Jewish learning Dreaming with Rebbe Nachman: A Journey to Self-Discovery

By Jillan Cantor Sackett
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Rabbi Getzel Davis’s classes are each an awakening to my soul’s calling. Having taken several classes with him through Hebrew College’s Open Circle Jewish Learning, each experience has been profound. In Rabbi Davis’s fall Open Circle class, “Dreaming with Rabbi Nachman,” we read Rebbe Nachman of Bretslev’s most well-known story, “The Seven Beggars.” Exploring this dream-like story in class each week, along with the exploration of our own dreams, allowed us to weave together our soul’s worlds by being present to our conscious reality, while also opening ourselves to our more mystical subconscious truths.

In asking students to bring their dreams into each class, Rabbi Davis brought ancient teaching into our present day lives. This ask allowed us to experience the wisdom of Torah in our seemingly mundane lives. It opened us up to the power of connection, both to each other as a class, and through time and space, into our deep rich history as mystical Jews.

The reading of “The Seven Beggars “is one of life’s gifts. In each beggar you find both a piece of yourself and a longing for a deeper fuller connection. By examining this story, Rabbi Davis introduced us to the importance of an examined life. We learned the difference between what you think you know versus the invisible intuitive knowing.

And, because of the class, the night after our last session, my dad visited me in a dream. In this dream, my father, the atheist poster child, gave me a hug. And in this hug, a silent blessing to keep pursuing my path into the universe that Rabbi Davis is illuminating.

I am so grateful to Hebrew College’s Open Circle Jewish Learning for bringing Rabbi Getzel and his teachings to me. His classes are always profound and awe inspiring. In learning from him, I know I am on my journey home.

Join Rabbi Getzel Davis for Shadow Dancing Through the Omer, starting April 10th.

Learn more about all our Open Circle spring offerings here. Questions? Contact opencirclejewishlearning@hebrewcollege.edu.


Jillan Cantor Sackett lives in Waterbury Vermont and works as a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. In an effort to help her patients, she is currently learning about intergenerational trauma from Rabbi Tirza Firestone, and how to heal from it. She is also busy raising three children and three dogs.

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