Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

“I’ll try.” It’s a statement we’ve all uttered. We say it all the time. But when we do, are we subconsciously leaving open the possibility that we won’t end up doing it?

Rebbe Nachman tells us there’s a difference between “trying” and making up our minds to do something no matter what.

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He writes: “When someone wants to serve G-d or travel to the true tzaddik, he is bound to face obstacles. Each person imagines that the obstacles he faces are greater than those facing others and finds it hard to withstand them. But no one is ever confronted with obstacles that are beyond his ability to overcome if he really wants [to]. The truth is that there is no obstacle at all, because G-d is present, albeit veiled, in the very obstacle itself.” (Likutey Moharan II, 46)

Rebbe Nachman is telling us that we can overcome any obstacle we face if we really want to. The lie of the yetzer hara is to tell us we can’t.

But how? How do we overcome obstacles in our spiritual life if we’ve already messed up hundreds of times before? Why should this time be different?

Rebbe Nachman explains:

“G-d’s greatness is unfathomable: that is why teshuva has such power. No matter how far you may have fallen, be it to the lowest depths – never despair, because you can always return to G-d. With just a little effort you can turn even your worst sins into merits. No matter where in the world you fall, you can easily come back to G-d. This is because of His unfathomable greatness. Nothing is beyond His power. Just never give up! Keep crying out, praying and pleading to G-d at all times.” (Sichos Haran #3)

May Hashem help us to overcome all obstacles we face and may we never stop crying out to Him for Divine assistance.

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