Feeling fortunate no matter what
Thanks to Breslov Research Institute's "Day by Day" set, which is available on their new Breslov App, I've been consistently reading Reb Nosson's letters to his son, from the book Alim L'terufah. I find them so inspiring and relatable. Anyone who knows a little about the life of Reb Nosson knows that he suffered greatly from the vehement opposition against Rebbe Nachman and his writings. He was exiled, scorned, arrested and nearly assassinated. The following letter (#200) was written after Reb Noson was banished from his home in Breslov to Nemirov. I will interject a few comments [in red text] but the greatness speaks for itself.
"With thanks to God, Monday, Teitzei, 5595, Nemirov Warm greetings to my beloved son, the apple of my eye, Reb Yitzchak, may his light shine,
I have no news to tell you. You know everything that is happening in Breslov better than I do, and the bearer of this letter, Reb Nachman of Tulchin, will tell you what is happening here in Nemirov. “Know this today and place it upon your heart, the Lord is God” (Devarim 4:39) in Breslov and in Nemirov. His Rulership is everywhere. Everything they have done to me is all for the good, thank God. And while I can remotely comprehend only a tiny fraction of this, I believe that the rest is all for the good in this world and the next, forever. [This last line is so powerful and true. We never really understand what's happening to us. But Reb Nosson recognizes that he doesn't need to understand everything. "I believe that the rest is all for the good..." Where the comprehension ends, the faith begins"].
My brother Reb Yudel came at night from Breslov and he told me about the enormous, bitter and treacherous informing taking place there, as they turn themselves over to the deepest pit of hell. By God’s lovingkindness, I was not frightened by it. To the contrary—thank God, I celebrate, rejoice and exult over our portion and our lot. Now, now, we ought to be saying “Ashreinu! Ashreinu!” a thousand, ten thousand times a day! Our mouths should never stop saying “Ashreinu!” “Happy are we!” that we know about this true tzaddik who enables us to feel a little of the sweetness of that praise, what it means to be able to say “Ashreinu!” All of Israel, and we among them, say it every day. But how few are they who notice it and who feel the sweet loveliness of the words they are pronouncing with their mouths! Praise God Who had compassion on us in His great and marvelous lovingkindness so that we are not opponents and we have drawn a little close to the point of truth, which allows us to summon our strength and to rejoice in the eternal goal! And most important is the holy belief in God and in the true tzaddikim. Ashreinu! Happy are we! How good is our portion! that we have merited to escape opponents of truth such as this, and to be in his portion and his lot forever! This is our share, this is our comfort in every hardship. This is our salvation and our hope, in this world and the next, eternally. [Consider again that Reb Nosson was ordered to leave his home in Breslov and had just arrived in Nemirov. We can't imagine his humiliation. His pain, the pain of his family and his followers, but he still manages to find joy in the Nekuda Tovah, the good point, that he feels forever fortunate that he isn't the one opposing Rebbe Nachman. Could you imagine? Basically no matter what suffering his opponents inflict upon him, he rather that suffering than be in their shoes and oppose the light of lights, his great mentor, Rebbe Nachman].
Now I must certainly put forth many prayers and supplications, and converse very much with my Creator concerning our enormous hardships and the grave danger we are facing. [Reb Nosson isn't denying the hardship. He knows that he has his one tool: To beseech HaShem greatly for the salvation]. But more than this, we must strengthen ourselves to trust God, to wait for salvation and to rejoice in our mighty hope. For, thank God, we have someone to lean on; and God will certainly not abandon us for the sake of His Great Name. “Even when I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me, until I declare Your strength to the generation and Your might to all who are to come. Your righteousness, God, reaches to the Heavens.”
The words of your father, waiting for salvation at all times,
Noson of Breslov"