Thursday, May 27, 2010

Women's Shiur in Monsey This Sunday Night

Rabbi Jonathan Rietti will speak this Sunday night, May 30.

"Suffering 101"
Finding the Meaning!

Hosts: Woldiger Family
7 Pinewood Dr
Monsey, NY

Sunday May 30, 2010

Begins 8:30 pm

$10 Suggested Donation

For more information, call: 347-598-9592 or 917-620-4511

NATURALLY BRESLOV: The Fine Art of Cooking With Simplicity and Joy

Healthy Recipes and Torah Insights

$22.00 available here

Oklahoma-born Atara Grenadir is a fine artist and painter, using oils and acrylics, who has exhibited her works throughout the U.S. She learned valuable cooking techniques at the New York Macrobiotic Center and the Gourmet Cooking School. Her search for new art forms and personal expression led her to explore the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. The belief that “less is more” that had permeated her paintings and her diet now found its counterpart in the spiritual realm – living with simplicity and joy.

Description: A cookbook of easy-to-follow recipes, low-fat and sugar-free, using natural ingredients. Traditional Jewish dishes are also included. The recipes are accompanied by dazzlingly beautiful graphics of original artworks by the author, interspersed with short sayings from Rebbe Nachman. Cover art is from a series of acrylic paintings based upon the Third Temple. The recipes are from the author and other contributors.

Approach: A cookbook of healthy recipes that promotes the idea that eating consciously leads to deeper awareness of one’s higher self. Creative cooking is a spiritual experience.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Uman Through the Eyes of Ahron D. Weiner

Fine art photographer Ahron D. Weiner traveled to Uman for Rosh Hashanah last year and created a magnificent (and edgy) photo documentary of the wide range of people who make the yearly pilgrimage -- fervently praying, joyously dancing, eating pizza, studying Torah, strumming the guitar, screaming, sleeping on benches, and meditating on rooftops and in the fields.

The photos appear as a seven page series on his website here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rabbi Avraham Sutton, Author/Editor/Master Teacher of Jewish Mysticism, On Lecture Tour in Flatbush and Manhattan

From our friend, David Schweke of "Exciting Judaism," who organized these events:

May 26, Wednesday:


An Evening of Torah and the Music of Andy Statman!

Begins 8:00 pm

Congregation Sheves Achim / The Flatbush Minyan 1517 Ave. H (off East 16th St. across from Train) Brooklyn

BOTH the B & Q trains stop locally at Ave H station.


Customers who need to exit at Avenue H should take the train to Kings Hwy and

transfer to a Manhattan-bound train.

Suggested Donation $10.00

We respectfully request full silence during the musical performance.


May 27, Thursday.

Upper West Side.

At the townhouse of David and Dina Reis
322 West 75 St., corner of Riverside Drive (entrance on W 75 St.)



$10.00 Suggested Donation.

Light Refreshments.


May 28, 29


This Shabbat is Open to Host Reb Avraham!

We are working on a venue location.

If you have any ideas, please contact me ASAP.

Please see my website for this Shabbat info.



June 1, Tuesday.

Upper West Side.

8 pm

We are learning Rabbi Nachman of Breslovs' Likutey Moharan, with Special Guest,
Rabbi Avraham Sutton!

Topic: L"M, Lesson 49:

The creating of the empty space to create the world corresponds to the empty space within every person's heart. This lesson discuses why and how to fill the heart with good things, rather than clogging it. This spiritual work in turn purifies the space of creation.

Everyone will receive a Hebrew/English copy of this lesson, which you may keep.

At the townhouse of David and Dina Reis.
322 West 75 St. corner of Riverside Dr, Entrance on W 75 St.



$10.00 Suggested Donation.

Light Refreshments.

Thank you Dina & David & Family !


June 2, Wednesday.

Reb Avraham returns to the Holy Land.

We hope to visit you this year in Yerushalayim!


During his visit, Reb Avraham is available for private consultation,
please contact...

New Website

Women's Group Trip to Uman This Summer!

