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The Seven Pillars of Faith Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

The Seven Pillars of Faith

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


In “Seven Pillars of Faith” R. Yitzchok Breiter clarifies the meaning of seven basic ideas or themes which are at the root of all of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings. The concept that underlies the whole work is that of Hashgochoh Protis, “Indiv­idual Superv­ision”, which means that G-d lovingly supervises every single details of the life and growth of every Jew indivi­dually.

"­Trust in God and do good, dwell in the land and feed off faith" - Psalms 37:3

First Pillar: The Hand of God (controls)

Everything in the entire universe is under God's control. This includes everything that happens to you person­ally, both spirit­ually and materi­ally, including what you yourself do, whether delibe­rately or unwitt­ingly, wilfully or under compul­sion: everything is from God. Even when appear­ances suggest otherwise, the believer pays attention not to the external appearance of this world but to the underlying truth.

Second Pillar: Revelation of Godliness - Freedom

Everything we do is ultimately controlled by God, though this is concealed from us by our egos, which make us think we are separate from and indepe­ndent of God. We were created like this to give us free will. This way we are able to turn to God of our own volition and discover for ourselves that God controls all things, including our own thoughts, feelings and actions.

Third Pillar: The Concea­lment

Even though all things in the spiritual and material realms are in God's hands, we are not supposed to wait for God to do everyt­hing. The universe is so arranged that we have freedom of action in many areas. When we act, whether it be to make a living or to attend to any of our other needs, we must understand that, while it is up to us to take the initiative and act as if everything is in our hands, in fact all things ultimately depend upon God. No matter what we feel we ought to do, whether in our spiritual or material lives, our first step should always be to ask God to guide us and bless our efforts with success.

Fourth Pillar: Not Getting Angry - Reverses

When things appear to turn out badly for us, we have to accept that this is God's will and that whatever happens is for the best. Even when things go wrong because of something we ourselves may have thought, said or done, we must accept that this too is from God. Other people are also free agents, yet everything they do is ultimately controlled by God. If someone insults you or in some way harms you, know that this has been sent by God as a way to cleanse your soul. If things go against you, be patient. When you accept everything as God's will, this causes the veil of concea­lment to be removed, thus manife­sting God's control over all creation.

Rebbe Nachman

Fifth Pillar: Repentence - Growth

Your spiritual growth is also under God's control. Even if you feel a desire to grow in a specific area, as long as you are not ready to achieve what you want, things will be arranged in such a way as to hold you back - either by external obstacles or through some idea that becomes implanted in your own mind to prevent you from reaching your goal. This does not mean that God is rejecting you. He knows that in the long run this will be the best way to bring you to the ultimate good. The purpose of holding you back is to prompt you to cry out and pray to God to help you rise from your current level and bring you nearer your true goal.

Sixth Pillar: Action - Revelation & Guidance

Since God is everywhere and in all things, everything we experience is actually a commun­ication from God. This includes our inner thoughts and feelings. Even negative thoughts and feelings - heaviness, lack of enthus­iasm, depression and the like - are from God. Everything you hear, see, or experience in life, whether from people you know or from complete strangers, is a call to you from God. Even unclear or contra­dictory messages are sent with a purpose: to give us choice and free will in order to test us. The way to sort out which messages we should follow and which we should ignore is by evaluating everything in the light of Torah teaching.

Seventh Pillar: The Tzaddik - Righteous

Faith in God includes faith in the Tzaddikim whom God sends into this world to teach us how to transcend our lowly state and fulfil l our spiritual destiny. Not only must we accept that God gave the Torah to Moses on Sinai; we must also acknow­ledge that God sends wise men in every age to lift us out of our exile and teach us the true path in life.