The heart of flesh

Rebbe Nachman himself made it clear:

In the end, everyone will be ‘Breslov’.

But what does it mean, to actually ‘be Breslov’?

That you grow long payot, go to Uman, do hitbodedut for an hour every day, dance on a few vans?

Some and none of this is for sure part of the authentic experience of trying to ‘be Breslov’.

But really, the clue is hidden in the very name of Rabbenu’s chassidut:





‘Being Breslov’ means we merit to develop a ‘lev basar’ – a feeling heart of flesh, as opposed to the cold, uncaring and cynical ‘heart of stone’ that is currently prevalent pretty much every where you look.

And acquiring a ‘lev basar’ is a painful process.


Right now, the world and his wife seems to be sick with something.

It doesn’t matter if we call it ‘covid’, flu, disease x, stress-induced-symptoms – the name really actually doesn’t matter.

After my own experiences of the last two weeks, which are still ongoing, it seems to me that the ‘sickness’ is heartsickness and sadness.

It’s all the negative emotions, worry, anger, hatred, sadness, fear, despair (etc….) that have just been wrapping themselves around our hearts tighter and tighter, another layer, and another layer, and another layer – until the heart of flesh is squeezed so tight of hope, emuna and oxygen, it becomes a heart of stone.


This current wave of ‘whatever it is’ has God behind it, whatever else is going on.

And God is using illness to show us what it is we need to do, what emotions we need to let go of, what lack of emuna we need to identify and acknowledge, what bad middot we need to rectify – to start the slow, painful process of reclaiming our heart of flesh.

Our ‘Breslov’ heart.

Everyone who goes through this process will be ‘Breslov’.

And anyone who doesn’t go through this process will be stuck following their heart of stone to the very bottom of the pond, when the ‘tipping point’ finally comes into full view.


I think, this is what’s going on now.


People with hearts of stone spend a lot of time ‘running away’ from themselves, and ‘escaping’ into stuff like Youtube and work.

(It used to be holidays and shopping, but not so easy to ‘escape’ that way, these days. At least, not here in Israel.)

Other forms of escapism include all the pointless ‘discussions’ and arguments people have on social media.

And smoking / eating pot.

And popping more mind-altering prescription pills for:

anxiety / depression / stress / [make something up and write it in this box – you’ll get the pills whatever you say the problem is, don’t worry]


What are we running away from, all the time?


And God.

And those ‘extensions’ and mirrors of our soul-selves we call ‘our spouse’ and ‘our children’.


But when geula finally comes, and Moshiach is finally openly revealed in the world, the running away will finally stop.

It’ll be us, and all hearts, cleaned up and wide-open to expand into the next part of this process called ‘the world to come’.

People with hearts of stone can’t live in that world.

You can’t get into the door if you’re still dragging around all the bad middot, the cynicism, the arrogance that’s keeping your heart suffocated to death, and your spiritual development in a place of permanent stasis (at best…)


But remember: developing a heart of flesh can be a very painful process.

Rabbenu gave us the advice to do an hour a day of hitbodedut, and to go to Uman, to his grave, to try and ‘ease’ this process along, as much as possible.

That’s why so many people talk about the ‘spiritual surgery’ they experience when they go to Uman – it’s literally like that.

Or can be.


And Moshiach is also going to have some tremendous advice and ‘help’ to share with people, on how to acquire the heart of flesh.

The people who have already begun that process of ‘thawing out’ the heart of stone probably will find it way, way easier to spot him, when he shows up.

And the people who have not – won’t.

And, the people who have no intention of ever ditching their hearts of stone will probably be in the frontlines fighting against Moshiach – until their heavy hearts finally drag them down to the bottom.


There are big things on the horizon.

There are big changes afoot.

We are moving into a time where not much longer, Moshiach is going to be openly revealed.

And together with that, there will be 500 ‘fake moshiachs’ (at least).

It’s going to be a time of terrible confusion, machloket and doubt.

Prepare yourselves mentally.

But also remember what Rabbenu told us, more than 200 years ago:

In the end, everyone will be Breslov.


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