Mrs. Miriam Fried, director of Nesia Travel of Borough Park and a Breslover since her youth, is organizing another women's group to visit Rebbe Nachman's grave site in Uman and other mekomos ha-kedoshim in the Ukraine for Tu B'Av (last week of July). Mrs. Fried has led such groups on many occasions and is a well-informed, experienced tour guide. She is a graduate of Beis Yaakov Seminary, and her husband, Reb Shlomo Zalman Dovid Fried, a"h, was a prominent figure in the Brooklyn Breslov community.

For more information, please call her at Nesia Travel: 718-633-3800


Men's Shiur @ Breslov Shtibel of Borough Park

Men's Shiur this Tuesday night (May 25th) from Rav Yitzchok Friedman, shlit"a

8:0-9:00 PM

Ma'ariv after the shiur

Breslov Shtibel of Borough Park (5504 - 16th Avenue)

NEW: Now you can listen to the shiur live by calling: 718-855-2424, press "1"6"1"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shavuos and Dovid HaMelech

Dovid Friedman

Shavuos, the day of Receiving the Torah, is also the birthday and yartzeit of Dovid HaMelech. This is no coincidence. And as we’ll see, Dovid HaMelech is very much connected to the days of sefiras ha-omer and Shavuos.

Fifty Gates of Teshuvah

In Likkutei Mohoran, Reb Nachman of Breslov says that that there are many obstacles to keep one from doing teshuvah. First, one has to realize that he needs to do teshuvah. Then, there are “Fifty Gates of Teshuvah,” and if one wants to do teshuvah, he still may not know which gate to use. And even if one finds the right gate of teshuvah, it might be locked. The way to overcome all these obstacles is through reciting Tehillim. This will awaken one’s inner desire to do teshuvah, since the Gemara (Avodah Zara 4b) states that Dovid HaMelech only succumbed to “that incident” (with Bas Sheva) in order to teach us how to do teshuvah— and he was the author of Sefer Tehillim. Since the psalms were composed with Ruach Hakodesh, every person’s situation may be found in the words of Tehillim.

Reb Nachman points out that this can be derived from the first verse of Parshas Shemos: ואלה שמות בני ישראל הבאים מצרימה את יעקב איש וביתו באו. The last letters spell תהלים תשובה, because through Tehillim one can come to teshuvah.

שמות בני ישראל refers to the names of the Shevatim, the Twelve Tribes, which have a total of 49 letters. These represent the “Forty-Nine Gates of Teshuvah” that are available to us. The 49 days of sefirah, which we start counting after Pesach, represent these Forty-Nine Gates of Teshuvah. Shavuos is the Fiftieth Gate, which is the teshuvah of Hashem, כביכול, as it states in Malachi: שובו אלי ואשובה אליכם – “Return to Me, and I shall return to you.” That is what the Torah means when it says: וירד ד׳ על הר סיני - “Hashem descended on Mount Sinai.” Hashem “returned” to us. Therefore, it is fitting that Shavuos, the day that completes all the gates of teshuvah, is the yartzeit of the composer of Tehillim, Dovid HaMelech.

Reuniting Husband and Wife

Dovid HaMelech said: רבונו של עולם לא חסיד אני שכל מלכי מזרח ומערב יושבים אגודות אגודות בכבודם ואני ידי מלוכלכות בדם ובשפיר ובשליא כדי לטהר אשה לבעלה – “Ribbono Shel Olam: Am I not a chasid? All the kings of east and west sit in groups in their glory, but as for me, my hands are soiled with blood, embryos and after-births, in order to permit a wife to her husband” (Berochos 4a). Aside from the literal meaning, this could hint to the fact that Dovid HaMelech composed Tehillim in order to enable Klal Yisroel to take themselves out of the tumah, the realm of impurity represented by Mitzrayim, especially during these days of sefirah (as mentioned above).

The Zohar HaKodosh compares the seven weeks of sefiras ha-omer to the seven “clean days (yemei taharah)” of a niddah. The purpose of our avodah during these seven weeks is in order to “permit a woman to her husband”—meaning that on Shavuos, Klal Yisroel, who are compared to the wife of Hashem, become cleansed from impurity, and thus we are reunited with Hashem.

