Monday, October 26, 2015

Likutei Moharan I #2, Point-by-Point Summary

All the following points are explained and proven in the full text of Likutei Moharan from the Tanakh, the statements of Hazal, the Midrashim, the Holy Zohar, the writings of the Arizal, and more.

1. Prayer is the essential weapon of the Messiah and the man of Israel, that through it one can win all wars, both physically and spiritually.

(Note: be aware that this does not mean, as is too commonly misunderstood, that in a time of war one can rely on a miracle from HaShem. Instead, one must pray and also take all necessary action to wage war, as R' Nahman states in Sefer HaMidot, Meriva #101 that in a time of war one must prepare weapons and fight, and not rely on a miracle. Point #1 simply means that prayer is the backbone of physical and spiritual wars.)

2. One who guards himself from sexually impure thoughts, words, and actions, merits prayer; and one who does not guard himself has true prayer taken away from him.

3. Giving tzedaka (charity) before praying makes the prayer fluent in the mouth.

4. A person is saved from foreign thoughts that come during prayer via tzedaka.

5. Through whole prayer, which does not veer to the right or left, one "manages his affairs with mishpat (justice)"; mishpat is the Middle Pillar.

6. Complete prayer comes through completely guarding oneself from sexually impure thoughts, words, and actions.

7. The true Tzadik of the generation (note: this is R' Nahman for all the generations between him and the Messiah) knows how to elevate prayers to the proper place. Therefore, all must attach their prayers to him.

8. From the above-stated prayers in #7, the Tzadik builds up the stature of the Shekhina (Divine Presence), drawing closer the coming of the Messiah.

9. Torah learning and prayer strengthen each other, and the letters of the Torah that one learns for the sake of keeping and doing it are sparks of souls that enclothe within the prayer and are renewed there in the aspect of a pregnancy.

10. If a person prays and does hitbodedut (secluded and personal conversation with HaShem) daily for a long time, and it seems to him that it isn't benefiting him, he should only continue because the of the Shekhina (see #8 above) simple has not been built up yet [to the level needed for him to see his prayers come to fruition].

11. It isn't proper to expect reward for anything or to think that one's successes are from his prayers and Torah learning - because everything is from HaShem and His mercy (meaning He is both the cause and the effect).

12. The evil inclination is mainly for sexual promiscuity, and the main testing of a person in this world is in this lust.

13. The true Tzadik of the generation is the 'great luminary' and he shines and enlightens prayer, which is the aspect of the 'small luminary'.

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