Emunah Based on the Teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Archive for December, 2010

The Holy Yeshivah

Meshivas Nefesh 31 – Elucidated

“Bring ruin to the speakers of falsehood. And as for me, in your abundant kindness I will enter your house” (Tehillim 5; 7-8). Our sages taught in the Medrash that “the speakers of falsehood” refers to Doeg, Achitophel and King David’s other opposers, and that with the continuing verse King David was in essence saying: “and I too have done as they did” but nevertheless “In your abundant kindness I will enter your house”. Every person must say the same regarding himself, specifically one who feels the great pain of his sins. He must enliven and strengthen himself greatly with the kindnesses that Hashem has done with him; that he merited to come close to the true Tzaddik and at least does not oppose him, that he has the merit of being included in the holy Yeshiva and holy Beis Medrash of the followers of the true Tzaddik. He should say to himself: “I too have done the same as the opposers, and nevertheless in the great mercy that You have bestowed upon me, ‘I will enter your house’” – this Beis Medrash, which is my hope for eternity.

For the truth is that in every generation there is a Beis Bedrash of students with a true teacher where they involve themselves with true Torah novelties which can bring close to Hashem all the distant souls that are very difficult to grasp and bring close to holiness. There are those who have even fallen to the depths of hell and the lowest pits because of their sins and filthy thoughts, especially sexual lust which is the main aspect of the evil inclination, as the Zohar teaches. There is an evil inclination that is truly vile, disgusting and exceedingly filthy, and whoever it comes in contact with, G-d forbid, has great difficulty escaping from it. It is very detestable and it chases after one who wishes to trap it, attacking him at every moment. This is the “evil encounter” which we pray every day to be saved from.

About this our sages said: “If this vile one encounters you, drag him to the Beis Medrash” (Kiddushin 15a), for this is the main rectification, to draw one’s thoughts into the holy Beis Medrash mentioned above. Through this itself; through reminding oneself that he is included in this group, “if [the evil inclination] is [as hard as] a stone, it will be melted”. For from this Beis Medrash emerges a holy and pure spring that can purify all the exceedingly fallen souls, through the deep and holy advice that flow from it. It can raise them from the depths and return them to Hashem.

Therefore, one who merits being included in this holy Beis Medrash, must strengthen himself tremendously. He must believe and know that every good point and every tiny holy arousal to break away from the evil thoughts and to draw himself to holiness; all that he struggles to the best of his  ability to do some good, even though he has many falls amidst this, even if it has been so thousands of times – nevertheless, not a single good point is ever lost. This is because the true Tzaddik, who is the Rosh Yeshiva, uplifts and gathers everything into the building of holiness and builds wondrous structures with them. He does this specifically by uplifting the aspect of ‘arousal from below’ from the lowliest places, for this is the main rectification of all the worlds which are dependant upon the arousal from below of man, specifically because he possesses free-will. The lower the place is, the more precious and dear is the holy arousal that arise from there; through this the true Tzaddikim build the aspect of the Mishkan and Beis Hamikdash in each generation. Eventually, through this, the last and eternal Beis Hamikdash will truly be built.

A man walks through the forest on a chilly winter night, raindrops beat upon the ground and the icy wind blows with cruelty upon his face. He is alone, amidst a seemingly endless muddy and dark swamp.  The only thing in his mind – the yearning for a warm cozy house and a bowl of hot soup to warm his bones….

According to what a person goes through in this world, it is impossible to describe just how much one needs to  strengthen himself in order to learn torah, to pray, and to stand up to all the difficult challenges. The soul screams out for a warm and sheltered house, a place to be refreshed, where it can find help, advice and salvation. Indeed, for this reason Yeshivas are established for the young, to serve as an Ark of Noach by providing protection from the flood of atheism and confusion that wash away all who stand in its path. But what should he whose time has come to leave the Yeshiva do? Who will come to his aid, to save him from all that he will endure in the future? If even in the Yeshiva itself one needs so much heavenly help to serve Hashem truly and to guard ones thoughts, what will be outside the shelter of its walls?

Does such a thing truly exist, a ‘Yeshiva’ that accompanies a person throughout his entire life, that gives him the ability to endure the ups and downs, that provides a feeling of warmth and that offers guidance for every situation.

Indeed it does, Reb Nosson teaches us above. This is the reason why drawing near to the Tzaddik is the foundation of Chassidus. On the one hand they reveal to us how to serve Hashem with truth and pure intention, to merit to love and fear of Hashem and to proceed gradually from level to level in D’veikus with The Creator. On the other hand, they provide us with shelter, warming our hearts in times of difficulty and reminding us that we belong to Hashem and can always bring Him joy. They instill us with the knowledge that through the power of the ‘Rosh Yeshiva’, every drop of good is gathered and raised into holiness.

Guidance is always available; there is not a moment without closeness to Hashem. Sometimes this closeness is achieved through exertion in Torah and tefillah, tasting the sweetness of every word, and sometimes it is through encouraging ourselves and rejoicing in our good points.

About this we should burst forth in praise and say “And I, in Your abundant kindness, will enter Your house” – I, however I may be, even if my actions seem exactly like those who oppose holiness, G-d forbid, nevertheless I have merited “In Your abundant Kindness” to be included in the building of holiness and to have a share in the rectification of the world.

 

The Answer

Parsha Va’era 5771

Exile is a perplexing question.  It is a suffocating reality which demands an explanation.

The answer was already given thousands of years ago.

The human mind has a favorite pastime which is to ask questions.

There is no shortage of subjects as befuddling mysteries are all around us at all times.  And so, one sits and wonders day and night, forever digging and pondering.  A simpler man has it easier as his mind simply accepts things for what they are.  But a wise man cannot do this.  He must understand everything.  He must know why this is, and how that is, and how will things be tomorrow, and how things would have been IF things were dealt with differently …  Wisdom, as we all know, offers a scant guarantee for either happiness or success.  “The wise are not guaranteed sustenance” says the verse.  Fortunes aren’t made off pondering and philosophizing.  And if this principle applies to material things, how much more so does it apply to Torah and Mitzvos.  This may lead one to think that there’s no place for questions in Judaism, but that, of course, is false.  In fact, the acquisition of Torah wisdom is predicated on incessant questioning.  However, there is a very fine line, a not always very clearly defined boundary, which delineates the borders of legitimate questioning and doubting that will make reliable conclusions impossible to achieve.

Questions beyond their limit drop the ground from under your belief.  Doubts can easily push one out of practical Torah and undermine its stability.

The ancient question

The last week’s Parsha ends with Moshe’s penetrating question of “O L-rd! Why have You harmed this people? Why have You sent me?”  It is a question that is asked out of deep, genuine pain of the true leader in a situation in which nothing can be known with certainty.

The people of Israel are suffering horribly.  The pure souls are on the verge of annihilation.  Moshe is seeing the death throes of the last remnants of the holy Patriarchs. Unless a miracle takes place, the land of Egypt will be the scene of a holocaust that may obliterate the eternal nation of G-d.

And then, when it looks as if Hashem has forsaken His people, He appears to the future leader from the burning bush.  The message of the redemption appeared out of a Heavenly vision and the communication of Hashem emerges in the confines of this world.  It is clear and unambiguous, shattering nature and natural forgetfulness.  But right then and there it is already difficult for Moshe to believe in his ability to carry out the mission.  “I’m not a man of words,” he insists.  “They will not believe me”.  But Hashem commands him to go nevertheless.  Moshe is now equipped with miracles.  The Great Heavenly Father is now expressing His love openly.  He demands the chosen leader to announce to the tyrant that this is “my elder son Israel” and not some forsaken, ‘inconsequential’ people.

Moshe’s mission in the horror chamber of the Egyptian palace is to give a divine message to the awesome idol of nature and demand him to give up a nation of slaves.  It is a mission carried out with total self sacrifice … that ends up looking like a huge, fatal mistake.