Tehillim and Talmud Torah

Igra D’Kala (Shemos) says that through Torah and teshuvah we can be redeemed from exile. While everyone is capable of doing teshuvah, it is hard for someone who is not a talmid chochom to learn Torah. Therefore, even the simplest, unlettered Jew who can’t learn Torah can still recite Tehillim. For the Midrash says that Dovid HaMelech asked Hashem that reciting Tehillim be considered like learning the masechtas of Negaim and Oholos (which are very difficult). The Tenker Rov (Chemed Shlomo, Shovavim) points out that Nega’im (plagues) come from loshon horah, while Oholos alludes to **** (one*s house) * and one*s *house* is a euphemism for one*s wife. Therefore, Tehillim is especially helpful for teshuvah in these areas.

Based on this, we can see why Tehillim is especially relevant to the days of sefirah, when we work on negative traits and actions such as loshon hora, connected to נגעים. Rav Chaim Vital says that it is a special time for teshuvah in areas of kedushah, which is connected to אהלות. Parshas Bamidbar is always read prior to Shavuos (and almost always immediately before the Yom Tov). Bamidbar has 159 pesukim, equal to the gematria of “ נגע אהל.” And there are 70 letters in the first posuk, alluding to the years that Dovid HaMelech lived.

Teshuvah Every Day

In Pirkei Avos, Rebbe Eliezer says: שוב יום אחד לפני מיתתך – “Repent one day before your death.” In Avos d’Rebbe Nosson (15) they asked Rebbe Eliezer, how can one know on which day he will die? Rebbe Eliezer answered that we should do teshuvah every day, since we don’t know the day of our death.

Dovid HaMelech is alluded to in this saying, which teaches us to do teshuvah every day. דוד בן ישי equals 386. This is equal to the first letters of שוב יום אחד לפני מיתתך (with the mispar osiyos, adding one for each letter), and also equal to שוב יום אחד (with the letters). The gematria of the word “יום” spelled out יוד וו מם, equals 112, the same as בקי. This may be connected to Likkutei Mohoran 6, where it says that one must be בקי (expert) at two forms of teshuvah – ascending and descending. This is seen from Tehillim 139:8, which starts off: אם אסק שמים שם אתה – “If I rise to Heaven, there You are.” If one has a spiritual ascent, he should not be satisfied and remain there. Rather, he must strive for even greater spiritual heights. The posuk continues: ואציעה שאול הנך – “If I reach to the depths, You are here.” If one experiences a spiritual descent, he should realize that Hashem may be found even in the lowest depths. He should diligently seek Hashem, strengthen himself in every possible way, and attach himself to Hashem.

I heard from Rav Ahron Berlin, shlita, of the Breslov Flatbush Minyan, that the Zohar Hakodosh observes that the name דוד starts and ends with the letter דלת because from the beginning to the end, he was always concerned with the דל, those who are poor materially and spiritually. We see this in the extreme in his relationship to his son, Avsholom. When Dovid HaMelech was told that Avsholom had been killed, he cried for him from the depths of his heart, and in his crying said “בני ” eight times. Seven of these repetitions took Avsholom out of the seven levels of Gehinnom, while the eighth (according to one view in the Gemara) brought him into Gan Eden (Sotah 10b).

The word בני equals 62, and multiplied by 7, equals 434. This is the gematria of דלת. בני multiplied by 8 equals 496, the gematria of מלכות, the middah personified by Dovid HaMelech. The last day of sefiras ha-omer, the day before Dovid HaMelech’s yartzeit, is מלכות שבמלכות.דוד המלך equals 109, 1 more than the word גיהנם. He was able to lift Avsholom out of Gehinnom and, according to some, into Gan Eden. So too, through Tehillim we are all able to avoid גיהנם, since the psalms bring us to teshuvah.

Dovid HaMelech’s Teshuvah

Chazal state: כל האומר דוד חטא אינו אלא טועה –“All who say that Dovid sinned are mistaken” (Shabbos 55b). The Baal Shem Tov (a descendant of Dovid HaMelech, who was also niftar on Shavuos, on a Wednesday, 1760/5520) explains that the true purpose of the entire incident was so that he would be able to lift up those who would truly fall into transgression.

