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This world


“The Rebbe, of blessed memory, declared: Look! Everyone says there is this world and the World to Come. Now, we believe there is a World to Come. And it is possible that an Olam Hazeh exists in some universe. But here it looks more like hell, because everyone is full of great suffering – always!”

“The Rebbe also said: There is no Olam Hazeh at all!”

Doesn’t sound so Breslov, does it? But Rebbe Nachman did indeed say this. In fact, says Reb Nosson, he discussed this idea often. The truth is, it’s hard to argue. People are experiencing so much suffering within their family, or with health and financial problems. Mental health is so hard to maintain nowadays and addictions are rampant. We’re really in bad shape, so what do we do?

There is another lesson that I think helps.

In Torah 4 the Rebbe says that “When a person knows that everything that happens to him is for his own good, this is an aspect of the World to Come”. (This is based on the passage in the Talmud (Pesachim 50a) that quotes the verse, (Zachariah 14), “On that day, Hashem will be one”. The Talmud asks, “is He not one now”? And answers, “now when something good happens, we bless ‘[He] is good and bestows good’ and when something bad happens, we bless “the true Judge”. But in the World to Come we will only bless ‘[He] is good and bestows good'”).

According to this lesson, we can say that, in fact, there really is no Olam Hazeh at all, meaning there is no good life here. Everyone everywhere is always suffering. But if a person recognizes that every one of his experiences is for his own good, then he lives in the World to Come. He lives in an alternate reality. He is drawing from the World to Come and living in that world right here.

This exercise takes faith. Like the Rebbe said above, “We believe there is a World to Come”. Faith creates possibilities and new realities. Don’t live in hell. Believe there is a perfect master-planner who only does good for you. It hurts so much and we don’t understand His reasoning, so it’s damn hard to believe. But when we do, we are one with the World to Come.

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