The ludicrous demand incensed the Egyptian epitome of human pride.  “You are lax, just lax. Therefore, you say, ‘Let us go, let us sacrifice to the Lord”, Pharaoh scoffs.  From now on the Israelites acquire their own straw to make their daily allotment of bricks.  Enslavement is deepened to a level unknown before.

And then Dosson and Aviram come out standing, voicing a seemingly just complaint; “You have brought us into foul odor in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants”.  You did nothing but damage, they insist.  When Moshe turns to Hashem and asks “Why?” it is a question that brings into focus all the questions on earth.  It is a question that keeps following us from the depths of the first exile, scorching our souls throughout the generations.  It is an eternal question that is asked numberless times by great and small alike.  The answer, however, was already given to the eternal leader of Israel on the spot.

The answer is – no questions…

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob with [the name] Almighty God, but [with] My name (הויה), I did not become known to them” – not everything is understandable.  The revelation of “Appeared” is entwined with the reality of “I did not become known to them”.  The patriarchs did not achieve a revelation as clear as that of Moshe, yet still they had no questions.  They followed Hashem ‘with their eyes closed’ and complete faith through dozens of trials and tribulations and soul-disturbing mysteries.

One must understand that the very essence of exile is questions and refutations.  The essence of Egyptian exile revolves around חומר ולבנים, mortar and bricks.  The Holy Zohar explains that this refers to the dissemination of Halacha.  Exile, the mother of all suffering, is when there’s no access to the clarity of Torah. All you have is a barrier of questions and refutations that twist the mind and the heart.  Exile is impatience.  The visions of exile give birth to panic-stricken suppositions that stem from the lack of the presence of mind.   The prevailing feeling becomes “I can’t” and “I’ll never be able change”.  It is a feeling of spiritual suffocation.

The answer, which is the ray of hope of redemption, is inherent in the ability not to ask.

Hashem tells the tortured leader that the secret behind exile is infinite.  But alerts him to remember that “I heard the moans of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians are holding in bondage, and I remembered My covenant.”  He assures Moshe that it will end up with taking Israel to be His nation.

It is impossible to comprehend the depth of the concept of exile.  What we see may be illogical, perplexing and even exceedingly cruel.  But behind it all there is a road that leads to the eternal salvation with a meaning too profound for human comprehension.  No one can decipher the secret reason behind his own existence.  Everything in our lives is miraculous, and everything is happening exactly as it should.  Be it health, livelihood, or serenity – each one of us takes his or her miraculous path, many times shrouded in mystery, exile, enslavement and lack of understanding.  About times like these it is said: “and at that time the wise shall remain silent”.

Rebbe Nosson says in Likutei Halachos (Hand washing and breaking the bread, Halacha 6): “For now, in the end of days, one must remain silent about a great deal of what’s going on in this world and not get himself into the quagmire of questioning and deliberations.  The principle is to remain silent and await Hashem’s salvation. Most times remaining still will fire up one’s heart and enable him to call and cry for Hashem.”

You must realize that there is no intelligence capable of comprehending the staggering effect of a Jewish cry in the upper worlds.  We’ll be able to understand it all only in the world to come.  As for now, we just pray, remain silent, and wait…

 

 

What’s so Unique about Rebbe Nachman’s Teachings?

Question:

What is unique about the Rebbe’s sefarim? Is it just in their ability to motivate a person and warm his heart towards Avodas Hashem, and to bring out the greatness of every Mitzvah and good character trait? If so, there are many topics which the Rebbe doesn’t address at such length, while other sefarim do dedicate chapters or even entire sefarim to those subjects?

Answer:

1] Reb Nosson became close to the Rebbe although he had previously been very close to the greatest students of the Maggid of Mezritch, zy”a, such as the Rebbe, Reb Zusha, Reb Mordechai of Kreminetz, the Rav of Neschiz, and the Holy Berditchover, zy”a. By them, he indeed discovered the Torah of Chassidus, which is an outpouring of awareness and inspiration for clinging to Hashem and knowing Him. But at the same time, Reb Nosson didn’t understand how he, together with everything he was going through in his personal life, could have any sort of connection with the exalted levels which these Tzaddikim had reached.

When Reb Nosson became close to the Rebbe, he discovered advice and guidance, paths through which everybody can enter into the ways of the Tzaddikim and follow in them. He found a way how to practically apply that which is written in the other Sefarim, as he writes in Likutei Halachos, Eiruvei Techumin 5, “The point of the new advice is only with the aim of going on the old path, to maintain the Torah which we have.”

2] Of course we should study all the holy sefarim which discuss at length the depravity of materialistic desires and other bad character traits, and motivate us to acquire good traits and climb up level after level in the ways of Avodas Hashem, loving Hashem, being in awe of Him, etc. We should also study a lot about knowing Hashem.

But it’s not enough just to study. The main thing is to apply what we learn. For this we need to learn Torah and sefarim of Tzaddikim which contain advice. “This is the difference between someone who learns only books of Mussar, to those who are close to a Tzaddik. Even though the study of Mussar books is very very valuable, there isn’t explained therein so much good advice for serving Hashem. They reprimand a person and motivate him to return to Hashem, but usually you can’t find in them any advice how to come close to Hashem, how to hold onto proper ways of thinking and to be aware of Hashem. But when we draw close to the Tzaddikim and their followers, we find precious advice and paths how to attach ourselves to Hashem from every place and level.” (Likutei Halachos, Shabbos 6)

3] Of course, even just the wonderful words of the Rebbe have in them a potency to soften our tough hearts and to warm us up towards Hashem. Especially when we take the words of a Torah and make them into a prayer, begging Hashem that we merit applying it, then they certainly have the power to inspire us and break our hearts, as we can all see.

But at the same time, the most amazing thing about the Rebbe’s Torah is not in its poetic style or its mentioning Midrashim and Zohars about the greatness and importance of the subject being discussed. For that we can learn the other holy sefarim. The Likutei Moharan doesn’t generally explain lofty ideas, and relies on the reader to already know the basics of Chassidus, the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and his followers.

What is unique about the Rebbe’s Torah is that it’s full of advice and guidance how every individual can merit reaching the highest spiritual levels. Even when the Rebbe mentions Midrashim etc., it’s for the purpose of illuminating the advice which he is revealing.

4] Someone learning the Rebbe’s sefarim will realize that he starts off each lesson with a concept in Avodas Hashem, and without explaining it at length, immediately proceeds to connect it to a practical idea, advice how to attain that level. He then continues to reveal more guidance regarding that advice, how to merit applying that advice itself. So he goes on, from one piece of advice to another, in a way that that anyone can enter into Avodas Hashem and achieve all the levels in the world, by starting from the level which he’s on now.

5] Let’s take for example Likutei Moharan I 1. The Rebbe opens with the concept that a Jewish person must look at the internal understanding contained in everything. The Tcheriner Rav in Nachat HaShulchan explains that the Rebbe is referring to the path of the Torah of the Baal Shem Tov, which is to connect to the G-dly light within everything.

This short statement is wonderful, inspiring and heartwarming, to know that a person’s purpose is to look at the understanding in everything and to come close to Hashem through everything and in every place, be it Mitzvos or otherwise permitted things, both during good times and “low” times.

But still, the Rebbe doesn’t explain at length with motivating and inspiring words this concept of G-dliness found in everything, as other Chassidic sefarim would do. Someone who wants to understand this concept should learn others sefarim of Chassidus, about which the Rebbe extolled how great their study is (see Chayei Moharan 408 and many places in Likutei Halachos that we should study all the sefarim which are based on the path of the holy Zohar. Reb Levi Yitzchak Bender told us that in Uman the Breslover Chassidim would learn all the sefarim of Chassidus, Noam Elimelech, Kedushas Levi, etc.) In those sefarim we find many explanations of the concept of ‘connecting to the inner thoughts in everything that happens to a person’, each Tzaddik in his own way.

