Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The World Is Full of Strife


Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, from "Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom" (Breslov Research Institute)

Sichos HaRan 77

The world is full of strife.

There are wars between the great world powers.

There are conflicts within different localities.

There are feuds among families.

There is discord between neighbors.

There is friction within a household, between man and wife, between parents and children.

Life is short. People die every day. The day that has passed will never return, and death comes closer every day. Nevertheless, people still fight and never once remember their goal in life.

All strife is identical. The friction within a family is a counterpart of the wars between nations. Each person in a household is the counterpart of a world power, and their quarrels are the wars between those powers. The traits of each nation are also reflected in these individuals. Some nations are known for anger, others for bloodthirstiness. Each one has its particular trait. The counterparts of these traits are found in each household.

You may wish to live in peace. You have no desire for strife. Still, you are forced into dispute and conflict.

Nations are the same. A nation may desire peace and make many concessions to achieve it. However, no matter how much it tries to remain neutral, it can still be caught up in war. Two opposing sides can demand its allegiance until it is drawn into war against its will.

The same is true in a household.

Man is a miniature world.[1]

His essence contains the world and everything in it.

A man and his family contain the nations of the world, including all their battles.

A man living alone can become insane. Within him are all the warring nations. His personality is that of the victorious nation. Each time a different nation is victorious, he must change completely, and this can drive him insane. He is alone and cannot express the war within him. But when one lives with others, these battles are expressed toward his family and friends.

There may be strife in the household of a Tzaddik. This, too, is a war between nations.

It is also the war between the twelve tribes, such as the conflict between Ephraim and Judah.[2]

When the Messiah comes all wars will be abolished.

The world will have eternal peace, as it is written: "They will neither hurt nor destroy . . . for the knowledge of G-d will fill the world like the water that covers the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).

© 1973 Breslov Research Institute

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[1] Zohar III, 33b; Tikkuney Zohar, Tikkun 69 (100b).

[2] Isaiah 11:13; Ezekiel 37:16.

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