In a similar vein, Reb Yisroel Dov of Vilednik points out a diyuk in the words of Chazal: Dovid did not “sin”—rather he was “mistaken”– because at the hand of Heaven he was caused to err, in order to raise up the “fallen souls of Israel” (i.e., in generations to come). This what it means when Chazal say that Dovid HaMelech only succumbed to “that incident” (with Bas Sheva) in order to teach us how to do teshuvah (see above). All those who have succumbed to “p’gam ha-bris” can receive their tikkun through Dovid HaMelech (She’aris Yisrael-Vilednik, Shovavim Likkutim). Through Tehillim, in particular, one will be brought to repentance, which will bring about the tikkun.

Dovid HaMelekh’s Night Life

We can now see the relevance of Dovid HaMelech to Shavuos. The Gemara (Berachos 3b) relates how Dovid HaMelech would learn Torah from the beginning of the night until midnight. From then on, in one place it says that he would sing praises to Hashem, but a little later it says that at midnight he would delve into Torah. This contradiction is resolved by saying that his saying Tehillim was like learning Torah. (Perhaps this, too, is why he was able to ask that reciting Tehillim be considered like learning Negaim and Oholos.) Because of him, anyone who can read Tehillim has Torah available to himself, as the Igra D’kala says, Tehillim is part of Torah Shebiksav, as it is part of Tanach, and it is also like Torah She-ba’al Peh, since Dovid HaMelech requested that it be considered like learning Oholos and Negaim. Rabbeinu Yehuda bar Yakar (rebbe of the Ramban) says that his request was fulfilled.

Dovid HaMelech and Tefillah

The Imrei Emes (Shavuos 5676) connects Shavuos with tefillah, as the verse states: יום אשר עמדת לפני ד׳ אלהיך בחרב, on which the Gemara (Berochos 26b) remarks that עמידה alludes to tefillah. Tehillim is both formal and informal tefillah. Most of our mandatory davening is taken from Sefer Tehillim. And the core tefillah of Shemoneh Esrei starts off with: ד׳ שפתי תפתח ופי יגיד תהלתך. This posuk is from chapter 51 of Tehillim, in which Noson HaNovi admonishes Dovid HaMelech for the incident of Bas Sheva. The Shem MiShmuel comments that without saying this posuk, we would have no right to speak the lofty words of the Shemoneh Esrei. We end the Shemoneh Esrei with another verse from Tehillim (19:15): יהיו לרצון אמרי פי והגיון לבי לפניך ד׳ צורי וגאלי, the saying of which at this point was decreed by the Anshei Kenesses HaGedolah (Yesod V’shoresh Ha’Avodah 5:5; also see Mishnah Berurah 122:8, which speaks of the great “segulas” and “secrets” in this posuk.) In addition, we commonly say Tehillim when we need to daven outside of the required tefillos. (Reb Noson’s Likutey Tefillos, which are his original tefillos based on the lessons of Likutey Moharan, is full of verses from Tehillim.)

So we see from Dovid HaMelech that Torah and tefillah are equally important, and we can’t have one without the other. (This is in line with Reb Nachman’s words in in Sichos Ha-Ran 287 that all a person needs is “davennen uhn lehrnen uhn davennen”—tefillah and Torah and tefillah.) Dovid HaMelech also created the opportunity for everyone to have a portion in Torah and tefillah through his Sefer Tehillim.
© Dovid Sears

Beginning Again in Greenwich Village After Shavuos

The Andy Statman Trio

Congregation Derech Emunah
The Greenwich Village Shul
53 Charles St. (corner West 4th)

For more about the trio:

For weekly updates of the Charles Street Shul's
schedule of events or to leave a message for
the Director, Herman Lowenharr, call 212-242-6425.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Segulah From Sefer HaMidot

Rabbi Shmuel Rosenberg, the "Sofer of Tzefat," is now making available Rebbe Nachman's segulah (propitious remedy or charm) for "grace, favor, charm, charisma," as recommended in the "Alef-Beit Book" (Sefer HaMidot). The segulah is to write on parchment: "Kesef v'Zahav v'Chesed v'Emes Aluf." Each parchment costs $10. Rabbi Rosenberg also writes Mezuzot, Tefillin, Megillot, and Sifrei Torah.

