Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Class on Hisbodedus Tonight - August 19

Received via e-mail:

Dear Friends,
Tuesday night, August 19, we’ll continue to discuss real-life issues by the light of the wisdom of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
Are you feeling disconnected, under pressure? Do you wish you had someone to talk to, to really talk to? A best-friend who helps you figure out who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there? Someone who always has your best interests at heart? Then hisbodedus, talking to Hashem in your own words, is a practice you might consider including in your life. Even a few minutes a day can have a profound effect on your peace of mind, happiness, and even your relationships.
During the next few classes, we’ll explore concepts related to hisbodedus, explore its practice and mechanics, share inspirational teachings, and more. Weather-permitting, we plan to take a trip to a nearby park to experience the joy of hisbodedus out-of-doors in the safety of a group (for most of us, hisbodedus is usually done at home, indoors).
As Elul approaches, Likutey Moharan, Torah 15, offers some potent insights and inspiration
How Can We Cope with Our Deepest Fears?
Fear and its Relatives
What I Learned about Fear from an Auschwitz Survivor
Lifting Fear Up
The Relief of Self- Evaluation and the Freedom of Judgment
Understanding and the Hidden Light of Hisbodedus
Preparing for Elul with Hisbodedus
We will also begin a new story from Sippurey Maasios, the tales of Rebbe Nachman.

Please feel free to invite a friend. For more information, email me at chayarivka@breslovwoman.org 

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Prayer for Moshiach

By Rabbi Noson Sternhartz
Likutey Tefillos I, 142
Translated by Dovid Sears, “Entering the Light” (Breslov Research Institute)

Our God and God of our fathers: have mercy upon us, and confer merit upon us, and speedily send us our righteous Moshiach. He will fix this broken world, as well as all of the worlds from the highest to the lowest, for they all depend upon this lowest World of Action (Olam ha-Asiyah). Have pity on him and on us, and send him speedily and in peace, that he may bring everything to perfection, with the most awesome and wondrous tikkun (rectification).

Enlighten us with true perception, and open our eyes and hearts to Your Torah. Thus, may we be privileged to understand all the words of the Torah lucidly, according to their truth, so that no question or doubt will remain in our minds concerning any law or path among the laws and paths of the Torah. Rather, may everything be clarified beyond any shadow of a doubt, even those questions and doubts about which the great tzaddikim of former times declared "teiku." The Moshiach will straighten out them all, untangle them and make them understandable to us, and rectify the paradigm of "teiku" that includes all of the uncertainties in the world—both those that perplexed the great sages of Israel concerning the laws and paths of the Torah, and those that have perplexed everyone, from the greatest of the great to the smallest of the small.

So many of us yearn with all of our hearts to return to You! However, the paths of return and the paths of Torah are hidden from us, and our hearts are torn by doubts and deep uncertainties about which course of action to take. This is especially true of me, as I stand before You today. You know all that I have been through, and how many doubts and conflicts have bothered me about so many things. These confusions are greater than ever today, in so many areas of my life and in so many ways. My soul is so disturbed that sometimes it seems more than I can bear.

Master of the Universe, Master of the Universe! Almighty God of truth, "great in advice, and mighty in deed!" (Jeremiah 32:19). Have compassion on the Jewish people and upon me, and send a wondrous illumination from the World of Rectification (Olam ha-Tikkun), for which our righteous Moshiach will serve as the spiritual channel. Then "teiku" will be transformed to the most wondrous tikkun, and all questions will be resolved and all doubts clarified, even the subtlest "doubts of doubts"—and we will constantly receive perfect, good, and true advice about everything in the world.

In Your compassion, teach us the proper way to mourn and lament over the destruction of the Holy Temple at all times, particularly every night at the exact moment of chatzos, and during the three summer weeks known as "between the straits (bein ha-metzarim)." On the Ninth of Av, the bitter day when both Holy Temples were destroyed, may we recite the Book of Lamentations and kinnos (elegies) sincerely, with a broken and humble spirit, and pour out our hearts like water before You. Let us "put our mouths to the dust—perhaps there is hope" (Lamentation 3:29), and strike our heads against the walls of our hearts, due to our suffering and travail, as a nation and as individuals. How many years have passed since the devastation of our holy city and Holy Temple! How has the glory of the "House of Our Life" been removed! The trouble of each day is worse than the day before, especially now, when harsh and cruel decrees have been issued against our people, beyond our ability to endure. Our lives hang in the balance; our hearts are filled with dread at the thought of the harsh decrees that those that hate us wish to carry out against us, God forbid.

