Rebbe Nachman's Tikkun HaClali: An Introduction
For most of the past year, I’ve begun our newsletter with some thoughts on the weekly parsha, or Torah reading. For the next ten weeks, I am going to try something a little different - I hope it will be nourishing for everyone involved.
Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav, one of the Hassidic masters to whom I regularly turn, taught that ten psalms - 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150 - comprised a תקון הכללי/Tikkun HaClali or General Remedy. He writes “There are places so narrow that no remedy has the power to penetrate them except through the Tikkun HaClali, which brings healing into even the narrowest places.”
So for the next ten weeks, I hope to look at each of these ten psalms and see what healing they can bring those who suffer in narrow places. When Jews pray for healing, we generally pray for רפואת הנפש ורפואת הגוף/healing of body and a healing of soul. While there is the healing of body that everyone who is sick hopes for, I leave that in the capable hands of doctors and nurses. They will, I’m sure, turn to books and research that help them do their healing work as fully as possible.
As for the healing of soul, I turn to the tradition of Torah in the hope that it will help souls in pain find presence and comfort, beauty and even grace on days when that feels far afield.
For those who are interested, I invite you to join me in learning these Psalms and discussing them online or in person. If you own a Tanach, you can find them there; if you prefer your Torah digitally, you can find them here. I look forward to learning with you - and may our learning help bring healing to those who are looking for it.