Monday, June 28, 2010

No Despair

Based on Biur HaLikkutim I, 64:1

When the Unfathomable One
Constricted His Infinite Light
Leaving the Vacated Space
All concealment, all division was born.
But do not despair!
God is good—God is hidden there.

The next instant
He restored the lost light
In a measured way, as a line
Or thread of divine fire
Within which all four worlds
And all worldly phenomena transpire.

In every human being
On every plane
Genesis happens all over again.
Right now, within you.

The mind is a “portion of God Above.”
The cosmic void is the eclipse of mind.
Within the void, how can God be absent?
Within the void, how can God be present?

Grasp the nature of mind, and know the Divine.
Grasp the nature of the Vacated Space
And truly know the Divine.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Night Breslov Shiur in Flatbush

One of Breslov's shining lights, Rav Avraham Moshe Wasilski, shlit"a, now gives a one-hour shiur in English every Thursday night at the Breslov of Flatbush Shul, beginning at 9:30 PM.

American-born Rav Avraham Moshe Wasilski has been Mara D'asra of the renowned Breslov Shul in Williamsburg since the passing of his illustrious father, Rav Herschel Wasilski, zatzal, in 1981. He has in-depth knowledge of Breslover Chassidus, as well as of the Breslover mesorah, which he received from his father and from other Gedolei Breslov of the previous generation.

Men and women invited, with separate section with mechitzah for women.

Refreshments served.

CONGREGATION BRESLOV OF FLATBUSH
1909 NEW YORK AVE. (BETWEEN AVES. J AND K)
BROOKLYN, NY11210

For more information, call Moshe Berlin: 718-851-9332

breslovofflatbush@gmail.com

"Three Weeks" Shiur for Women in Monsey


Rabbi Jonathan Rietti will speak on Sunday night, July 4th.

Topic: The Science of Anger -- and its relationship to the Churban

Where: 7 Pinewood Dr, Monsey NY

When: Sunday JULY 4, 2010, beginning 8:30 pm

$10 Suggested Donation

For more info please call: 347-598-9592 or 917-620-4511

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Breslov Boston Connection

We recently received this notice:

Rabbi Chaim Kramer in Boston This Week

Subject of Talk: Peace and Joy and the Deeper Meaning of the 17th of Tammuz

Rabbi Chaim Kramer from Jerusalem
Founder and Director of the Breslov Research Institute

When: Wed. June 23, 2010, 8:00-9:30 p.m.

Where: Marchette Family home, 21 Portina Rd., Brighton

Suggested Donation: $10

Please RSVP the Marchettes at 617-903-0613 or by email

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bluegrass Bar Mitzvah With Andy Statman


From Uman to Nashville, the hills are alive with the sound of Andy Statman's music. And lately the hallowed halls of Lakewood have reverberated with the Andy Statman Trio's brilliant amalgam of Chassidic niggunim and bluegrass. We don't know whose Bar Mitzvah this was, but it must have been a memorable simchah.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72d884h_kms&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmDBly3nxQY&feature=related

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Breslov Summer Shabbaton in Manhattan With Rabbi Kramer

Date: June 25-26 (Parshat Balak)

Guest Teacher: Rabbi Chaim Kramer, Director of the Breslov Research Institute (BRI)

Where: The Carlebach Shul

305 W. 79th St. New York, NY, 10024

Friday night communal dinner (June 25)

Topic: The Thirteen Mystical Stories of Reb Nachman of Breslov (Sippurey Ma'asiyot)

Rabbi Chaim Kramer is a son-in-law of Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld, pioneer of Breslov outreach in America a generation ago. A former talmid of the Mir Yeshivah of Jerusalem, Rabbi Kramer is a renowned historian, prolific author, Torah scholar and founder/director of the Breslov Research Institute. He has presented the works of Chassidic master Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and his disciples to the English-speaking world for more than thirty years. His publishing house has produced nearly 100 titles in English, French, Russian, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, and Korean. Rabbi Chaim Kramer and Rabbi Moshe Mykoff have almost completed a projected 15-volume English commentary on Likutey Moharan. (Volume 13 is hot off the press.)

Please join us for this inspiring and joyous Shabbaton!