God of mercy, give us the emotional strength to empathize with the plight of the Jewish people, as well as to face our own spiritual dilemma. Give us the courage to break our hearts before You, and pour forth our supplication like water before You in complete sincerity, admitting the greatness of our sins and transgressions, and the “stiff-necked” behavior (Exodus 32:9) that has prolonged our exile and caused all of our grief.

"Let us raise our hearts to our hands unto God in heaven" (Lamentations 3:41). Let us resort to the art of our holy ancestors, and cry and wail bitterly; let us wander the streets and alleys and market places, supplicating the One Above "until He looks down upon us from heaven" (Lamentations 3:50), until He awakens His mercy upon us, and speedily consoles us, and delivers us from our afflictions and sufferings, collectively and individually.

May God enlighten us, even now, with a ray of the light of our righteous Moshiach, thus to mitigate all harsh decrees, and end all of our grief and travail. May He constantly shine upon us the light of truth, and constantly heal us with new and wondrous tikkunim, and answer and elucidate for us all doubts and questions and quandaries. May we constantly receive the right advice, according to the highest truth, so that we will return to You in truth, speedily and with a whole heart, thus to engage in Torah and prayer and the performance of commandments and good deeds, all the days of our lives. Guard us and save us from all sin and transgression, so that we never veer aside from Your will, neither to the right nor the left (cf. Deuteronomy 5:29). May Your compassion be aroused on behalf of Your children, and may You speedily bring us our righteous Moshiach, and redeem us completely, with the final and eternal redemption.

Then the paradigm of "teiku" will be transformed to "tikkun" to the ultimate degree of perfection; that is, the letter nun from the word kinnos (elegies) will be transferred to the end of the word teiku, thus to convert "teiku" to "tikkun." All lamentations will cease throughout the world, and be remade into vessels of divine perception.

O Merciful One, Master of Deliverance, Master of Consolation! We beg You, console us from all of our afflictions, and help us to accomplish our work in this world. Spread forth upon us Your "Tent of Peace"; prepare for us good advice, and save us speedily for the sake of Your Name. Grant us the knowledge of absolute truth. Save us from the many doubts and confusions and uncertainties that interfere with our ability to serve You. Confer upon us perfect and true advice at all times, so that we may return to You in truth, and become the people You want us to be, now and forever, amen sela.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Send a Spiritual Protective Edge to IDF Soldiers

From Breslov.org:

Dear Friends of Breslov,

What if I told you that you could give just one dollar and know that an Israeli soldier on the battlefield in Gaza, will receive tremendous inspiration and spiritual strength from your small donation?

I know you want to help the brave young men protecting Israeli men, women, and children. I’m sure you want to give inspiration, hope, and healing to these brave soldiers, and I’m confident you have a dollar (or two) to spare.

Please read our story of the incredible Spiritual Protective Edge that 3000 IDF soldiers already have received, and thousands more have requested.

The Spiritual Protective Edge Story and 1 Dollar Donation Page

Breslov.org team

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Eizer L'Shabbos - 5 Av

Tzedakah checks can be mailed to:

Eizer L’Shabbos
5014 16th Avenue Suite 319
Brooklyn, NY 11204

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rabbi Gedaliah Aharon Kenig's Yahrtzeit

The 23rd of Tammuz (Monday, July 21st this year) will be the yahrtzeit of Rav Gedaliah Aharon Kenig (sometimes spelled "Koenig"). Reb Gedaliah was the foremost disciple of Rabbi Avraham Sternhartz and founder of the Breslov community in Tzefat, Israel.

