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Rebbe Nachman’s main student, Reb Noson of Breslov, writes in Likkutei Halacos (Hilchos Tefillin 5:6): “Most people stop serving Hashem properly solely due to their discouragement from their failures and the fact that they give up. Many people start serving Hashem, but afterwards fall, each person in their own way. Some of these people arouse themselves to start once again, or even a number of times, but afterwards, when they see that they continue to fail, they give up.”

Reb Noson continues, “The truth is that this is the action of the Yetzer Hara, who is also known as the ‘Old one from the side of evil,’ who wants to bring a person into an “old age mentality,” as if they have already grown old in their sins so much that it is no longer possible to change their ways. The truth is, however, that a person is literally a new creation each day with renewed strengths. Therefore, one must constantly strengthen oneself and feel as if they were created and received the Torah today, for the first time.”


This “old age mentality” is something a person can have even as a young adult. Conversely, an older person can possess a fresh and enthusiastic mentality despite having lived through countless ups and downs. So how does one stay positive despite all of the discouraging setbacks they’ve endured?

Rebbe Nachman tells us we must constantly begin anew, as if we’ve never even started serving Hashem – even if this means starting anew many times on the same day!

I have often encountered Jews who are new to the religious way of life. Their zest and enthusiasm for Torah and mitzvos is infectious. They are so excited about their newfound way of life that they can hardly speak about anything else.

We should all take a lesson from these holy Jews and do our utmost to view the Torah as an entirely new gift each and every day. May Hashem help us to not fall into the “old age mentality” and to serve Him with fresh excitement always.


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Rabbi Nosson Rossman is a rabbinic field representative for the Orthodox Union. He can be reached at