, is coming to shine for the whole world.
And imagine, you and I are standing with them on that holy mountain.
And Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai said to his son, “Eliezer, my son, do you see… do you see? This is the way the redemption of the world, the redemption of Israel, the rebuilding of the holy city will happen: One ray of light, and another ray of light, and another ray of light, until, until, until, until, the whole world will be filled with joy and with light.
Simcha Leartzecha, vesasson leirecha, utsmichas keren leDavid avdecha, vearichas ner leben yishai meshichecha bimhera biyamenu. [Let there be joy in Your whole world. Let there be bliss in the holy city. Let the salvation grow. One ray of light, and another ray of light, until the whole world will be filled with joy and with light.]
You know friends, some day there will be peace in the world, there won’t be any committees, there definitely won’t be a United Nations, there won’t be any politicians. I hope they will be around, but they won’t dare open their mouth. Just one human being to the other. People will hold each other’s hands… and suddenly, suddenly, G-d will give us the gift of the greatest joy in the world… the greatest joy in the world.
What is the greatest joy in the world? Do you know what sad is? Loneliness. The deepest sadness is loneliness. And being one with another human being is the greatest joy. Can you imagine being one with the whole world? What joy! Unbelievable, unbelievable!
Don’t run away. Run to.
You know, my beautiful friends, whenever a person is sad, they want to run away from the world, run away from themselves, run away from their friends, run away from G-d. What happened to Adam and Eve? The first mistake – they ran away. Away from G-d, away from paradise – hiding.
You know, sometimes you talk to your best friend, the person you love the most, but you can’t get through to him, he is hiding. He is building walls around himself. What do you do? Listen to this true story:
Rebbe Nosson, Rebbe Nachman’s greatest pupil, had a distant cousin who was very wealthy, but suddenly he went bankrupt. He ran away, and he decided to go to Odessa. There he had a rich uncle, and he hoped to get a loan from him. He passed through the city of Breslov. By that time, after walking for a few weeks, he was so downhearted, so broken, Even his shirt had not been washed in months.
He came to Rebbe Nosson, and Rebbe Nosson said to him, “Where are you going?”
He says, “I am going to a rich uncle in Odessa, I will get a loan from him – a million rubles, and I will reestablish my business.”
Rebbe Nosson said, “Oy vey, gevalt, are you mistaken. You know, the way you look right now, he won’t even let you into his house. He will put ten rubbles in your hand and say, ‘Listen, this is all I can do for you.’”
He said, “What should I do?”
This is what he told him: Instead of running away… You are running? Good. – Don’t run away. Run to. Run to the One… run to the Only One who can help. Instead of running away – just remember friends – instead of running away, run to. Run to the One… the Only One.
You know, when something hurts you, don’t run away from your friends. This is the time to run to your friends. This is the time to run to G-d – to your Friend.
You know, when children are little, what do they do? When they are crying, do they run away? No. They run to their parents. Sadly enough, when we get older, we get perverted, we run away from.
So Rebbe Nosson said to him, “Don’t run away. Go back to your city, go back to your wife, to your children, but run to G-d. You are bankrupt? You have no business? Go to the beis medrash, go to the house of G-d, to the house of prayer, the house of study, and learn day and night. You have no business? Beautiful! It is time to learn, it is time to pray, it is time to fill your heart with the most lofty, with the holiest teachings in the world. And I promise you, G-d will help you.”
He listened to Rebbe Nosson, and he went back to his city, and the people didn’t believe it; they knew he is bankrupt, that he ran away from all the people to whom he owed so much money. He is back? He doesn’t run away? And they asked, “What is he doing?” and they were told, “He is learning day and night.” People were so impressed – this is a true story – that within a few days they gathered together so much money, that they gave him a loan, and he reestablished his business.
You see, when you run to G-d… leave it up to the One, to the Only One. When you run to your best friend, He will always help you.
A true friend
So friends, if you are very, very sad, is there one person you can run to?
Do you know what a true friend is? A true friend is somebody who, when you tell them why you are sad, you are not sad anymore.
Do you know what the holy Bal Shem Tov brought into the world? That everyone needs a Rebbe, a holy master. Every person in the world needs a good friend.
Parents and children
Every child needs a father and mother. Do you know what a father and mother are for? Not to tell the children that they are doing wrong. That, they know on their own. Parents are to run to… to run to….
You know, G-d said to Eve, “You will have trouble having children after you ate from the Tree of Knowledge.” Eve knew that she is in this world to bring children to the world, so she thought to herself, “What is the greatest thing I can do for my children? I will eat from the Tree of Knowledge, and I will tell them what is right and what is wrong.” G-d said, “Look at yourself, you are running away from me. Don’t you know, what a mother is… do you know what a mother is for? When children are crying, they run to their mother, to their father.” So He says, “Oy Chavale [Eve], I am so sorry, it will be hard for you to have children if you don’t know the secret of what a mother is really for, what parents are really for.”
You hear me, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers all over the world? I bless you that when your children are crying, they should come running to you.
Let all of us run to Yerushalayim
And I bless you and me and all of us, the whole world, that instead of running away from each other, let’s run together … let’s run to the One, to the Only One.
When the Messiah is coming, and the Holy Temple will be rebuilt, the prophet says… and this is what He said, “My house is a house of prayer, for all the nations of the world.” You know what will happen someday? Someday the world will realize, “There is no other way. Wars will bring us nowhere. Hatred doesn’t lead anywhere. There is only one way; let us all run to Yerushalayim, to the holy city. Let’s run to the One to the Only One… let’s run to the One, to the Only One.” And at that moment, when the whole world will run to G-d and to each other, at that moment the world will be filled with joy.
Do you know how beautiful it is to know that you have one good friend. There is someone who loves you. There is someone who helps you.
Cry with all your heart
But one more little advice friends; do you know why we are never really happy? Because when we have to cry, we don’t really cry. We are living in a world that when you are over a certain age, you don’t cry. What is wrong with crying?
We don’t know how to cry, we don’t know how to laugh. We laugh at dirty jokes, but we don’t laugh out of joy anymore.
You know when children are little, when they cry – they cry. And when they laugh – they laugh.
I can only tell you, that whenever you want to cry, cry with all your heart. You know how you will feel after you really cry? But cry before the One. I bless you to have one friend to cry with. Then, suddenly, great joy from heaven will descend into your heart.