Living a balanced life

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Today is the 209th Yahrzeit of Rabbi Nahman of Breslov. We will try to sum up a short idea of his: On Sukkot, as we know, we shake the Four Species, that represent all the people of Israel, from the most righteous person to the simplest of Jews. We must connect all the different parts of our people to one joint story, we cannot look down upon other people. But on the other hand, the first Ushpizin (guest) who arrives to our Succah is Avraham Avinu. Rabbi Nahman of Breslov says the following about Avraham Avinu: "Avraham was one. One and alone against everyone, and he did bother himself with people who deviated from the path of the King of the Universe." It is important to be part of the whole, to be part of society, but it is also important to be a unique, independent individual. Sometimes, the desire for unity with others blurs our individual identity and makes us forget it. Avraham Avinu knew how to love, to host, to accommodate other people's feelings and needs, but when society went against his way - he knew how to pave his own independent path of faith. Respecting other people does not mean relinquishing our values. This balance between being part of the whole and being an independent individual is a very challenging task to perform. Or perhaps we should say in Rabbi Nahman's words, it is "a very narrow bridge" to cross.

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