Guest Posting By Rabbi Ozer Bergman - How To Learn Likutey Moharan
How do I learn thee? Let me count the ways.
Reb Shlomo Freifeld z"l once told me, "You have to learn Likutey Moharan [amplify voice here] like a Tosfos!"
You can learn it as a musar sefer (the musar of Likutey Moharan would make you cry, said Rebbe Nachman zal; that's why you have to turn the lessons into prayers; Rebbe Nachman's Wisdom #196 [end]). This can also be called a Likutey Tefilot-style, turning the lesson into a prayer..
You can learn it as a kabbalah sefer: kvetch my sefer any way you will, but don't budge [in your behavior] from even the smallest paragraph of Shulchan Arukh! (The compiler of Ein Yaakov, the collected aggadatot of Talmud Bavli, writes something similar in his introduction, namely [I'm paraphrasing here], any interpretation is valid so long as one's intention is to improve his yirat Shemaym and this borne out by his subsequent behavior.)
You can learn it segulah*-style, just reading the words, without even knowing what they mean, just knowing that its words are holy and having a positive impact on you, and on the entire world.
You can learn it in any of Reb Noson's styles: Kitzur Likutey Moharan summary-style; Likutey Eitzot (Advice) i.e., by topic-style; Likutey Halakhot, in-depth, inter-laden with all you know from every and any area of Torah-style.
You can learn it as if Rebbe Nachman z”l himself was there teaching it, whether as your rebbe or as “one of the great tzaddikim of all-time.”
You can learn it with the intention: This contains not just information and ideas. This sefer is a fountain of emunah, yirat Shamayim, kedushah and taharah. I want all of those, in as full a measure as I can now receive them.
But whatever you do—learn it!
*A segulah is a thing or practice that in some mysterious way helps us, even though we may be clueless as to how it works.
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