Rabbi Nachman: Selected Aphorisms

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772–1810)

Sometimes you may feel no enthusiasm during your prayers. You should then act as if you feel enthusiasm, making your heart burn with the words of the prayers. This is similar to the way a person can work himself up into such a temper that he actually becomes angry. People then say, “He’s making himself angry.”

Sometimes when you pray, you must likewise work yourself up into a passion. You must force yourself to put fire and emotion into the words. Eventually the enthusiasm will become real: your heart will burn for God and you will pray with genuine fervor.

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Readers may be interested in our related article on the Nigunim or Hasidic mystical songs.

Translated by Avraham Greenbaum. Reproduced here with thanks to Rabbi Greenbaum and Azamra.