Hassidic Insights


I have learned much from insights found in the writing of many of the world’s mystics. I offer others a sample of Hassidic sayings in return.

Rabbi Mikhal of Zlotchov said: "When the Evil Urge tries to tempt people to sin, it tempts them to become superrighteous.”

Rabbi Pinhas of Koretz said: “A prayer, which is not spoken in the name of all Israel, is no prayer at all.”

Before his death, Rabbi Zusya of Hanipol said: “In the next world they will not ask me-Why were you not Moses? They will ask me-Why were you not Zusya?”

Rabbi Zusya once passed a meadow where a swineherd in the midst of his animals was playing a song on a willow-flute. Zusya came close and listened until he had learned it and could take it away with him. In this way a song of David, the shepherd-boy, was freed from its long exile.

Rabbi Barukh of Mezbizh once said: “What a good and bright world this is if we do not lose our hearts, but what a dark world, if we do!”

Rabbi Nakhman of Bratzlav said: “The whole world is one long narrow bridge, so it is essential not to be afraid.”

A Hassidic Sage who was near death got up and danced. When they tried to stop him he said, “This is exactly the time to dance.” He then told them a story and concluded, “When they come to you with a very difficult demand, that is exactly the time to dance.”

Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk asked, “Where can you find God? The other sages say that God is everywhere. I say God is wherever a person lets God in.”

Rabbi Michal of Zlotchov once said to his children, “My life was always blessed in that I never needed anything until I had it.”

Rabbi Shelomo of Karlin taught, “What is the worst thing that Satan can accomplish? To make a person forget that he or she is a child of God.”

Rabbi Mordecai of Lekhovitz taught, “We must not worry. Only one worry is O.K. We can worry about being worried.”

Rabbi Moshe of Kobryn taught, “We paid no attention to the miracles our teacher worked, and when sometimes a miracle didn’t come to pass, he only gained in our eyes.”