The main point of the Rebbe in this Torah is the continuation, after we know what we have to accomplish, we still need paths and practical advice how to achieve it. How do we connect to Hashem constantly, every moment, in everything we do, even if we are on a low level? This is the innovation of the Rebbe in his sefarim, by providing paths even for us on our low level.

We have mentioned here just one small example. You can look into that lesson and see how the Rebbe is practically leading you step by step, not only with general inspiration but with practical advice how to come close to Hashem always.

[In this essay we have explained at length that all of the Rebbe’s Torah is advice, and this is the main thing that we are supposed to be looking for in his sefarim. We should be paying attention to the advice and paths. In the coming weeks we will explain more about the concept of ‘advice’ and what is the wonderful path through which the Rebbe reveals ‘advice’, and how to apply them practically and connect them together.]

 

 

The 200 Year Chronicles

200 Years after Rebbe Nachman's Passing200 years after Rebbe Nachman’s Passing

5571-5771

5571: 18th Tishrei Rebbe Nachman passes away.  Erev Rosh Chodesh Shvat א נ”ש come together by the gravesite.  Rebbe Nosson prints 2nd part of Likutei Moharan, Sefer Hamidos, and Kitzur Likutei Moharan.

5572: First “kibbutz” get together in Uman of 60 chassidim.  They daven at “Shomrim Laboker” shul with non-Breslove poeple as the Rebbe requested.  On Purim, Chaya, the Rebbe’s daughter is engaged.

5573: “The Rebbe’s beis medrash” is rebuilt after being burned down on 1810.

5574: R’ Yehuda Eliezer becomes close to Rebbe Nosson (he later accompanied him ti Erztz Yisroel).

5575: Rebbe Nosson styrats writing Likutei Tefilos

5576: Rebbe Nosson prints Sipurey Ma’asios in Ostraha.  It is published with Shivchey Haran.  In Nissan Rebbe Nosson dreams of Rebbe Nachman who strengthens him regarding the value of Likutei Halachos and promises him that it will be printed.

5577: R’ Shachna, Rebbe Nosson’s son, gets married.

5578: Rebbe Nosson writes the prayer after Tikkun Haklali.

5579: R’ Isroel, the son of Sarah, the Rebbe’s grand son marries the daughter of the saintly Rebbe Aharon, the son of Rebbe Mordechai of Chernobyl and all א נ”ש participate in it.

5580: Rebbe Nosson puts up a printing press in his house and starts making plans to travel to Eretz Yisroel.

5581: Rebbe Nosson’s printing press is inaugurated on 15th of Shvat and the two parts of Likuteu Moharan are printed, as are Sefer Hamidos and Names of Tzaddikim.  R’ Shachna prints the first Tikkun Haklali.

5582: Rebbe Nosson prints the first 22 prayers of Likutei Tefilos.  That year R’ Nahcman Tulchiner becomes close to Rebbe Nosson at the age of 8 years old.  The end of Nisan Rebbe Nosson leaves for eretz Yisroel and arrives at Sidon at 19 of Sivan.  Reb Shimon, the Rebbe’s pupil, also makes alia around that time.

5583: אנ”ש daven at the house of a rich man called Rw Mordechai for 5 years.  In Kislev Rebbe Nosson comes back from Eretz Yisroel.

5584: R’ Yitzchok, son of Rebbe Nosson marries his first wife.  Rebbe Nosson prints the first part of Likutei Tefilos.  Someone snitches the authorities about the printing press.  Faiga Sacha, the daughter of Sarah, the Rebbe’s grand daughter marries the grandson of Rebbe Baruch of Medzibodz.

5585: R’ Yitzchok divorces his first wife.

5586: R’ Yitzchok remarries.  On Elul Rebbe Nosson’s first wife, the daughter of the saintly Rebbe Tzvi “The Great”, passes away.

5587: Rebbe Nosson marries Mrs. Dushil and their son, Nachman, is born that year.  R’ Yitzchok has his first daughter.  The decree of the “Kantonisten” (taking Jewish children to 25 years of military service at the Czar’s army) begins.  Rebbe Shmuel Isaac passes away.

5588: אנ”ש  pray for 2 years in the “Ambar” where they davened on the Rebbe’s last year.  R’ Dovid Tzvi, the son of R’ Yitzchok, is born.

5589: R’ Yodef Yona, Rebbe Nosson’s smallest son, is born.

5590: אנ”ש  daven in the house of a person who wanted them to “sanctify” the house with their prayers.

5591:אנ”ש  prayed for 2 years in a wide apartment of R’ Zalman.  R’ Avraham Ber, the son of Adel, the Rebbe’s grandson marries the daughter pf Moshe Chinkes.  Rebbe Nosson puts the foundation of the “Kloiz”.

5592: Sarah, Rebbe Nahcman’s daughter, passes away.  Rebbe Nosson build the columns and beams of the Kloiz.

5593 Mrs. Chana Tzirl, Rebbe Nosson’s daughter, gets married.

5594:אנ”ש  pray in the Kloiz even though it isn’t finished.  Rebbe Nosson hears he can print in Lemberg (Lieptzig).

5595: A big machloket fires up against Rebbe Nosson.  Rebbe Nachman come to him in a dream together with Moshe Rabbeinu and consoles him.  Rebbe Nosson gets a haskomo from Moshe Rabbeinu.  The “Great Shavuos”.  On Rosh Chodesh Elul Rebbe Nosson is exiled to Nemirov. Rebbe Nosson’s son, R’ Dovid Tzvi, gets married.

5596: Rebbe Nosson miraculously gets a premit to be in Uman for Rosh Hashanah.  His main adversary travels to Kamenitz to complain and has to run over the border for various reasons, weakening the controvercy against Rebbe Nosson.

5597: Rebbe Nosson gets another permit to come to Uman from Nemirov.

5598: Rebbe Nosson is allowed to come back to Breslev.  Rebbe Yudil, Rebbe Nachman’s student, passes away.

5599: After 3 years of having to stay away, a great Shabbos Chanukah was held by Rebbe Nosson.

5600: Rebbe Nosson goes with R’ Nachman Tulchiner to print Likuteui Halachos in Lamberg.  There was an exciting and heartrending meeting between Rebbe Nosson and Menachem Mendel of Kotzk.

5601: The marriage of daughter of R’Shechne – the first grand-daughter of of R’ Nosson.

5602:  Likutei Etzos is printed in Lemberg and the seforim are  brought to Breslove.

5603: – R’ Nachman Tulchiner travels to Yas to print the first volume of Likutei Halachos and Rebbe Nosson collects the funds for this.

5604: – The roof of the Kloiz collapses and is fixed.  R’ Nachman, the son of Rebbe Nosson, gets married and Rebbe Nosson is saved from an ambush on the way.  He sings “They will see our greatness and beauty when Moshiach will come.”

5605: Suprisingly, Rebbe Nosson does not say Torah on Rosh Hashanah in Uman.  He passes away on the 10th of Teves.  Rebbe Aharon “The Rav” passed away on Rosh Chodesh Av.

5606: R’ Nachman Tulchiner rewrites Likutei Halachos in preparation for printing.

5607: R’ Nachman Tulchiner prints volumes 2 and 3 of Likutei halachos, Orach Chaim, finishing the next year with all the part of Yore Deah.

5608: R’ Nachman Tulchiner starts being the Ba’al Tefilah Mussaf on Rosh Hashana in Breslev and moves to Breslev.

5609: R’ Nachman Tulchiner starts being the Ba’al Tefila Musaf on Rosh Hashana in Uman.

5610: Shivchei Haran is printed for the first time in Poland.

5611: R’ Leib Konstantiner come to the Kibbutz for the first time and R’ Isaac Eisenstein becomes close through him.

5612: Sipurey Ma’asios is printed with the sichos after it.  It is called “Sichos Haran – Magid Sichos”.