For more information, please email us at: info@carlebachshul.org

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Stamp in Honor of Rebbe Nachman's 200th Yahrtzeit


The painting of the Rebbe's Tziyun (grave site) in Uman is by noted Breslover artist, R. Yitzchak Besancon. The signature is from one of the Rebbe's letters, while the chair was hand-carved for the Rebbe by the schochet of Teplik in 1808. It was hidden during the Russian Revolution and smuggled out of the Ukraine in pieces just prior to the Holocaust, in 1936. Rebbe Nachman's chair was restored in 1959 and once again in 1984. Today it may be seen in the Breslover shul in Me'ah Shearim.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rabbi Kramer Tonight in Teaneck

Rabbi Chaim Kramer will give a shiur Tuesday night, June 15th, in Teaneck, NJ, at Congregation B'nai Yeshurun, 641 W. Englewood Ave. @ 8:30 PM.

Hope to see you there!

Please check here, as more events and lectures are scheduled in the coming weeks.

If you are interested in sponsoring a shiur, please contact Yossi Katz at yossik@breslov.org

Monday, June 14, 2010

Uman Sefer Torah Campaign Underway


The Breslov World Center, headed by Rabbi Nasan Maimon, handles all arrangements for the annual Rosh Hashanah event in Uman and also throughout the year. The new campaign's organizers state that "the money raised will only be used to benefit the activities in Uman like the upkeep and building of new Shul and Mikva, food, security and much, much more – all together, over $1 million is spent to maintain the Rebbe's Tzion and the multitudes of visitors who draw inspiration each year."

http://breslovworld.org/

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rabbi Chaim Kramer in New York Until July 1st


Yossi Katz of the US office of the Breslov Research Institute tells us:

Rabbi Chaim Kramer the Director of the Breslov Research Institute will be in the New York Area until July 1st. We will be updating this mailing list with more details of his trip as they become available to us. As of now there will be a Shiur on Sunday, June 11th in Great Neck, Long Island, at the home of the Hakimian Family: 569 Middle Neck Rd. Great Neck, NY 11023 The shiur is scheduled to begin at 8:45 PM. We hope to see you there.

For more info, or to sponsor a shiur, please contact Yossi Katz at: yossik@breslov.org

http://www.breslov.org/

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thursday Night Breslov Shiur in Flatbush

One of Breslov's shining lights, Rav Avraham Moshe Wasilski, shlit"a, now gives a one-hour shiur in English every Thursday night at the Breslov of Flatbush Shul, beginning at 9:30 PM.

American-born Rav Avraham Moshe Wasilski has been Mara D'asra of the renowned Breslov Shul in Williamsburg since the passing of his illustrious father, Rav Herschel Wasilski, zatzal, in 1981. He has in-depth knowledge of Breslover Chassidus, as well as of the Breslover mesorah, which he received from his father and from other Gedolei Breslov of the previous generation.

Men and women invited, with separate section with mechitzah for women.

Refreshments served.

CONGREGATION BRESLOV OF FLATBUSH
1909 NEW YORK AVE. (BETWEEN AVES. J AND K)
BROOKLYN, NY11210

For more information, call Moshe Berlin: 718-851-9332

breslovofflatbush@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Men's Shiur @ Breslov Shtibel of Borough Park

Shiur tonight (Tuesday) from Rav Yitzchok Friedman, shlit"a

8:00 pm-9:00 pm

Maariv after the shiur

Congregation D'Chassidei Breslov
5504 16th Avenue

For any questions, please feel free to call 917-577-0668.

You can listen to the shiur live by calling:

718-855-2424 -- press "1"6"1

Monday, June 7, 2010

Yosef Karduner & Rav Lazer Brody: "Bli Yeria"


Sweet Singer of Breslov" Yosef Karduner and renowned author and lecturer Rabbi Lazer Brody make a great team, as this video of a kumzitz in Modi'in shows.

Yosef Karduner then performs his stirring original version of Psalm 23 ("Mizmor le-David Hashem Ro'e").

Friday, June 4, 2010

“In the Still of the Night”

© Shira Sears

By Rabbi Perets Auerbach

Throughout the Zohar, there is almost no topic mentioned as much as chatzot—midnight. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov taught: “One’s main service is to arise at midnight and stay up until the morning” (Sichot HaRan 301). The Baal Shem Tov said that one hour of the midnight service is worth many hours of divine service during the day.

Each of the twenty-four hours of the day has its own heavenly tribunal that sits and issues judgments for that hour (see Likutey Moharan I, 215). There are specific ways to sweeten any given din (judgment) that may prevail for that hour. Arising at midnight is a way of making a ‘pidyon’–a redeeming force (ibid. 149). It is the master key/grand sweetener/three lemons that hit the jackpot, which wins the lottery and ameliorates all dinim across the board (see “PS: Dividing the Night,” below). It is the “sweetest hour” that gives you a hold on the whole day. The Tikuney Zohar (Introduction, 2a) states that when one recites Tikkun Chatzot, the Midnight Rectification, “a supernal string of chesed is drawn for the entire day.” The early mystic catches the light!

There is a poem customarily recited after the Pesach Haggadah which lists many salvations that occurred at midnight. The first one is the redemption from Egypt by the tenth plague, corresponding to the sefirah of Keter/Crown. As the Haggadah states: “At around midnight (ka-chatzot), I will go into Egypt...” (Exodus 11:4). It is the special, unique, most precious moment when “ ‘I’ and not a seraf (fiery angel) [Divinity clothed in the World of Beriyah/Creation], ‘I’ and not an angel [Divinity clothed in the World of Yetzirah/Formation], ‘I’ and not a messenger [Divinity clothed in the World of Asiyah/Action]—but the Holy One blessed be He, in His glory [from the World of Atzilut/Emanation, the World of Unity]” shines forth. This is the intrinsic Divine essence.

Therefore, Dovid HaMelekh (King David) was careful to never ever sleep at this most esteemed moment (Berakhot 3b). He would get up and cleave to the Shekhinah (Zohar Chadash, Ki Tavo). This is one of the most praiseworthy things a person can possibly do—to be careful never to be caught asleep at midnight...

The Gemara states: “All of the prophets prophesized with “Ko (Thus) says God...”—as through an unclear looking glass. However, Moshe went a step farther; he prophesied from the level of “Zeh (This) is the word that God commanded...” (Numbers 30:2), as through a clear looking glass” (Sukkah 45b). The “unclear looking glass” is at best like seeing an image in the mirror; the image is not the thing itself. The “clear looking glass” is the lucid perception of seeing it directly.

However, there are things that can be seen by looking at a mirror that you can’t see when looking straightforward, such as what lies behind. Moshe certainly possessed the special advantages of this level— in their higher aspect of being above the clear looking glass. That is, he was able to use the aspect of the unclear looking glass to perceive levels of Divinity that are too high to be seen directly (Likutey Torah of the Baal HaTanya, Netzavim, 47c). For example, when God allowed Moshe to gaze at His back (Exodus 33:23).

“Graveyard Shift”

“The one who sits in the gardens, the friends who listen to your voice. Let me [also] hear [you]!” (Song of Songs 8:13). At midnight, God goes to the Garden of Eden to hang out, play, and frolic with the souls of the tzaddikim. They together gather and listen to the voice of one who is up singing, praying, and learning at that time (Zohar I, 77b, 92b; Zohar Chadash, Balak 65b).

Rabbi Velvel Cheshin once told a story about a certain kabbalist who used to learn with his students at midnight. They once noticed that outside the window, hosts and throngs of people were gathered around, as if listening to a concert. He explained to them that every night the souls of the tzaddikim come to listen to their learning. But this one time they merited to see this. For Chatzot is a portal to the next world.

“Midnight Music”

Chatzot is the special time of Dovid HaMelekh. He, more than anyone else, grasps its secret, uses it, and brings us its light. The Sages say that he had a special five-stringed harp. It begin to play when the north blew upon it exactly at midnight (serving as the first alarm clock) (Berakhot 3b). Dovid HaMelekh would arise and sing to God songs, praises, and psalms in midnight melodies.

One can link to the transcendental, elevate, and liberate themselves from materialism by means of midnight-meditation (Likutey Moharan I, 54:6).

Previously we saw that chatzot is the optimal time for hitbodedut. The point here is that one needs to have hitbodedut to get up, get out of bed, and merit to use it for this purpose. Convert all of these ideas mentioned above into a personal tefillah, asking to merit to arise every night and utilize the ethereal gift of the choicest time of the day.

Electricity has turned the tables around and destroyed the proper way of doing things. During the first part of the night the negative forces reign (Zohar II, 112b, 131a). It is not a time to try and actively draw kedushah (holiness). The best thing to do then is sleep. Instead, most of the world has become used to staying up the first part of the night, going to sleep just at the best time of day! People are raised into this habit from youth. One who wants to do things the right way is stuck, finding it difficult to change the order that his system is used to.

Rabbi Nachman reminds us again and again that tefillah is above nature and can accomplish miracles (e.g., Likutey Moharan 7:1). This includes helping us to change the cycles, order, and balance that the body is used to. In order to align with the order of the “supernal metabolism,” one might need to change the order of the physical counterpart. Tefillah can come to save the day and make this also happen.

PS: Dividing the Night

Shabbat afternoon is actually the highest time that does this (Zohar III, Idra Zuta). However, every night at midnight also has this potential. “Chatzot” means to split. It divides the night, which is din/judgment, and reveals the inner chesed that lies at the heart of the din.

This is the secret of “yachatz,” the splitting of the middle matzah at the beginning of the Pesach seder. The three matzot have the energy of the three mental faculties Chokhmah/Binah/Da’at clothed in them (Sha’ar HaKavannot, Pesach). Da’at splits into two: Chesed/Gevurah, the right/left aspects of the mind. Through this, it is able to spread out into the heart, and from there into the body.

“And you shall know this day and put into your heart...” (Deuteronomy 4:39). As long as Da’at is not drawn down, the person is in a relative state of darkness. Splitting Da’at, which allows it to promulgate, breaks the darkness. In the self, this means to simply integrate, live, and bring to experience and fulfillment what one knows.

In this concept lies the secret light of Chatzot. Getting up at midnight itself intrinsically negates the dark/night/obstacles (Likutey Moharan I, 115, based on Genesis 22:16) between mind and heart. Using the time for serving Hashem furthers the tikkun. The special midnight tefillot of Tikkun Chatzot are a crying over the destruction of the Temple—which itself is really the separation between mind and heart.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Local Boy Makes Good!


Well, not exactly local, since he was born in Bridgeport and lives, teaches and performs out of Providence, RI -- over four hours drive from NYC, sans the perennial traffic and vigilant state troopers. But multi-talented musician and performer, Fishel (AKA Michael) Bresler, played several Breslov Center Malaveh Malkas in Manhattan during our formative years, so this is only hakoras hatov. (Fishel, let's do it again!)

Check out the Fish on the clarinet and Shelley Katsh on keyboard and accordion, playing traditional klezmer music, then joined by the rest of the band here:

For the lowdown on this high soul, click here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Don't Wait Until The Last Minute to Get Your Uman Tickets!

Mrs. Miriam Fried of Nesia Travel has been making full travel arrangements to Rebbe Nachman's kever in Uman, as well as kivrei tzaddikim in Europe and Eretz Yisrael, for decades. Her husband, Reb Shlomo Fried, a"h, a prominent Breslover Chassid and founder of Nesia, was one of the first travel agents to specialize in this field. Therefore, we encourage anyone interested in joining Rebbe Nachman's Chassidim for the annual Rosh Hashanah gathering in Uman to contact Nesia Travel as soon as possible.

"Anybody who comes to me for Rosh Hashanah should be happy all year long!"
-- Rebbe Nachman

Please note that the Nesia office is no longer at 1404 40th St., but at the Fried home:

Mrs. Miriam Fried / Nesia Travel
1661 43rd St.
Brooklyn, NY 11204

Tele. 718-633-3800

youritinerary@worldspan.com

Breslov Research Institute (BRI) Updates

Yossi Katz of the Breslov Research Institute tells us the following news:

1. LIKUTEY MOHARAN VOL. 13 NOW AVAILABLE


Purchase this new volume at your neighborhood Judaica store or online today here:

2. CHAIM KRAMER ARRIVING IN LA TOMORROW, WEEK LONG EVENTS - WILL BE IN NYC IN A WEEK

Please visit here for more info.

Rabbi Kramer will be in New York, arriving June 13th. He may be reached via Yossi Katz:

yossik@breslov.org