November 2, 2009


From Rabbi Shmuel Horowitz’s collection of Breslov oral traditions, Avaneha Barzel, sec. 24. Translated by Dovid Sears.

The Lesson of Elijah's Cave

At the time Rabbi Nachman delivered the lesson later published as Likkutei Moharan I, 66, he had a discussion with Reb Noson about the Cave of Elijah. [There the biblical prophet had secluded himself from the world in order to commune with God.] Reb Noson was given to understand that Elijah had only reached his lofty spiritual level through hisbodedus (secluded meditation and prayer). This so inspired him that he went to the women’s section of the synagogue nearby (knowing that it would not be in use at that time) and began to recite psalms and speak to God in his own language with intense fervor.

In the meantime, someone in the town announced that he wished to celebrate an engagement party and wanted to invite Reb Noson. The man searched for him, but couldn’t find him. However, he figured that his friend was probably engaged in hisbodedus. So he began to cry out in the streets, “Reb Noson! Reb Noson!” At this, Reb Noson left his place of seclusion and went along with his friend to the engagement party.