Category Archives: Ancient Prophecies

Easy Money – Chapter II

Every once in a while, I am going to post a chapter from a publication that the Breslov community in Brooklyn puts out which is based on the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.  I will add my two cents on the bottom of the post and those of you who have a few more cents to add….please feel free.

Even though Rabbi Nachman was a Hasid, his teachings are applicable and potentially valuable to all of humanity

Visit my post “The Unique Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov” for a little introduction to who Rabbi Nachman is and why he is special.

Easy Money – Chapter II

Despite the prevailing notion that there is no place for virtue in the competitive world of business, still making a good living means making an honest living!  For success of any lasting value has to be legitimately gained, and not acquired at the cost of your beliefs and ideals.

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The Unique Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Even if you are not Jewish, I highly recommend taking the time to read some of his teachings, because, although they were written in the middle of the 19th century, the message of Rabbi Nachman’s teachings are still applicable today.

If you want to skip this little introduction to who Rabbi Nacham is and why he is special…you can go directly to the first chapter that I have posted. “Easy Money, Chapter 1“…otherwise keep reading.

Rebbe Nachman, a great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism, breathed new life into the Hasidic movement by combining the esoteric secrets of Judaism (the Kabbalah) with in-depth Torah (Old Testament) scholarship. He attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime and his influence continues until today.  Rebbe Nachman’s religious philosophy revolved around closeness to God and speaking to God in normal conversation “as you would with a best friend”.

Rebbe Nachman lived at a time of controversy between Hasidim and more traditional Orthodox Jews, known as Misnagdim (opponents) for their opposition to hasidism. It was also a time of friction between Hasidim and proponents of Jewish emancipation.  During his lifetime, Rebbe Nachman also encountered opposition from within the Hasidic movement itself, from people who questioned his new approach to Hasidut.  Many within the Hasidic movement felt that Rabbi Nachman’s teachings deviated from classical Judaism and from the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov.

The reason that I chose to write about this particular Rabbi (spiritual leader) is because I feel that his influence set the stage for a different understanding of God and our relationship with Him.

In fact, the primary commandment (or mitzvah) that Rabbi Nachman stressed was the mitvah to be happy.

If you have read any of my other posts, you might know that I was once an “Orthodox Jew”, but because I felt that there was too much contradiction within the community and logic did not override ritual…I made a very difficult decision (which took a lot of guilt and pain to come to) to discontinue my affiliation with “Orthodoxy”.

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A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Pirkei Avot which translates to English as “Chapters of the Fathers” is a compilation of the ethical teachings and maxims of the Rabbis between the periods of 10-210 CE.   Because of its contents, it is also called “Ethics of the Fathers”.  Pirkei Avot is unique in that it is the only tractate of the Talmud dealing solely with ethical and moral principles; there is little or no law found in Pirkei Avot.

My parents made sure that I went to a Yeshiva (a traditional Jewish school) throughout grade school and high school.  Of all the religious teachings that I was privileged to learn in Yeshiva,  I specifically remember that I truly enjoyed learning the teachings of Pirkei Avot.  I remember that even as a young girl I would really listen and try to deeply understand what this ancient text was trying to teach us in relation to our relationship to the world that we live in.

Many of the teachings required a lot of commentary even to understand the thought behind it and sometimes even with the commentary, the teaching seemed to get lost in the translation – especially trying to understand it from a child’s perspective.

One of the teachings I remember not being able to fully understand was the quote “Provide for yourself a teacher and buy for yourself a friend”.  I was not able to grasp why the Rabbis would dare recommend that we “buy” ourselves a friend.  As a child, this seemed like crazy advice to me.  Why would a friend need to be bought?…..

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Peace in the Midst of Terror

Everyone who wants to see it can see it.   Peace has got to be in our future.   How do we know?   Because Jews, Christians and Moslems all agree on some sort of concept of a Messiah and anyone who believes in a merciful G-d (from here forward, I will be referring to G-d as the Life Force of the Universe) must believe that there will be a point in time that peace will be ever present.   Through faith in The Life Force of the Universe, we can be assured that peace will eventually be ours.   Read the rest of this entry »


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