But I just want to finish up this flurry of Uman posts with a plea: if you haven't done so already, please book yourself a ticket, and go visit Rebbe Nachman.
I eat sprouted spelt; I make smoothies every day with organic dates and oatmeal; I usually walk for an hour; I do my energy exercises; I talk to G-d every day and try to work on myself spiritually; I live a wholesome life - and without my visits to Uman, I still don' t know where I'd be.
It's not fashionable to say so, or comfortable to hear, but life today is very, very heavy, and without the help of the Tzadikim, and particularly Rebbe Nachman and his Torah and his advice, we simply can't cope with the spiritual demands being made of us.
This blog is broadly about self-help, and self-help is great and wonderful and necessary - but it's also limited. We hit a point where we just can't do it alone, even with the best will in the world, and that's where Rebbe Nachman comes in.
Time and again, when me and my husband have hit a point in our lives where we just can't manage, or we have no idea what to do next, a trip to Uman somehow gets us over that bump, and moves us forward.
Rebbe Nachman told his students that he couldn't achieve anything without them, and their sincere efforts to pray and to 'self-help'. But the corollary of that is that we can't do anything without the help of Tzadikim like Rebbe Nachman. Some things - many things - are simply too big for us, and we need a very broad pair of spiritual shoulders to share the burden with us.
In Israel, this stuff is old hat. Everyone - even Tel Aviv beach babes and Haifa hippies - know that they need to go visit the Doctor of the Soul, at least once. In English speaking circles, I know what I've written classifies me as 'crazy' for most people.
(And you're probably right about that☺).
But what can I do? I got so much help from Rebbe Nachman this last trip, I made a promise that I'd do my best to tell other people about him, even if I lost all my cred as a result.
The only way to really settle the question of whether or not I'm bonkers is to go to Uman, and see for yourself what's going on there. There's a lot of good tour companies operating now (Derech Tzaddikim and Netivim are two that come to mind…), it's as safe as anywhere else, these days, and even if you don't realize it, you'll come home changed for the better, and spiritually much healthier.
Ok, I know, I know. Back to the snot and tracing meridians now, I promise. At least, until my next trip.