For more information, see here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rabbi Dovid Zeller, zal

© Joy Krauthammer

8 Sivan will be the third yahrtzeit of our beloved chaver, Rabbi Dovid Zeller, of blessed memory. A master teacher who spoke to the mind and heart, he is deeply missed.

A sample teaching:

Please be sure your prayers and visualizations are positive. Do not focus on the disease with your wrinkled forehead and tightly closed eyes. Dance and sing for joy with full healing in your mind, heart and soul.

When people came to the Baal Shem Tov for healing, he would not focus on the sick individual. He regarded the person as a sign that the Shechina, HaShem's own Mystical Feminine Dimension, was out of harmony (in disease). He would pray for the healing of the Shechina, and the healing would come down into the world and restore the health of the ailing individuals. "

"... And the way to sing the song of joy is by seeking the good in all people, especially in our selves. Each good point is one more note in the song of life."

- Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

© Dovid Sears

Men's Shiur @ Breslov Shtibel of Borough Park

Men's Shiur this Wednesday night from Rav Yitzchok Friedman, shlit"a


Ma'ariv after the shiur

Breslov Shtibel of Borough Park (5504 - 16th Avenue)

NEW: Now you can listen to the shiur live by calling: 718-855-2424, press "1"6"1"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lag B'Omer in Monsey

Rav Elazar Mordechai Kenig, shlita, leader of the Tzefat Breslov community, was in Monsey, NY, for the Lag B'Omer festivities. Approximately two hundred men, women and children joined the Rav for the hadlokah (bonfire), singing and dancing. Then everyone returned to the Klein home for a Melavah Malkah, during which Rav Kenig gave over a teaching from Likkutei Moharan about the uniqueness of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. There was also a hookup with Meron, where Mr and Mrs Jack Klein, the hosts, celebrated Lag B'Omer and attended a family simchah.

Thanks to Motty Zeitlin for the photos!

© Mordechai Zeitlin

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Live Broadcast

A Timely Announcement from Rabbi Ozer Bergman of Yerushalayim:

The "Rebbe Nachman Thursday Night Chaburah" (we recently celebrated our second anniversary!) will be broadcast live starting this Thursday night, Iyyar 23 / May 6th.

You can find us at Radio Free Nachlaot:

It begins 8:00 PM Jerusalem time, 1:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time, noon Central Time, 10:00 AM Pacific Time.

We will be continuing Sichot HaRan (aka Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom), siman/chapter #154. Listen and learn Rebbe Nachman’s secret for success!

If there is sufficient interest, I will, im yirtzeh Hashem, post the text of upcoming chapters each week.

Our thanks to the good folk at RFN, Lorlei Kude and “Deuteronomy” Levine, and our hosts, the Rothbergs.

Letter of Approbation

Haskama (Letter of Approbation) From HaRav Michel Dorfman
Rosh HaYeshiva and Head of World Breslov Committee, Jerusalem

Rabbi Nachman Yisrael Burstein of Jerusalem while visiting Uman

New York Breslov Shuls and Booksellers

Contacts for Breslov synagogues in the greater New York area:

Far Rockaway(Long Island)

Rabbi Baruch Klein
Home: (718) 337- 5620
Friday Night and Shabbos
(Mincha/Maariv only)
Shalosh Seudos English Shiur in Likkutei Moharan
at the home of Rabbi Baruch Klein
1201 Beach 9th St
Far Rockaway, NY

Borough Park

Rabbi Leibel Berger
Home: (718) 338- 2434
Shabbos & Yom Tov
(Shalosh Seudos Yiddish Shiur in Likkutei Moharan)
Cong. D'Chassidei Breslov
5504 16th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Nechamiah Weiss
(Daily minyanim, Shabbos and Yom Tov)
Hisachdus Avreichim-Breslov
1334-43rd St (between 14-13 Aves., basement)
Brooklyn, NY


