quinta-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2013

Interview with Rabbi Ozer Bergman

Rabbi Ozer Bergman

Dear reader, here is a simple interview, but very informative with the Tzadik Rabbi Ozer Bergman who has done much to bring Jews closer to HaShem, and their contribution is large, such as editing Likutey Moharan of Rebbe Nachman's notable, of blessed memory and currently starting editing Likutey Halachos of Reb Noson, of blessed memory and still numerous articles published on the Breslov.org blog. Ozer Bergman is an editor for the Breslov Research Institute, a spiritual coach, and author of Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman's Path of Meditation. If you read the whole interview, surely your day today will be wonderful and God willing, much better for all the life!
01. How can a person better apply the attribute of Chesed between others?
Two basic requirements are [1] respecting and genuine realization that your fellow human being IS you. He has your needs, fears, weaknesses and was created in the image of God. [2] You do not lose by giving, by being generous. Yes, right away you will be missing some resource, but you will get it back. But you cannot test this! It has to be done with sincerity, in order to help. 
02. Reading Rebbe Nachman’s teachings and living for it, how is daily life of a Breslover?
Rebbe Nachman's teachings, encourage, heal, inspire and offer deep insight into life, the more is able to study and think about them. One prays to God to carry the idea(s) from the mind to the heart, and from there into the action. Sometimes the action as to come from withing. Others time it needs to wait for the trigger from an outside event.
03. What do you consider to be the main negative traits prevent a person from serving the Almighty?
Haughtiness -- I **DESERVE** to have what I want, when I want it, how I want. Fear, sometimes of others, sometimes of the changes that will occur if I give more of myself to being Godly. Lack of recognizing how powerful one's acts and behavior are. Even though you may not be world famous, God knows who you are and He thinks what you DOES make a difference!
04. What is a proper attitude for us to have towards the problematic situations that arise in our lifes?
It may not turn out the way I want, but I have to trust in God to do my best to respond appropriately to the situation He has put me in. Sometimes the situation is unpleasant because of what I did (or, did not) do. It might by MY fault, not God's! :-)
05. What is the special quality about Tefillah among other mitzvos?
All mitzvahs connect a person to God, but tefilah is personal "intimacy," like loving husband and wife, as it were.
06. Reciting the Psalms, studying the Torah, my thoughts are visiting holy places. Despite the good intentions of someone,he needs to get closer to the Tzaddik, to better follow the path of G-d.This tradition remains today?
ABSOLUTELY! This is a very broad and deep topic, very misunderstood. Psalms, Torah etc., are like ingredients for a cake, but we need the Tzaddik to help us "bake" them to make the perfect cake. As Rebbe Nachman teaches, the Israelites brought all the materials for the Mishkan (Tabernacle), but Only Mose Rabbeinu was able to erect the Mishkan. We need the Tzaddik, an he needs us!
07. The Patriarch was visited by the angels. Nowadays, are we visited by the angels when are connected to Divine service?
Sometimes, but this is not so much a contemporary concern or focus.
08. What qualities do one need in order to successfully attain spiritual greatness to serve Creator?
The same as to win the gold medal for Portugal! :-)
And a lot of tefilah. A LOT!
Any and every person, no matter how smart or strong or musical -- or NOT! -- can become spiritually great. It takes dedication and recognizing what you can do -- and doing it.
09. Some people make goals for themselves and accomplish what they set out to do. But others continually fail to reach their goals. What is a key factor in succeeding to reach one’s goals (material as well as spiritual)?
Honest effort and prayer to succeed. But first, the goals must be realistic! One may have a goal that is currently too great. He (or she) must may need to make intermediate goals to reach the big one. 
And no giving up, even after a few setbacks. Sometimes we think it will only take a month. Some goals take years. Some take a lifetime. It depends on the person.
10. There are times when I am among people who make fun of me because of the positive values I try to live by. I tend to feel hurt and rejected by their mockery. What should one person do about such situations?
Avoid associating with such people. Associate with like-minded people. When it cannot be avoided, silence is usually the best response to mockery from the insincere. It hurts? Who said God wants us to always have a fun-filled ride? The pain and humiliation is a test of "you will love Hashem your God, with all your heart, all your soul and all your *me'od*". What is "me'od"? What Hashem is *moded* -- MEASURES OUT to you. Love Him when He measures out pain. It is for YOUR benefit.
But to the mockers -- silence to their insults.
11. One’s devotion with G-d must never be limited by one’s emotions, yet if one thinks he is on the low spiritual level?
One can never reall know his spiritual level. Yet, if he thinks he is lowly [1] he should continue to try to improve, even if only by tiny increments and even if takes years and years; [2] he should know that the tiny, tiny improvement of someone lowly is considered in Heaven quantum leaps forward. 
12. What is main focus when doing a mitzvah?
Doing what God wants because He wants/commanded it.
13. Likutey Moharan’s English version is completed now, published by Breslov Research Institute –– when it was published for the first time by Reb Noson There was great delight and approach God. Today,being that this Rebbe Nachman’s magnum opus is edited in a different time and in a universal language what is going to happen? 
Nothing -- UNLESS PEOPLE STUDY IT, on a regular basis. A book on a shelf, even the holiest book, helps little if it is not studied and lived.
14. From the lesson (Likutey Moharan #21:2), page 253-255. What are steps and attention one need to have to follow observance: 
"A person should guard himself from allowing anything false to emerge from his mouth. <With this, he sanctifies his mouth.> And he should have fear of Heaven. <With this, he sanctifies the nose.> as in (Isaiah 11:3), “He shall breathe of the fear of God.” And he should have faith in the sages. <With this, he sanctifies the ears.> as in (Proverbs 22:17), “Hear the words of the wise.” And he should keep his eyes shut so as not to look at evil. <With this, he sanctifies his eyes.>" ?
Let's leave this for another time, OK? :-) 
Hope this helped.
kol tuv.
Interview held on January 30, 2012 by Gilson R Arruda with Rabbi Ozer Bergman.

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