Gems from Advice by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

June 2010

1   “How good it is to pray to God and meditate in the meadows amidst the grass and the trees. When one goes out to the meadows to pray, every blade of grass, every plant and flower enter his prayers and help him, putting strength and force into his words.”

2   “A broken heart is precious indeed. … The best thing is to set aside a certain period each day to pray with a broken heart and then to spend the rest of the day in joy.”

3   “Music is the foundation of true attachment to God. … A holy melody gives strength to the forces of holiness.”

4   “When you sing the words of the prayers in a clear, bright voice, the Shechinah is robed in radiant garments, and this is how the harsh judgments are sweetened.”

5   “Music has a tremendous power to draw you to God. Get into the habit of always singing a tune. It will give you new life and send joy into your soul. Then you will be able to bind yourself to God.”

6    “To taste the hidden light of Torah—the secrets which will be revealed in time to come—you should seclude yourself as much as you can to pray and speak to God. Take a good look at yourself and make a reckoning. What are you doing with your life? How is your time spent? Is this the right way to spend your life?”

7   “When you speak to God you should arouse your heart to the point where your soul all but flies out of you. This is true prayer.”

8   “You must cry out to God from the very depths of your heart. The darkness will crack and deep counsel will be revealed. Through this your faith will be strengthened. In the end you will have perfect faith. Healing will come and great goodness will be brought into the world.”

9   “Your goal should be to become merged with the One and to connect ‘after the Creation’ with ‘before the Creation’ to make a unity which is all good and all holy. (This) means constantly to connect the created world in which we live with the transcendent realm which is beyond Creation and its source, and which alone gives this world its meaning.”

Compiled by Rev. Jan Thomas


The above excerpts are from Advice, by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772 – 1810), published by Breslov Research Institute, 1983. About Rabbi Nachman, from the Breslov Research Institute’s website,

“Rebbe Nachman was the great grandson of Rabbi Israel, the Baal Shem Tov — ‘Master of the Good Name’ — founder of the Chassidic movement. Rebbe Nachman was born in 1772 in the Ukrainian town of Medzeboz. His mother, Feiga, was the daughter of the Baal Shem’s daughter Udel, while his father, Rabbi Simcha, was the son of Rabbi Nachman Horodenker, one of the Baal Shem Tov’s closest disciples. Rebbe Nachman became an outstanding Torah sage, mystic, teacher, Chassidic master and storyteller. He was a Kabbalist and a mystic of the highest order, and yet at the same time was artlessly practical and down-to-earth. During his lifetime he attracted a devoted following of Chassidim who looked to him as their prime source of spiritual guidance in the quest for God. After being ill with tuberculosis for several years, Rebbe Nachman passed away in 1810 at the age of thirty-eight.”