5613: The Tchuriner Rav sees Rebbe Nosson in a dream carrying his seforim, complaining that “they are heavy” and asking him for help.  This awakened the Tchuriner Rav to write the “Otzar HaYirah” the compendium of Likutei Halachos.

5614: Adel, the Rebbe’s daughter passes away. Following Rebbe Naftoli’s advice, R’ Nachman Tulchiner travels to illuminate the Rebbe’s light in town of Tirhovitz.  They spent money to continue printing Likutei Halachos.

5615: at the behest of Rebbe Naftoli, Rav Nachman Tchuriner becomes the Rav in Tchurin.

5616:  R’ Dovid Tzvi, son of Rebbe Nosson passes away.

5617: The Tchuriner Rav writes Parperaos LeChochma as well as other seforim.

5618: R’ Hirtz, the father of R Avrohom Shternhartz, become the son in law of the Tchuriner Rav.  When his wife passed away, he married the daughter of R’ Shimshon ‘of the forest’.

5619: Likutei Halachos, Choshen Mishpat is printed.

5620: Rebbe Naftoli passes away in Uman.

5621: Likutei Halachos, Even HaEzer, is printed and the printing of Likutei Halachos is completed after 20 years of piecemeal publishing.

5622: Rav Avrohom Shternhartz is born.

5623: R’ Efraim, the son of Rebbe Naftoli, makes aliya.

5624: The kibbutz in Meiron starts.

5625: R’ Sender Tiravitzer collects money to rebuild the Kloiz in Uman.  R’ Avrohom Ber’inu gives him 1000 Rendel (a huge sum) and R’ Sender kisses his hands, saying “Fortunate are the hands that give 1000 Rendalach to the Rebbe’s cause”.

5626: With the efforts R’ Sender Tirovitzer the Kloiz in Uman is rebuilt.  Rav Nachman Tulchiner moves to Uman.

5627: R’ leibale Reuven’s makes Aliya and passes away in Tzfas on 22nd of Av.

5628: R’ Hirsch Leib, the Rav in Breslev after his father Reb Aharon “The Rav”, passes away on 11th of Adar.

5629: The Tchuriner Rav travels to Eretz Yisroel with the wealthy people of Tcherin.  R’ Chaim Karsineshtein makes Aliya but returns later.

5630: R’ Yitzchok, son of Rebbe Nosson passes away on 14th of Adar.  R’ Itzale of Tulchin who lived in Jerusalem travels to Uman.

5631: R’ Itzchok Isaac, the brother of R’ Alter Tepliker makes Aliya.

5632: The Tchuriner Rav prints all the Rebbe’s seforim through his student R’ Boruch Efraim (who wrote Be’Ibey Hanachal).

5633: R’ Chaim Karsinshetin makes Aliya again.

5634: Otzar HaYirah is printed in Lembers.  The wealthy people of Tcherin print Likutei Moharan in Jerusalem.

5635: The Tchuriner Rav prints Likutei Moharan with Parperaos Lechochma.  R’ Nosson of Tevria who wrote the sefer Nativ Tzaddik makes Aliya.

5636: The Tchuriner Rav prints the first volume of Rebbe Nosson’s biography Yemei Moh”aranat in Lemberg, as well as the seforim Leshon Chasidim and Derech Chasidim, encyclopedic compendiums of the seforim of the students of the Ba’al Shem Tov and those of the Magid of Mezritch respectively.

5637: R’ Nosson of Tveria goes to Uman for Rosh Hashanah with R’ Yitzchok the brother of R’ Alter Tepliker.

5638: R’ Berle of Warsaw, the rebbe of R’ Shmuel Horowitz (a Dayan in the Beis Din of the saintly Avney Nezer of Sochatchov) makes aliya to Tzfas.

5639: R’ Avraham Shternhartz marries the daughter of R’ Yosef Yona, Rebbe Nosson’s youngest son.

5640: R’ Pinchas Kublitcher, who became close to the Rebbe with great Mesirus nefesh through R’Avrohom  (the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin), passes away.  He merited to bring many people on Kublitch to the Rebbe.

5641: The Nativ Tzaddik, R’ Nosson of Tevria travels to Uman from Eretz Yisroel.

5642: R’ Efraim son of Rebbe Naftoli prints Likutei Even and Ashmores Haboker in Jerusalem.

5643: R’ Efraim son of Rebbe Naftoli passes away erev Succos.

5644: R’ Moshe Breslover starts to daven in front of Amud for Mincha.  R’ Nosson of Tveria passes away on 26th of Adar.  R’ Nachman Tulchiner passes away on 26th of Nisan.

5645: R’Avrohom Shterhartz starts davening Shachris before the Amud in the Kibbutz.  R’ Leib Konstantiner davens Mussaf fro 5 years until he passes away.

5646: R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin, starts writing the stories and messorah of אנ”ש, later printed as Anshey Moharan.

5647: R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin writes Kochvey Or.

5648: R’ Shlomo Vecksler arrives at Eretz Yisroel and R’ Akiva Schleizinger advices him to become close to chassidei Breslov.

5649: R’ Yisrael Karduner draws close.  R’ Leib Kinstantiner passes away and is buried in Uman.  R’ Yona Yosef son of Rebbe Nosson passes away.

5650: R’ Nachman Nemirover starts davening Musaf before the Amud until 5680.  R’ Tzvi Hirsch Terahvitzer passes away in Tzfas and is buried by R’ Yitzchok, son of Rebbe Nosson.

5651: A Kibbutz minyan starts in Jerusalemk.

5652: R’ Sender Tirovitzer “the small” passes away in Tzfas on 2nd of Cheshvan.

5653: R’ Sender Tirovitzer (the nephew of R’Sender “the small”) prints a volume with Rebbe Nosson’s letters (which were not published in Michtevey Moharanat or Alim Litrufa) with Tikkun Haklali.

5654: R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin makes aliya.  R’ Moshe Breslover passes away on Rosh Chodesh Shevat.  Tchuriner Rav passas away on Ta’anis Esther.

5655: R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin travels to Uman for 19 years.

5656: R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin prints Kochvey Or in Jerusalem.  In Berditchev they print Rebbe Nosson’s letters in Alim Letrufa for the first time (first part of Michtevey Mohoranat).

5657: R’ Naftoli, R’Avrohom (the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin’s) father in law, makes aliya.

5658: R’ Asher Zelig, R’ Alter Tepliker’s father, passes away in Tzfas.

5659: R’ Yaakov Filmer of Berditchev makes aliya.

5660 (1900): R’ Nosson Beitlmacher – who would later marry the Tzaddekes Gittle, the widow of R’ Yisroel Karduner – makes aliya.

5661: R’ Yisroel Karduner prints many of the Rebbe’s seforim until 5663: .

5662: R’ Alter Tepliket’s Meshivas Nefesh is printed for the first time.  The Tchuriner Rav’s Rimzey Ha’ma’asios is printed with Sipurei Ma’asios.

5663: The Kloiz in Uman is rebuilt for the third time and אנ”ש  prayed there until 5696 (1936).  “Anshei Ma’amad” society is established in Uman and lasts for 30 years.  R’ Shmuel Meir Anshin makes aliya.

5664: First Breslover Shul is established in the old city of Jerusalem at the behest of R’ Akiva Schlezinger.  2nd volume of Yemei Moharanat is printed in Jerusalem by R’ Yisroel Karduner.

5665: First Kibbutz in Rosh Hashana in Eretz Yisroel is held in the shul.  R’ Yitzchok Breiter draws close in Lublin.

5666:  R’ Yitzchok Breiter comes to Uman and goes back with an enflamed heart to spread the light of the Tzaddik.  Likutei Tefilos is first printed in Galicia with the Haskomos of the local Rabbonim.

5667: R’ Yitzchok Breiter arrives from Polland with 7 newcomers, amongst them R’ Yechezkel and R’ Shmuel Eliahu Mendelail, R’ Bentzion Apter, and R’ Shlomo Gavriel.

5668: R’ Yitzchok Meir Karman arrives at the Kibbutz on R”H.

5669: First shul in Tzfas is established by R’ Ysroel Karduner and Nosson Tirahvitzer.

5670: R’ Dovid Davishske prints Likutei Moharan in Jerusalem.  The 2nd volume of Rebbe Nosson’s letters as well as Nachas Hashulchan is printed by R’ Yisroel Karduner.

5671: R’ Yudil Dashivske prints Likutei Halachos O”C, Vol. 1 in Berditchev.

5672: Kollel Warsaw givesאנ”ש  a shul in the Jewish quarter.

5673: R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin prints Sichos V’Sipurim.  R’ Hertz, the father of R’ Avrohom Shternhartz, passes away.

5674: R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin returns with the last ship from Eretz Yisroel together with R’ Yisroel Karduner.  R’ Levi Yitzchok and R’ Elya Chaim Rozin and dosens of more newcomers draw close at the Makaveh Yeshiva (through R’ Yitzchok Otovetzker).  On Elul R’ Levi Yitzchok go from Poland to Uman.

5675: A very old man arrives at the Kibbutz who was old enough to have seen Rebbe Nosson.

5676: R’ Levi Yitzchok accompanies R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin to Tcherin where they meet R’ Aharon Kublitcher and a shidduch is made.

5677: R’ Levi Yiztchok marries the daughter of R’ Aharon Kublitcher.

5678: R’Avrohom, the son of R’Nachman of Tulchin passes away in Chanukah.  R’ Getzi passes away on the 7th day of Pessach.

5679: R’ Alter Tepliker is murdered on Adar and R’ Levi Yitzchok moves into his house on Nisan.  In mid-summer 50 of אנ”ש  are almost murdered at the Kloiz and are miraculously saved.  R’ Yisroel Karduner passes away in Teveria on 9th of Cheshvan (and with his death the plague stopped).  R’ Nosson Tiravitzer passes away in Tzfas.

5680: R’ Alter Markes davens Shachris at the Kibbutz.  Even though it was light-threatening to to come to Uman,   7 people came with great mesirus nefesh, amongst them R’ Aharon Kiblitcher and R’ Levi Yitzchok his son-in-law.  R’ Levi Yitzchok starts to daven mussaf before the Amud.  A young boy, R’ Yacov Bersezky also arrives with great self-sacrifice from Poland – two months later he makes aliya.

5681: 18 boys from Poland sneak over the border and arrive at Uman for R”H.  Kollel Warsaw gives the Aguna shul in the ‘Rova’ to אנ”ש . R’ Baruch Bwrditchover passes away.  Unabridged Chayay Moharan is printed.  R’ Aharon Kublitcher passes away on Elul.

5682: R’ Hirsch Lipel makes it to Uman with another boy with tremendous mesirus nefesh.  From this year R’ Levi Yitzchok davens Sachris in the Kibbutz and R’ Avrohom Shternhartz davens mussaf.

5683: from this year on, R’ Moshe Yeruslavsky takes care of all of אנ”ש  in Uman after a great miracle that occurred to him whereby he was saved from certain death.

5684: Likutei Moharan is printed in Poland for the first time and אנ”ש  comes out wearing their Shabbos clothing when it comes out of the book-binder.  R’ Yisroel Abba Rosenfeld travels to America from the Soviet Union.

5685: A few people from Poland manage to come as well as one from Caucuses.  Shmos Hatzddikim is printed and the Rebbe’s family and the great people ofאנ”ש  are added.

5686:  אנ”ש  in Tisnitschov establish a shiur to learn Likutei Mohoran in depth publicly.  R’ Aharon Tzigelman prints Likutei Eitzos (Ivrei Teitsh in Yiddish)

5687: A siddur with Tikkun Haklali is printed by R’ Nashka Tulchiner.  The Haggadah with Or Zoreach is printed in Jerusalem.

5688: Or Zoreach pamphlet is published in Poland for 2 years.

5689: First Kibbutz in Poland.

5690: R’ Shmuel Horovitz arrives in Uman and stays fro 3 consecutive R”H’s.  The students of R’ Ephraimel, “The Oneg Shabbos”, establish a shul in Tel Aviv.  R’ Aharon Leib Tzigelman prints the complete Alim Letrufa with the Rebbe’s letters and those of R’ Yitzchok son of Rebbe Nosson, for the first time.

5691: From this year until the Holocaust the Kibbutz takes place at the Chachmay Lublin Yeshiva.

5692: R’ Shmuel Horovitz leaves jail on the Sefira of Netzach Be’Netzach.

5693: R’ Shmuel Shapirah, R’ Biyomin Ze’ev Cheshin, and Heshel Franc draw close.  R’ Shmuel Horowitz prints a part of the letters of R’ Avrohom the son of Nachman of Tulchin.

5694: R’ Hirsch Lipel makes aliya.  The Rebbe’s previously unpublished written Torah is printed with the letters of R’ Shlomo Vecksler.

5695: 20 People from Poland successfully arrive at the Kibbutz with permits. R’ Shimshon Barsky passes away erev Roch Chodesh Sivan. R’ Shmuel Horowitz prints Biur Halikutim.

5696: The communists close the Kloiz.  In Cheshvan R’ Levi Yitzchok and R’ Elya Chaim Rozin are arrested and are miraculously set free on erev Roch Chodesh Adar.  R’ Moshe Burstein makes aliya.  R’ Avrohom Shternhartz makes aliya.  R’ Mordechai Yagelnik makes aliya and davens Maariv in front of the Amud until R’Levi Yitzchok arrives.

5697: אנ”ש  daven in the Lelover shul in the old city.  A shul is established in Sha’arey Chessed.  R’ Yechezkel Medenlail makes aliya.  First Breslover shul is opened in New York by R’ Yitzchok Mendel Rothenberg on the East Side.

5698: 27 martyrs of אנ”ש  are sent to an unknown place.  Few make it back and make it to Eretz Yisrael.

5699: Even though the Kloiz is closed, many Chassidim make it to Uman and daven in 4 apartments.  R’ Levi Yitzchok’s last year in Uman with great mesirus nefesh since he is ‘wanted’. R’ Ahron Leib Tzigelman prints Tikkun Haklali.  R’ Nosson Barsky makes it in with the last ship to arrive before the Holocaust.

5700: A shul is built in Sha’arey Chessed.  Tikkun Chatzos is printed.

5701: R’ Avrohom Shternhartz starts a Kibbutz in Meiron.  R’ Yona Lebel becomes the shofar blower until he passes away.

5702: R’ Mordechai Sokolover passes away in Siberia.

5703: R’ Yacov Melamed davens Shachris in Meiron and R’ Avrohom Shternhartz davens mussaf until 1954.  Tikkun haklali is printed in Shanghai with Tzetil Koton of the Rebbe R’ Elimelech.  The new shul in Shaarey Chessed is inaugurated.  R’ Yomtov Zlotnik, the mainstay of אנ”ש  in Shaarey Chessed passes away.

5704: the Ohel above the Tziun is destroyed.

5705: R’ Zabvil makes a minyan in Uman after the years of the Holocaust (R’ Michal Dorfman and R’ Chaim Binyomin Brod were there).  From that year on R’ Mechelmakes a Kibbutz every year until he makes aliya.

5706: R’ Avrohom Shternhartz buys land for the Shul in the old city.  R’ Ephraimel, “The Oneg Shabbos”, passes away on 15 of Shvat.

5707: R’ Zanvil buys the lot over the Tzyun to safeguard the Tzyun’splace.

5708: The Jordanians capture the old city and many אנ”ש escape to Katamon.  R’ Shmuel Shapira, R’ Shmuel Horovitz, and R’ Moshe Burstein are captured.

