Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Purpose of Life

Selections from Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum’s “The Essential Rabbi Nachman
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5767 - 2006-7 All rights reserved

The purpose of Life

If a person doesn’t focus on the purpose, what is the point of his life?

Likutey Moharan
I, 268

Make a profit from this world

The profit you can gain from this world is indescribable. You don’t even need to lay out money to make a profit from this world. All you need to do is reach out and take advantage of the many opportunities God constantly provides for you to make a very great profit.

Likutey Moharan
II, 55

Each mitzvah creates a lamp

Each mitzvah that a person does in this world creates a lamp with which he can explore the treasure house of the King after he dies. This is the ultimate bliss of the life to come.
Likutey Moharan I, 275

Reward of the world to come
We call the reward in the world to come “good” because there is simply no other term to describe it. Yet even the word “good” is quite inadequate, because this reward is far beyond good. Still, the only way to explain it to people is by calling it good, although in truth, “no eye has seen it, other than God” (Isaiah 64:3) .

Sichot Haran

Israel‘s destiny

Israel was created to have dominion over the angels, and this is Israel ‘s ultimate destiny. Each one must make certain that he attains his destiny and rules over the angels.
But you must guard yourself carefully to ensure that you have the strength to stand firm in this dominion and not let the ministering angels cast you down out of jealousy. The way to stand firm is by binding yourself to the souls of Israel . This is accomplished by binding yourself to the true leaders of Israel , the Tzaddikim.

Likutey Moharan
II, 1

From level to level

A person must long to attain the highest possible level. And he must not allow himself to fall from even the smallest level.

Siach Sarfey Kodesh

When a person rises from level to level in this world, never ceasing to make fresh advances in serving God, so too in the world to come he will continue rising from level to level.
Siach Sarfey Kodesh 1-85

In this world it is completely impossible for a person to know where he is holding . Not knowing where one stands is one of the main tests in life.
Likutey Halachot, Yoreh Deah, Shavuot 2:17

Free will

Everything you see in the world—everything that exists—is there for the sake of free will, in order to test people. The entire world and all that it contains were created to give man free will.

Sichot Haran
#300; Chayey Moharan #519

What is free will? If you want, you do it, and if you don’t want, you don’t do it!

Likutey Moharan
II, 110

Man is unique in his greatness. When a person does like this with his hands, a movement like this takes place in all the worlds!

And when he does like that with his hands, a movement like that takes place in all the worlds!

If you could turn a person inside out, you would see that thousands upon thousands of worlds depend on every single sinew of his body.

Chayey Moharan

The hard part of anything one has to do for God is the part left to one’s own free will. These are the things that one has to decide for oneself without being explicitly commanded or asked to do them. It is then entirely up to oneself to do as one chooses.

In all acts of devotion, something is always left for the individual to decide for himself without being instructed one way or the other. He must make his own choice. It is in the area where free will comes into play that the main work lies. There is always room for doubt about what God really wants, since He has given no instructions as to what to do.

Chayey Moharan

Different kinds of life

Even if a person dies at the age of eighty, he may still have had a short life if he failed to improve himself and spent all his years on vain pursuits.
We only need to live a little—as long as we live right!

Chayey Moharan

In this world many people of little substance are considered great while genuine merit is unrecognized. There are many different kinds of life. Some lead very troubled lives though this may not always be outwardly apparent. There are different degrees of troubled lives.

One person’s suffering is never quite like another’s. Even the life of a person who does not endure actual suffering may not necessarily be comparable to that of somebody else in a similar category, because the various forms of life differ markedly from one another.

You cannot compare the life of a horse to that of a man. Just as there are enormous differences between life forms on the physical plane, so there are great differences in the quality of people’s spiritual lives.

True life is to delight in God. Some people achieve this even in this world; others not at all. Spiritual life contains the same multiplicity of gradations that exist on the level of physical life.

Chayey Moharan

Have you looked up at the sky today?

When you look outside, what do you see? The market, wagons, horses, people running in all directions. Fifty years from now the market will be completely different, with different horses and wagons, different merchandise and different people. I won’t be here and you won’t be here.

Then let me ask you now: How come you are so busy and preoccupied that you don’t even have time to look up at the sky?

Kochvey Ohr


All the pleasures of this world are like sunbeams in a dark room. They may seem solid, but when a person tries to grasp hold of a sunbeam, he finds nothing in his hand. The same is true of all worldly desires.

Sichot Haran

Doorway to life

For a Tzaddik, death is just like going from one room to another.

Sichot Haran

What is there for you to be afraid of about dying? The world there is far more beautiful than here.

Chayey Moharan

What’s there to do?

What should a person do in this world? He must only pray and study and pray.

Sichot Haran

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