Tzvi Fishman, director of the movie Rabbi Nachman’s Stories says there are 2 main messages in the episode “Treasure under the Bridge”. The first message is that everyone has a treasure inside him. According to Rabbi Nachman, the Jewish Soul and its relationship with G-d and His Torah that was given to Israel and placed in our soul is that treasure. The problem is that most people aren’t aware of this treasure or they never learned to recognize it. Sometimes their journey through foreign fields and the influence of foreign beliefs and outlooks, cause them to forget the unique Jewish treasure inside them.
This is true on an individual level and also as a nation. After our long exile traveling nomadically in foreign lands, the understanding of whom we are as a nation got confused and blurred. Today Israel is in the process of rediscovering who we are and what our true purpose is.
In a more general level, everyone has a treasure inside him. Some people are full of deeds of kindness others are very creative, there are excellent athletes and others are quite intelligent. Some have the gift of generosity and others, the gift of being able to listen and be a true friend.
The second and main message of the story is that in order to recognize the treasure you sometimes need to travel far away to find the person who can help you discover the treasure inside you.
In the world of thought of Rabbi Nachman that is the job of the Tzaddik. When the ‘Searcher’ gets advice from the Tzaddik, he can find the treasure inside him. This guide can be a parent, brother, teacher, friend or even someone you just happened to meet. The Gemara teaches us that “a prisoner can’t free himself from prison”, he needs someone on the outside to show him the path to freedom. When someone is confused and wants to know who he really is, this guide may be necessary to help him find the way to discover himself.