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Rabbi Nachman's by Rabbi
Secret of Happiness
Breslov had recognized Simcha as the key to success in religion and
truly close to HaShem. In stressing the importance of Simcha he went so
far as saying that depression - the antithesis of Simcha - constitutes
"the main bite of the serpent (the Yetzer Harah)". How far should a
struggle to remain steadfast and avoid depression? The lesson is best
by the following story Rabbi Nachman told to his disciples:
the antidote for the person who feels so heavy, so depressed, that no
of encouragement or advice have any effect?"
There was once a
who earned a living digging clay and selling it. Once, while digging
he discovered a precious stone which was obviously worth a great deal.
Since he had no idea of it's worth, he took it to an expert to tell him
Its value. The expert answered, "No one here will be able to afford
a stone. Go to London, the capital, and there you will be able to sell
it." The man was so poor that he could not afford to make the journey.
He sold everything he had, and went from house to house, collecting
for the trip. Finally he had enough to take him as far as the
board a ship,
but he did not have any money. He went to the ship's captain and showed
him the jewel. The captain immediately welcomed him aboard the ship
great honor, assuming he was a very trustworthy person. He gave the
man a special first class cabin, and treated him like a wealthy
The poor man's cabin had a view of the sea, and he sat there,
looking at the diamond and rejoicing. He was especially particular to
this during his meals, since eating in good spirits is highly
for digestion. Then one day, he sat down to eat, with the diamond lying
in front of him on the table where he could enjoy it. Sifting there he
dozed off. Meanwhile, the mess boy came and cleared the table, shaking
the tablecloth with it's crumbs and the diamond into the sea. When he
up and realized what had happened, he almost went mad with grief.
the captain was a ruthless man who would not hesitate to kill him for
fare. Having no other choice, he continued to act happy, as if nothing
had happened. The captain would usually speak to him a few hours every
day, and on this day, he put himself in good spirits, so that the
was not aware that anything was wrong. The captain said to him, "I want
to buy a large quantity of wheat and I will be able to Sell it in
for a huge profit. But I am afraid that I will be accused of stealing
the king's treasury. Therefore, I will arrange for the wheat to be
in your name. I will pay you well for your trouble." The poor man
But as soon as they arrived in London the captain died. The entire
of wheat was in the poor man's name and it was worth many times as much
as the diamond.
"The diamond did not belong to the poor man, and the proof is that he
not keep it. The wheat, however, did belong to him, and the proof is
he kept it. But he got what he deserved only because he remained happy.
It is up
of us never
to lose hope, and like the poor man in the story to whom everything
lost, force oneself to be happy. Even a faked, ungenuine, happiness,
the power to transform our situation and lead us to genuine
for the person who feels so heavy, so depressed, that no words of
or advise have any effect? To the one who feels he has reached the end
of his rope ... feeling so low and discouraged about himself that he
only term himself "dead." Rabbi Nachman throws a lifeline: He stresses
the statement of the Gemara that in the future,
the entire body through a certain bone known as the "Luz". Invisible to
the eye, the Luz defies destruction. Placed on a stone and pounded
with a sledgehammer, eventually the sledgehammer will break in two and
the stone will shatter into a thousand pieces - but the Luz will remain
intact and unharmed. "Thus we see," says Rabbi Nachman, "that no matter
how low a person has fallen, there exists an indestructible part in
that can form the basis for a new resurrection - a new life."
Focus on your Luz
Rabbi Nachman. Ask HaShem to help you find that indestructible part,
essence of yourself that no sin or misfortune can erase. Bind yourself
to it. Concentrate on it. Allow it to gladden you and make
Then, even if you find yourself in the deepest, darkest pit without the
slightest trace of hope or light - still, you will always find your way
scale, the failure
to find the "good point," is responsible for undermining all our
in marriage. All conflict arises from an inability to see the good in
person. Fault-finders abound.
Nachman, to zero in on the good point -- the pure, untarnishable,
utterly redeeming feature that exists in each and every one of us, and
use it to rebuild our image of others and ourselves.
Taitzayhu - "through
simcha you will go out," the posuk says. it is simcha that shines a
for a person, releasing him from any type of exile.
In the zechus of
Tzaddik who taught this lesson of Simcha may Hashem allow us to exit
our present galus, with the coming of Moshiach and the rebuilding of
Bais Hamikdash speedily in our days. Amain.