A Democratic lawmaker on Capitol Hill cited Rebbe Nachman of Breslov during a House hearing last week focusing on an investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller into claims of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including allegations of collusion by some Trump campaign members with Russian officials.
While questioning Rod Rosenstein, the Trump Justice Department’s Deputy Attorney General, last week, California Democrat Eric Swalwell (CA-15) invoked a popular saying of the founder of the Breslov Hassidic movement, Rebbe Nachman. “The entire world is a very narrow bridge, but the most important thing is to not be afraid”
“Mr. Deputy Attorney General, your investigation is a very narrow bridge. The important part, I believe, for our country, is for you to not be afraid.”
That investigation, headed by Mueller, has come under fire amid allegations of anti-Trump and anti-Republican bias – charges which were aggravated after it was revealed that a former investigator retained by Mueller, Peter Strzok, had been demoted earlier this year for texting a series of pro-Clinton, anti-Trump messages to his mistress, a fellow FBI employee.
A current member of Mueller’s team was found to have praised then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates earlier this year, when she defied President Trump over his executive order restricting entry to nationals of seven terror-prone Muslim-majority nations. Yates, an Obama holdover who remained in the early months of the Trump administration, refused to defend the order, and was subsequently fired.
Despite the allegations of bias against the probe, Swalwell encouraged Justice Department officials to “be fearless”.
This is not the first time Swalwell as invoked Rebbe Nachman, or the “narrow bridge quote”.
In his commencement address at Las Positas Community College in Livermore, California on July 2nd, 2015, Swalwell mentioned the rabbi by name.
“I draw inspiration from a rabbi from the 19th century, Rabbi Nachman of Ukraine, who described his troubles and the challenges we face through the human condition as ‘the whole world is a very narrow bridge. But the most important part is to have no fear.’”