For a brief biography, see here:

An essay on the Breslov mesorah in general, which explains the places of leaders such as Reb Gedaliah, Reb Avraham, and others, appears here:

The kehillah that Reb Gedaliah and his sons and talmidim worked so hard to build is now led by his son, Rabbi Elazar Mordechai Kenig.

The Tzefat Breslov website is linked on the sidebar of this blog.

May Reb Gedaliah intercede above on behalf of Klal Yisrael, and may the seed he planted in the mountains of Galil HaElyon flourish and grow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mysteries of Memory

An excerpt from a letter by Rabbi Gedaliah Kenig, in honor of his yahrtzeit, 23 Tammuz
(Shaarey Tzaddik, Vol. I, Letter 3, sec. 1, pp. 30-31)
Translated by Dovid Sears
The truth is that memory only belongs in the category of "beyond time" and "beyond nature." For the greater the power of memory, the more time diminishes. "Go and see what people say" [Reb Gedaliah invokes a familiar phrase of the Gemara] -- when people are conversing about their memories of events that happened long ago, you will sometimes here them say, "It seems to me as if this happened today. It is as if I see it before my eyes right now!" Even though the event took place long ago, nevertheless, due to the "sparkling" of his memory, the matter "lights up" for him as if it happened today. For the light of memory obliterates the boundaries of time.  
There are many, many aspects of memory, one higher than the next, until there is an aspect of memory where time is utterly non-existent; for [this profound memory] transcends time. This is openly discussed in Likutey Moharan I, 7 ("Vi-eileh ha-mishpatim -- emunah"), in the formerly deleted portions (hashmatos) related to what is written there: that prayer is spiritually beneficial (mesugal) for one's memory. This is because prayer is an aspect of faith and the miraculous. They are all aspects of Divine Providence and the dimension beyond nature and beyond time.
(This is also discussed in Likutey Halakhos, Laws of Washing the Hands in the Morning 2:6; see there. Study further Likutey Moharan I, 37:2 ["Dirshu Hashem vi-uzo"); and this is clearly understood from Likutey Moharan I, 54 ["Vayehi miketz -- zikaron"]; study well what is written there.)
In a similar vein, the gist of life is an aspect of drawing nearer [to Hashem], attaining unity and nullifying time, as discussed in Likutey Moharan I, 79, in the summary concepts (rashey perakim) that begin, "The voice is the voice of Yaakov." [There, the Rebbe states that] teshuvah (repentance, or return to Hashem) transcends time. And teshuvah is life, as is explained (ibid.) in Lesson 72 ("Chayim nitzchiyim"), s.v. "vi-al yeday zeh na'aseh teshuvah"; see there. For life such as this, which is in the category of "today" and "tomorrow," is not true life -- because one no longer lives in the moment that has passed. Rather, one lives constantly in a different time, and the hour and instant that has passed has "died" and departed.
Therefore, all true life -- which is eternal life, the aspect of "long life" concerning which the Blind Beggar praises himself (see Rebbe Nachman's story, "The Seven Beggars," First Day) -- is only associated with Hashem, Who transcends time (as discussed in Likutey Moharan I, 61) -- and whoever is incorporated into Divinity (as discussed in Lesson 21, "Atika temir u-setim," sec. 11).
This concept is further explained in the comment of the "gaon of our strength," our master, Rabbi Noson, of blessed memory, which begins (ibid.): "Immortality is associated with Hashem alone; for Hashem lives forever. And one who is incorporated into his Source -- that is, within the Blessed One -- lives forever, like Hashem"; see there.
And study in addition Likutey Moharan I, 179, as well as Likutey Moharan II, 4:8 ("Es ha-orvim tzivisi likalkilekha"), which further clarifies [these concepts from] Lesson 21.
Reb Gedaliah passed away in 1980  (5740), some 34 years ago. But from his words in this letter, we may understand that now, as during his physical lifetime, he lives the "true life" of the tzaddikim which is untainted by death. May Reb Gedaliah intercede above for all Klal Yisrael and all living creatures in this forgetful realm of "today and tomorrow," and in the merit of the tzaddikim, may we too come to "taste and see that Hashem is good" (Tehillim 34:9), amen.