Rabbi Aharon Berlin
Contact: R' Moshe Berlin 1-917-803-4155.
Breslov of Flatbush
Shabbos and Yom Tov minyanim, weekly shiurim
1909 New York Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11210

Rabbi Leibel Goldring
Home: (845) 356- 7670
Davening throughout week & Shabbos
(Shalosh Seudos Yiddish Shiur in Likkutei Moharan)
Cong. Birchas HaNachal
70 Main Street
Monsey, NY


Rabbi Nachman Wasilski
Home: (718) 782-9860
Davening throughout week & Shabbos
(Shalosh Seudos Yiddish Shiur in Likkutei Moharan)
Cong. Anshei Breslov
204 Lee Ave.
Brooklyn, NY

Contacts for Breslov synagogues elsewhere in New York state:

Buffalo Breslov Connection
73 Saranac Ave
Buffalo, NY 14216
tel. 716.833.5658.
Rabbi Wolf Tenenbaum

Hebrew Breslov Book Sellers of greater New York:
Rabbi Nachman Wasilski
165 Rodney Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 782-9860

Rabbi Moshe Rosen
Everything Breslov
4 Leon Drive
Monsey, NY 10952
(845) 425-7464

"Everything Counts!"

Rabbi Jonathan Rietti's post-Lag BaOmer women's shiur in Monsey, "EVERYTHING COUNTS!" is available on DVD.

They are for sale at $10 a piece, but any contribution above that amount would be appreciated.

To purchase a copy, please send your donation c/o:

Jewish Inspiration
36 Estate Drive
Fallsburg, NY 12733

Or call: 917-620-4511 (leave detailed message)
© Dovid Sears

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

© Dovid Sears

About Us

The Breslov Center (originally "The Breslov Center for Spirituality and Inner Growth") was founded shortly after Rosh Hashanah 5758 (1997) by HaRav Elazar Mordechai Kenig, shlita, leader of the Breslov community of Tzefat, Israel. Its purpose is to organize classes on the teachings of Chassidic Master Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, as well as lectures, musical events and retreats in greater New York.

There is a great need to reach out to the many spiritual seekers who have been exposed to Breslov teachings through books and the media, but have had little contact with Breslover Chassidim. Therefore, the Breslov Center was formed to coordinate educational programs, using qualified teachers from the broad spectrum of the Breslov community. Our aim is to bring Rebbe Nachman's wisdom and advice to Jewish men and women from all walks of life and levels of religious observance.

Teachers of weekly shiurim have included Rabbi Jonathan Rietti (Manhattan); Rabbi Symcha Bergman (Manhattan); Rabbi Nochum Elek (Brooklyn); Rabbi Shlomo Goldman (Manhattan and Lakewood -- who has since made aliyah with his family); Rabbi Aharon Grenadir (Brooklyn); Rabbi Zvi Singer (Brooklyn); Rabbi Eliezer Trenk (Brooklyn); Rabbi Ephraim Portnoy (Lakewood, who has since made aliyah with his family); Rabbi Leibel Berger (Brooklyn, who has since passed away); and Rabbi Dovid Sears (Brooklyn).

Guest speakers have included Rabbi Chaim Kramer, director of the Breslov Research Institute, as well as Rabbi Nachman Burstein, Rabbi Moshe Bienenstock, Rabbi Noson Maimon, Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, Rabbi Ozer Bergman, and Rabbi Perets Auerbach, all of Jerusalem; Rabbi Ephraim Kenig, Rabbi Yitzchok Kenig, and Rabbi Yaakov Klein of Tzefat; and Rabbi Moshe Weinberger of Woodmere. Mrs. Rochel Silber (formerly of Far Rockaway and now of Yerushalayim) taught women's classes at our first spring Shabbaton in the Catskills; other women teachers and guest speakers have included Mrs. Esther Leah Marschette of Boston, Mrs. Yael Dworkin of Montreal, and Mrs. Debbie Shapiro of Yerushalayim. Although the Breslov Center is not a publishing society, we work closely with Rabbi Chaim Kramer's Breslov Research Institute (BRI), publishers of nearly 100 titles in English, Modern Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, French and Korean.

Please feel free to contact us: