Rabbenu on ‘the good old days’

Good old days - tape cassette

It’s human nature to look back and think that ‘the good old days’ were better than ours.


And especially in the crazy world we currently live in, it’s very easy to wax nostalgic about a time before i-Phones, internet and Bill Gates.

In the run up to a new secular year, all that looking over our shoulders tends to increase.

But here’s what Rebbe Nachman has to say about this (taken from ‘Wisdom’ (Sichot HaRan), No. 307:


Every year, people say that previous years were better and times are not as good as they were before.

The Rebbe spoke to us about this at length.

He said that people might say that things were much cheaper in the good old days, but then again, people did not have as much money as they have now.

A simple householder, even one living off charity, spends more today than the wealthy of yesteryear.

He said, “Aderaba. Der Eibershter firt sheiner die velt” – The opposite is true!

God now directs the world better than ever.


….All this talk about the good old days is the work of the evil inclination.

It wants people to speak like this to make them suffer and worry all the more about their livelihoods. It would like to make them feel that there is no hope at all now, Heaven forbid.

This is all false.

God continuously sustains the world, and people rise and fall financially in every generation.

If you look carefully at any period, you will find people who were poor and had menial jobs, who became wealthy….

[W]hat use is it, to always cry that the past was better? 

The wise King Solomon refuted this idea long ago when he said, “Do not say that the former times were better than these, for it is not out of wisdom that you ask this.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10)….

In every generation, there have been people who say this. But if you look closely into the matter, you will see that the world is constantly becoming more prosperous.

People continually live better and spend more than in the past.


What difference does it really make?

If the world were really poorer now than before, that would be all the more reason to flee to God and involve yourself in Torah and devotion.

If there is suffering and trouble in the world, the only place to escape is to God and His Torah.


Ad kan, from Rabbenu.

I know the world is quite a scary place at the moment, for a lot of people.

But really, that last line sums it all up:

We have to flee to God and His Torah.

If we do that, then whatever else happens, we will come through it in the best possible way, and even if we don’t ‘make it’ physically, God forbid, our souls are still fulfilling their tikkun and will get a really good place in shemayim.

This is really the secret to staying happy and upbeat at the moment: to stop obsessing over what will be, and looking over our shoulders, and to do our very best to add more emuna, more teshuva, more Torah, more mitzvot, into our days.

As always, very easy to write.

And not always very easy to put into practise.


May Hashem help us all to do this.

And to also keep remembering that :

God now directs the world better than ever

Just for now, that’s still mostly hidden.


PS: This is headlining on YWN – but is totally missing from the Arutz 7 site:



So now Arutz 7 are also covering it, HERE.

But here’s another story that they should be covering – in detail – and really aren’t – Moishy Kleinerman’s disappearance.

I just got sent a video in Hebrew of an interview that was recently done with his mother, Gitty:


BH, I’m really praying that justice will finally be done for Amiram Ben Uliel.

And also, for Moishy Kleinerman.

Because it’s all connected.


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