39 posts categorized "Breslever tradition and thought"

10th of Teveth and Rebbe Natan's Yahrtzeit: Today

Today, Tuesday 10 Teveth (18 Dec., 2018) is a fast day that commemorates the beginning of the Babylonian siege around Jerusalem, before the city fell and the First Holy Temple was destroyed two and a half years later. The fast begins 90 minutes before dawn on Tuesday morning and ends when the stars come out. Here in Israel, this is roughly from 5:00 AM to 5:09 PM, so it's the shortest fast day of the year.

10 Teveth this year also commemorates the 174th anniversary of the passing of our holy Rabbi and spiritual guide, Rebbe Natan of Breslev, of saintly and blessed memory. Were it not for Rebbe Natan, we wouldn't have had such a rich legacy of Rebbe Nachman's teachings. Rebbe Natan is a spiritual Transformer, for he brings us Rebbe Nachman's dazzling light in a measure that we can absorb. Rebbe Natan is also My Hero

Please light a candle for Natan ben Naftali Hertz, may his blessed and holy memory intercede on our behalf, amen. 

Here are some photos we took in Breslev, Ukraine a few summers ago, at Rebbe Natan's holy gravesite:

Photo 1: Rebbe Natan's Gravesite


Photo 2: View of the Ukranian countryside from Rebbe Natan's gravesite


Photo 3: The River Bugg, here Rebbe Natan would pour his heart out in personal prayer


Photo 4: Lazer praying at Rebbe Natan's gravesite



Rebbe Nachman's Promise

Bnai melachim
Dear Rabbi Lazer,

I heard somewhere that Rebbe Nachman made a promise for those who bring their little children to Uman. Is that true? If so, what is the nature of the promise? Does this have to be on Rosh Hashana? Thanks so much, Danny from NJ

Dear Danny,

Rebbe Nachman did make such a promise; before he left the physical world, he said that anyone who would bring their son to him before the age of seven, that little boy would arrive at his own chuppa (wedding) with a rein'e hemdel'e, Yiddish for "a perfectly clean shirt". In other words, Rebbe Nachman was saying that he would make sure that any little boy who came to him would grow up in purity and arrive unblemished to his own chuppa.

I have seen this remarkable promise materialize time and again.

Today, Breslever custom is to bring a child to Uman before his 7th birthday and to recite the Tikkun Klali together with him, word by word, on Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite. This does not have to be on Rosh Hashana. In addition, many Breslevers take their little girls to Uman, maintaining that Rebbe Nachman's promise was for girls as well.

Who can possibly estimate the value of raising pure children, and in 21st-Century Western society at that? Also, who can possibly make such a promise, which thousands have seen in their own children, other than Rebbe Nachman?

Danny, I strongly suggest that you take both your wife and children to Uman. Wait and see how Hashem reimburses you for the trip. Meanwhile, may you have much joy from your children.

Blessings always, LB

Rebbe, Rebbe

Gmar Tov! We hope you're having the best Succoth holiday of your life...

Uman this year was so memorably meaningful. I already miss being by Rebbe Nachman, especially since yesterday was his 207th yahrtzeit. With this in mind, here is one of my favorite melodies, which I was humming the whole time I was by Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite in Uman this past Rosh Hashana. It's called, "Rebbe, Rebbe".

A Breslever custom is to say a hitkashrut prayer before every mitvza, where we bind ourselves to all the true tzaddikim and particularly our own rebbe, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, osb"m.

Yehudah Green turned the hitkashrut prayer into a beautifully stirring melody named "Rebbe, Rebbe." Here, our dear friend Chassidic singer Duddy Knopfler with the Meshorerim Choir sing a moving rendition, which I'm sure you'll enjoy as much as I do. Below are the lyrics in Yiddish transliteration, in Yiddish and in English translation. Enjoy and have a wonderful Succoth and New Year 5779!

Rebbe, rebbe, mir villen zich mikasher zein Tzu dir

Hinneni mikkasher nafshi, ruchi venishmasi lenishmas adoni mori urabi

Im shaar hatzadikim veha'avos hakdoshim ve'im shaar hatzidkanios vehaimahos hakedoshos

רבי, רבי, רבי, מיר ווילען זיך מקשר זיין צו דיר

הנני מקשר נפשי, רוחי, ונשמתי, לנשמת אדוני מורי ורבי

עם שאר הצדיקים והאבות הקדושים ועם שאר הצדקניות והאמהות הקדושות

Rebbe , rebbe, I want to bind myself to you

I hereby connect the three elements of my soul to the soul of my master, teacher and rebbe,

Together with the other tzaddikim the holy patriarchs and the holy matriarchs. 

The Coronation

Rosh Hashana - tonight, Monday and Tuesday - is the King's coronation, when we crown Hashem as our King. People ask me why we leave our holy Land of Israel to go to the Ukraine on Rosh Hashana. The reason is simple: Rebbe Nachman himself told us before he left this world, Ish bal ye'ader - No one shall be missing, in other words, we Breslevers have a directive from our holy Rebbe of blessed memory to spend Rosh Hashana in Uman. This tradition was continued by Rebbe Natan zatza'l and by all subsequent generations of Rebbe Nachman's disciples.

Intrinsically, the main coronation of The King takes place in the Kloiz, the cental prayer hall near Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite in Uman, which was the site of one of the greatest sanctifications of Hashem's name in history. During the Cossack pogroms of 1728, 33,000 Jews were brutally slaughtered after they refused to give up their ancient faith. Uman is the biggest teshuva and emuna factory in the world. Amazingly enough, last year there were 45,000 Jews praying together in Uman. This year, many more are expected.

Here from Uman, from Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite, are our heartfelt blessings for you and your loved ones - Leshana Tova Tikatevu - may you be inscribed in the Book of Long Life for a wonderful New Year 5779, amen!

The Land of Israel: Kinneret's Holiness

Rebbe Nachman said, "Wherever I walk, I walk in the Land of Israel." He knew what he was talking about, for walking in the Land of Israel is being immersed in kedusha, holiness. And, when Rebbe Nachman visited the holy Land of Israel, he made a beeline for Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee. He knew what he was doing...

Those who love the Land of Israel say the word "Kinneret" as if it were the name of their long-lost love. The Sea of Galilee is known as Kinneret in Hebrew, from the word kinor, or violin. Most people will tell you that Kinneret got its name because it's shaped like a violin. Your brother Lazer will tell you otherwise - Kinneret's gentle waves play music like a violin. 

"Eretz Yisroel is holier than all other lands" (see Mishna, Kelim 1:6 - LB). Kabbala teaches that Eretz Yisrael has a holiness that manifests itself by seven different spiritual lights that illuminate the seven different sections of the Holy Land, corresponding to the seven spheres of Chessed to Malchus. Kinneret receives her illumination directly from the Shechina, the Divine Presence.

We all long for the Shechina. We're waiting eagerly for the redemption of our people, when the Shechina will illuminate all of Eretz Yisrael in an indescribably exquisite splendor. One look at the Land of Israel in all of her glory will make everyone forget about the senseless and meaningless material idiocies they chased after their entire lives. Soon, very soon, amen.

Three Levels of Peace

Policemanmachpela Lazer with security forces in the holy city of our Patriarchs Hevron, during a day of Emuna Outreach lectures at the Machpela Cave

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev explains that a person's quest for peace must be threefold - between him/herself and G-d, between him/herself and the Jewish people as a whole, and within him/herself.

In order to develop a harmonious approach to life as a whole, one must develop the ability to find Hashem's presence everywhere and in everything. That way, a person can feel love for Hashem regardless of the situation - whether things are good or seemingly bad.

If a person doesn't love G-d, he or she won't feel love for a fellow Jew. Therefore, the love of G-d is a prerequisite for ahavat Yisrael, the love of fellow Jews. Ahavat Yisrael leads to peace and unity; peace and unity among our people will hasten the redemption, soon and in our time, amen.