5709:   Since Meiron is in Arab hands, the Kibbutz takes place in Teveria by Rabbi Meir Ba’al Hanes.  The Jordanian captives are released and R’ moshe Burstein establishes a shul in Katamon.  R’ Levu Yitzchok arrives in Eretz Yisrael on Cheshvan.

5710: R’ Yaakov Ze’ev starts davening Shachris in Meiron.  In Jerusalem R’ Levi Yitzchok davened Mincha, Maariv and mussaf before the amud until he passed away.

5711: Yerach Eitanim of the Tchuriner Rav is printed.

5712: The lot of the shul in Mea Shorim is purchased.

5713: R’ Eliyahu Chaim Rozin collects money in the US for the shul.

5714: R’ Moshe Kremer, R’ Nosson Tzvi Koenig, and R’ Avrohom Herschler become close.

5715: R’ Moshe Burstein davens in Meiron.  R’ Avrohom Shternhartz passes away in Elul.  100,000 Tikun Haklali are printed by R’ Eliezer Veitzhandler, first time with the commentary of R’ Yitzchok Breiter.  R’ Yaakov Dov prints Alim Litrufa in America.  Maimon shul is inaugurated in Bnei Brak.

5716:  R’ Nosson Shternhartz makes aliya.

5717: R’ Nosson Shternhartz davens mussaf in Meiron from that year on.

5718: Likutei Moharan with the Parperaos is printed in the US.

5719: Yeshivas Breslev is opened in Bnei Brak.

5720: Foundation stone is laid to Yeshivas Breslov in Bnei Brak.

5721: Second half of the lot for shul in Meah Sheorim is purchased. R’ Yona Lebel passes away.

5722: R’ Gedalia Fleer goes to Uman but doesn’t make it to the Tziyun.  R’ Shmuel Meir Anshin passes away.  R’ Zanvil passes away. His body is brought to Eretz Yisroel a few years later and his body was still intact!  Some say because he never missed a day of hisbodedus and others say because of the self-sacrifice he had for the Rebbe’s Tziyun.  Leshon Chassidim is reprinted as well as Chochma and Tevuna.

5723: R’ Fleer gets to the Tziyun, which is the first time someone from the outside gets to the Tziyun.  R’ Moshe Burstein widens the shul in Katamon and establishes Yeshiva Or Avraham.

5724: R’ Fleer goes to Uman with R’ Tzvi Aryeh Rosenfeld and 8 people.

5725: Davening upstairs in the shul in Mea Sheorim.  R’ Shmuel Shapira prints the Tefilos Lizmaney Hashanah compilations.

5726: R’ Gedalia Fleer is in Uman on R”H with R’ Michal Dorfman and a few people from Tashkent and Moscow.  Many important אנ”ש  draw close from Yeshivas Ponivez through R’ Nosson Libermensch and R’ Avrohom Mordechai Felberboim.

5727: Breslover shul opens in Boro Park.  Kibbutz is held there until the Tziyun opens.  Ulpan Chadat pamphlet is published by Nachman Burstein.  R’ Yiztchok Korman passes away.

5728: Ya’alas Chein is printed by R’ Shmuel Horowitz.  Pituchei Chosam is printed.  R’ Arye Veinshtoc prints Likutei Moharan with square letters.  Shul in Williamsburg is opened.

5729: R’ Nosson Tzvi Keonig prints an index for Likutei Moharan.

5730: R’ Aryeh Veinstock prints full first complete set of Likutei Halachos.  R’ Tzvi Aryeh Rosenfeld prints all the Breslover seforim.

5731: R’ Gedalia Keonig purchases land for Breslov Tzfas. R’ Michal Dorfman makes aliya.

5732: R’ Shmuel Horovitz, R’ Nosson Barsky and R’ Dovid Romeinisher pass away.

5733: A group with R’ Eliezer Berland gets to Uman mid-year.  R’ Nosson Shternhartz and R’ Benzion Apter pass away.  Talumud Torah Temima is established in Jerusalem.

5734: a group of אנ”ש  in Kishinev for R”H.  R’ Yisroel Nachman Anshin and Sar Shalom Marzel get to Uman.

5735: Inauguration of Pe’er Hanachal.

5736: Herschel Vasilksky and a group get to Uman on evev R”H and R”H in Kiev.

5737: a group gets to Uman on evev R”H and R”H in Kiev again.  Heichal Baruch shul in Tzfas is inaugurated.

5738: A minyan with R’ Eliezer Shlomo Shick make it to Uman on erev R”H but are driven back to Kiev.  A group arrives in Uman with R’ Berland and are arrested by police.  R’ Nachman Shosek passes away (remained silent for 40 years!).  Mabuey Hanachal is published.

5739: A large group group makes it to the Tzyun on erev R”H but are arrested and spend R”H in jail.  R’ Rosenfeld passes away.

5740: R’ Hirsch Lipel and R’ Gedalia Keonig pass away.

5741: 21 people in Kiev for R”H – 9 of which are in Uman with another Jew, Rabinovitch, of Uman to make up a minyan.

5742: Toras Nosson is published.

5743: Kiryas Breslov shul in Tzfas opens.  R’ Elchonon Spector passes away.

5744: R’ Elye Chaim Rozin passes away.

5745: R’ Yacov Berzesky passes away.

5746: Breslover shul opens in Sanhedria Murcheves.

5747: R’ Y.M. Gabai and A. Dimermas make it Uman for R”H.  A group makes it mid-year with R’ Mordechai Yagelnik.

5748: 20 people make it Uman for Rosh Hashanah.  R’ Yaakov Meir Schechter makes it to Uman on Adar.

5749: 200 people make it to Uman for R”H with R’ Shmuel Shapira, R’ Shmuel Chechik, R’ Mordechai Elazar, R’ Michal Dorfman and R’ Moshe Burstein.  R’ Levy Yitzchok, R’ Shmuel Shapira and R’ Binyomin Ze’ev Cheshin pass away.

5750: Gates of the Tziun are open. 1,000 people come.  Davening in the Zavod.

5751: a low tombstone in placed on the Tziun. 2,000 people in Uman.  Davening in the Migometer.

5752: A tall stone in placed on the Tziyun. 2500 people daven at the migometer. R’ Michal Dorfman builds the outside Ohel on the Tizyun.

5753: 3000 people daven at the Institute. Tiferes Hanachal shul is established in Bet Shemesh.  A shul is established in Beitar Ilit.

5754: 3500 people daven in the Kloiz in Uman.  R’ Mordechai Eliezer Rubinstein passes away.

5755: 4200 people in Uman.

5756: 4700 people in Uman.

5757: 5200 people in Uman. R’ Yitzchok Gelbach passes away.

5758: The Tziyun site is purchased and the place is built.  New Kloiz is built with 3000 seats.  R’ Nosson Tzvi Keonig passes away on Cheshvan.  Shul opens in Manchester.

5759: R’ Shmuel Chechik passes away.  Nachlas Chein shul is established in Bet Shemesh.

5760 (2000): 10000 people in Uman. Breslev is established in Brachfeld/Modien Ilit.  Or Avrohom shul is opened.

5761: Yeshivas Breslev is established in Tzfas.

5762: Breslover shul in Lakewood, N.J.

5763: 15000 people in Uman. Mekor Hanachal shul in Beitar is opened.

5764: A copy of the original Kloiz in Uman is built in Modein Ilit.  Pocket-size Likutei Moharan is printed.

5765: Thousands of free tickets to Uman are given away which create a tremendous interest to come to Uman.  Kloiz Anshei Moharan opens in Jerusalem.

5766: 21000 people in Uman. R’ Michal Dorfman passes away on 5 Av.

5767: 22000 people in Uman. Talmud Torah Breslev established in Bet Shemesh.  Kollel Chatzos restarts in Mea Shorim.

5768: 23000 people in Uman. New Parperaos Lechochma is published.

5769: 24000 people in Uman. 2 weekly pamphlets “Otzros” and “Aleh Litrufa” are published in Hebrew and the ”Gates of Emunah” pamphlet in English.

5770: 25000 people in Uman. Establishment of great Yeshiva/Masivta d’Chasidei Breslove in Jerusalem.

5771: 200 years from the Rebbe’s passing and his voice still resounds: “You have nothing to worry about since I go before you”, “There is no such reality as despair” and “My fire shall burn until the arrival of Moshiach”.

 

 

The Light of Moshiach

The worst experience anyone can have is betrayal.

Imagine trusting a friend, someone who was always available and always understanding and suddenly finding yourself in horrendous straits and the reason behind the quagmire is this best friend.  Your mind simply refuses to accept such horrible shattering of trust.  How is this possible?  You try to explain it away somehow, but no matter what you do, reality smacks you right in the face: the facts are irrefutable.  His part in it is undeniable.  The pain over the treachery is far worse than physical pain, and no painkiller can dull the edge.

There is, however, something that could change it all instantly; If someone was to reveal to you that while your best friend was indeed behind the deed, there is a secret reason behind what he did:

“You were in tremendous danger – one that is far worse than anything you can possibly face,” that someone tells you:  “And your friend was the only one who realized it.  After wrecking his brain in trying to find an alternative solution, your friend realized that bringing you to the situation you find yourself in was the only way out.  To be effective, you could not be told this before.  So, with tear in his eyes and a heavy heart your friend did what he had to do with a single goal in his mind – your welfare.”

Now this little secret changes everything.  The act of betrayal is revealed to be the most altruistic act of love.  This is real friendship in its truest sense.

Am Yisroel is the most sublime creation this world can contain.  The first steps of the fledgling nation where taken under the guiding hand of divine providence.  Raised in a reality upholstered with miracles, the souls of Israel enjoyed evident Heavenly kindness at every step.  And then, just when the Ya’acov Avinu plants the twelve holy tribes in the world, the gentle souls are suddenly subjected to the most horrible predicament possible.  Suddenly, reality is literally pure torture.

They are imprisoned in the worst possible exile.

But their physical and spiritual anguish are dwarfed before the mere thought that their all-merciful, loving Father in Heaven has cast away his beloved son to a muddy swamp and left him, bleeding half to death, an easy prey to predatory animals.  The thought alone was devastating.

The light of Moshiach

Going out of exile can happen only with the revelation of the light of the true redeemer; a ray of light from the universe of redemption. It is the illumination of the true sense, one that will cast light upon the desolation and dispel all doubts and pain by its very presence.

The Israelites’ primal cry arose from the very depth of their enslavement and opened for them the gates of salvation.   “And they cried – and their call has ascended”.  The mouth can utter such a cry only when there’s faith and understanding in the heart that it is not possible for a Father to totally forsake his child.  Only when one realizes that there must be a reason behind this, that an awesome primal call tear all obstacles and beg Hashem to reveal Himself.

Moshe Rabbeinu is both the past and future redeemer.  He is the one who whispers the secret into ears that were all but shut by exile and hard labor.   Hashem sends His beloved emissary to a wretched nation, instructing him to reveal to them the truth.  Moshe is instructed to tell them that their loving Father has never left them.   That while the terrible situation they find themselves in is, indeed, his handiwork – it was done for their eternal benefit.

‘Though you cannot fathom it now,’ He tells them, ‘There will come a time when you’ll realize just how much compassion was delivered in the various exiles.’

The ten plagues … the impossible exodus in the break of dawn … the deliverance upon the wings of eagles …the Matzohs upon the shoulders that were followed by a Heavenly retribution and the splitting of the Red Sea – all those can happen only after an exile.  Cruel, pagan, enslaving Egypt was vital in creating the fertile ground for most awesome revelation of G-dliness the world has ever seen before or since.  It is the Egyptian pride that brought the people of Israel to see the love their Father has for them.

Exile equals lack of comprehension

Exile isn’t necessarily the enslavement and the pain.  The crux of an exiled existence is the lack of understanding of why I am suffering.

It’s the scorching feeling of betrayal and abandonment and the lurking fear that I have been forgotten and forsaken in a horrible predicament.  This is the true horror of exile.

The light of Moshiach appears wherever and whenever one calls for enlightenment.  It happens when you beg Hashem to show you the points of light within the darkness.  It happens when you beg Him to show you that what you’re going through leads you to your destiny.

Exile is hard.  It leaves in its wake smoldering ruins, the ashen remains of the glory of Israel.  The spiritual exile is something each and every one of us experiences.  Torah, prayer, clear presence of mind, all these are lost during exile.  Many times, between one breathless hustle to the next, an annoying question arises – maybe it’s all for naught?  Maybe I’m suffering for nothing?  And the torturing question of ‘Why’ raises its ugly head.

The light of redemption is revealed by a cry that emanates from the understanding that Hashem never left you.  There is no such thing as ‘suffering for nothing’.  Exile is there to reveal a far deeper love.  Enslavement is the bedrock of salvation.  In every darkness there are points of light.  Indeed, in every hour of distress you can discover anew Hashem’s unconditional love.

It’s all possible once you know the secret.

 

 

HOWTO: Learning Likutei Moharan

Question:

I want to study the Rebbe’s sefarim, but it seems to me that the topics which they discuss pertain to a much higher spiritual level than my own.

Answer:

The Rebbe teaches in Likutei Moharan I 61 that everything that a person studies he must see to it to find proper and just guidance as to how to conduct oneself. The way to achieve this is through faith and trust in Chachamim, the sages of Torah. When a person doesn’t have proper belief in Chachamim, then he doesn’t have respect for sefarim, and he deems the many sefarim which exist as superfluous and ridicules them.

There are certainly people who don’t have Emunas Chachamim, and scorn the sefarim of the Tzaddikim.  But most of Klal Yisroel believe in Tzaddikim and respect their sefarim. But the Yezter Hara ambushes us from a different angle. He tells us, “Look, the sefarim of the Tzaddikim are too high for you, they are not for your level.” He thereby keeps a person away from ever truly uplifting himself.

We must therefore strengthen ourselves very much in our belief and trust in Chachamim. This doesn’t just mean to believe that a certain individual is a Tzaddik and serves Hashem. To trust the Chachamim means that the whole essence of the revelation of the Tzaddikim in the world is in order to bring ‘all of us’ close to Hashem and His Avodah, from the highest Tzaddik to the lowest Rasha, and everyone in between.

As a person becomes stronger in his Emunas Chachamim, he begins to understand that if the Tzaddik devoted his whole life to teaching us these Torahs, and spoke to us many times and in many different ways about their exaltedness, and how they are meant for every level, then we must certainly dedicate ourselves to setting aside time to study his sefarim, and to search within them for guidance in Avodas Hashem. And if one looks, he will definitely find.

We must keep in mind what the Rebbe said, that every talk which he had with us, a person can use it to become a proper Oved Hashem, if we will want to follow his word and put into practice.

Reb Noson explains further, that by every Torah the main thing is not the study, but the practical application thereof. Pay good attention to each Torah, to understand the practical advice and guidance and inspiration which are derived from them. Even in those few places which seem at first glance to be not understandable, and you don’t see their practical relevance to your level, in reality contains wonderful advice and inspiration for you to come close to Hashem from your situation where you are holding now. If you will put your heart into it to look very well, you will definitely find advice according to your level.

Everything the Rebbe taught was in a very general sense, in a way in which it pertains to every person in the world on every single level. With every Torah of the Rebbe, every person can serve Hashem, from the person standing on a high level to person on the lowest level. Everyone can return to Hashem and find guidance for himself through each Torah, as they include everything within them in a wondrous way. (See Chayei Moharan, Ma’alas Toraso 19, Sichos Haran 131)

Everything depends on Emunas Chachamim – to know that the Tzaddikim are speaking to us. They were not trying to tell us vortim or ideas on the Parsha; they were trying to teach us practical ideas how we can come close to Hashem. We see ourselves that those who have a strong Emunah and studied the sefarim to look for guidance and advice, merited to become true, proper Ovdei Hashem.

We must also apply our Emunas Chachamim in a practical way. Sometimes a person has such strong Emunah in the Torah of the Tzaddik, that he ceases to study the sefarim to search for practical guidance, and instead just looks for the hidden spiritual energy which is found in them, because of his strong belief that the words of the Tzaddik sanctifies and purifies us, or just knowing the ideas which they teach helps. Even though this is all true, the true greatness of the Tzaddikim is that throughout all of their wonderful revelations, they also revealed to us simple practical advice which is fitting for every one of us.

Question:

Are all of the concepts really relevant to everyone?

Answer:

As we said, every idea discussed in the sefarim, are made up of many, many levels. Every person must learn according to his level, and not to go too high. We must always pray that we find the level which pertains to us in the Torahs which we learn. If a person searches with sincerity, he will always find what is related to him.

But it’s important not to skip or “cut out” what seems to you to be irrelevant to you. You must believe very much that every piece really is applicable to you, also.

Question: Even if I understand something which is applicable to me, there are so many other simple things in which I am weak. If only I would strengthen myself in those things first before I enter into the lofty concepts of the Rebbe.

Answer: This is what we have said already, that everything depends on Emunas Chachamim. We must understand that these Torahs are my medicine. We must pray about this itself, ‘Why do I feel so far from what the Tzaddik reveals to be applicable to me, and that my entire salvation depends upon?’

When the Rebbe exhorted us to make prayers out of his Torah, to speak to Hashem and ask Him that we merit applying whatever we have studied, he brought as an example Likutei Moharan I 5. There, he discusses how every person must say that the whole world was created only for him. The Rebbe said that we must simply talk to Hashem about how far we are from this concept.

The Chassidim asked him then, this doesn’t seem to be something which we are missing according to our level. We are too far from this concept to be praying about it.

The Rebbe responded, ‘Listen to what you are saying! I just said that a person has to say that the whole world was created just for him, meaning that every person must do so, and nobody can absolve himself from this.’ (See Intro. To Likutei Teffilos)

The Tzaddikim revealed to us Torah through which we can come close to Hashem. If it still seems to us that it would have been better to first strengthen ourselves in simpler things, on the contrary, through entering into Avodas Hashem according to the guidance of the Tzaddik, we will also become strengthened in the simple things.

Let’s not be like the ill person who comes to the specialist and instead of taking his medication, starts arguing with the doctor how he needs other medications… (See Likutei Moharan I 164)

HOWTO: Practice The Teachings of the Tzaddikim

Question:

How do we take what we learn from the teachings of the Tzaddikim and apply them practically?

Answer:

1] The teachings which are revealed throughout the works of the Tzaddikim are unimaginably great and they contain tremendous depth. This is one of the reasons that a person doesn’t see how he can practically apply what he’s learnt. But the truth is that even though we have to study and try to understand as much as we can, at the same time we need to know how to take out practical advice and guidance from within the entire construct which we are studying, even if we don’t fully understand it.

The structure that our study should take is to continuously reflect what practical ideas come out for me out of what I have just learnt. Sometimes I might find something which I must act upon, to conduct myself in a new way or perform good deeds. Most of the time the advice which will be discovered, will be a new way of looking at life, how to strengthen our faith and not to fall into unhappiness, how to engage in prayer, and what intent to strive for in our studies.

This is in addition to what we spoke about last week concerning learning a lot of material even without proper understanding. Besides studying quickly we also have to keep in mind practical applications.

After you are done learning, try throughout the day to think about what you’ve learned over and over, even if but just a little, as much as you are able to. You should also speak it over with friends. Concentrate on finding the practical application of what’s been learnt. Everyday take another point, and with time you will begin to take notice how the words of the Tzaddik are starting to engrave themselves into your heart. Your thoughts are already different, you have less confusion, less worries about what people are thinking, you want undesirable things less; your thoughts are more upbeat, etc.

2] Afterwards, the best advice to merit practicing what the Tzaddikim teach us is to daven about what you have learned, as the Rebbe told us to ‘make prayers out of Torah’. Prayers such as these bring Hashem enjoyment.

Open your mouth and ask Hashem that you merit achieving whatever it is you’ve learnt about. Then, even if you haven’t yet merited to actually practicing it, it’s as if you have. (see Likutei Halachos, Rosh Chodesh 5)

3] In addition to the actual power which prayer has on high, the more one beseeches and prays about what he has learnt, the more his desire and yearning to constantly search as to how to merit truly practicing what’s been learnt will be increased through the prayer itself. Thus, you will always be able to find the proper path which can be gleaned from the Torah of the Tzaddikim.

4] The combination and connection of Torah and Tefilah elevates a person to another place. The desires in his heart and the thoughts in his mind are elevated through it to only being attached to Hashem. This is the tool through which a person can attach himself to Hashem.

5] Reb Nosson composed the Likutei Tefilos, which are prayers based on the Rebbe’s Torahs. It has in it a real holiness in which a person can always find himself in its words. He writes in the introduction, however, that these Tefilos do not serve as a substitute for personal prayer between a person and the Creator, to merit putting the words of the Tzaddikim into practice.

To mention one more small piece of advice, that when you pray about the Torah which you have learnt, you should still try to find how you have already applied a little of what you are praying for. If not, you can come to despair immediately when you see the distance between you and the words of the Tzaddikim. You should therefore try to find your own connection to that teaching, how you have already applied some of it, and in such a way you will build a connection to their words and continue to search for ways to apply them more and more.

Question:

Isn’t prayer and conversation between a person and Hashem supposed to be concentrated on talking to Him about whatever is bothering him right now? It’s not always possible to find oneself in what has been learnt just now.

Answer:

1] Of course, the main discussion with Hashem must be about what you are going through. But on the contrary, as you are speaking your heart out, bring in a statement or idea from the Tzaddik and see how you can combine them together. Pay attention how the Torah of the Tzaddikim is a living Torah which goes down into the realities of life, in order to save us from whatever it is we need, both material and spiritual. In the words of the Tzaddik we can attain a different way of viewing everything that we experience. Thus, we can truly talk to Hashem at length about everything that is going on.

2] Sometimes it goes the opposite way. Sometimes we have nothing to say by Hisbodedus, and we don’t have the composure to start talking about everything that we’re going through. But through this advice of making prayers out of Torah, we will always have material to pray about. Take any subject that you’ve learnt, even if you don’t feel connected to it, and start talking to Hashem and asking about it. Throughout, you can find inspiration to connect your life to what you’ve learnt, and to speak about the point which your heart is connected to at that time.

3] Every day, a person has so much nonsense, fantasies, confusions and worries, etc. Therefore a person really has to identify every day what’s going on with himself, and to pray about it. When a person gets used to praying and speaking to Hashem about what he has learnt by the Tzaddikim, he will get out of much nonsense by himself. Prayer and talking to Hashem about the Torah of Tzaddikim will itself help a person concentrate on wanting what he has learnt and to think only about it.

Talking to Hashem helps aim a person’s heart and direct it to where it belongs. Such, he will become inspired to search to practically apply the words of the Tzaddik, and to find more practical ideas throughout their Sefarim. He will thus be able to throughout the day, even after Tefilah, to continue thinking and living with what has been learnt. The next time when he sits down to talk to Hashem, the point in his heart will already be the subject on which he has been thinking about the whole day.

4] Taste and see that Hashem is good; it’s not as difficult as it seems. Take a small point from the words of the Tzaddikim, ask Hashem about it, and achieve Hheaven in your lifetime. Your connection to Hashem will be strengthened unrecognizably, and the Torah which you have learnt won’t be abstract ideas anymore. Your prayer will be much deeper.

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