Thursday, April 7, 2016
From “Breslov Aikh she-Hu: Breslov Customs and Practices, Past and Present” compiled by Dovid Zeitlin and Dovid Sears
Rebbe Nachman taught that the days of Nisan are days of teshuvah, like the days of Tishrei.
(Likutey Moharan I, 49)
The Rebbe was born on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, which the Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 1:1) designates as the "Rosh Hashanah shel malakhim," the day on which the reign of a Jewish king officially begins. Today many Breslover Chassidim travel to Uman to pray near the Rebbe's tziyun on Rosh Chodesh Nisan because it, too, is a “Rosh Hashanah,” and to some extent possesses the segulos of Rosh Hashanah.
In a letter to Rabbi Avraham Jacobovitch of Toronto, Rabbi Shmuel Horowitz mentions that Nisan is the head of all months and is a time of simchah in “all the worlds”; each day is comparable to a Rosh Chodesh and a Yom Tov; and through this simchah, one can attain tikkun ha-neshamah and shemiras ha-bris, as discussed in Likkutei Moharan I, 49.
(Rabbi Shmuel Horowitz, Michtevei Shmuel [Jerusalem: Keren R’ Yisrael Dov Odesser, first edition], Letter 26, p. 103)
Beginning on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, the minhag in the Ukraine was for each person to recite the parshas ha-nasi followed by the “yehi ratzon” after Shacharis, not to read it from the Sefer Torah in public. This was also the Breslover minhag.
(Heard from Rabbi Michel Dorfman. Those who read the nasi privately include the communities of Chernobyl-Skver, Boyan, Karlin-Stolin, Chabad, etc. Reading it from a Sefer Torah was the minhag of Rabbi Chaim of Tzanz, also mentioned in Darkey Chaim ve-Shalom [Munkatch])
However, in recent years it became the minhag in the Tzefas Breslov community to read the nasi from the Sefer Torah. This change was made out of concern that otherwise people might forget to do so.
Reb Elazar Kenig and a group of talmidim from Tzefas usually go to Uman immediately after Pesach to spend the last days of Nisan at the Rebbe's tziyun. The chaburah usually spends one day visiting the kivrei tzaddikim in Berditchev, Medzhibuzh, and Breslov. While in Uman, Reb Elazar teaches Sippurey Ma’asiyos and Likutey Moharan every day, and the chaburah recites Tikkun ha-Klalli be-tzibbur.
Reb Gedaliah Kenig and his talmidim used to go to Tzefas in order to pray there on Erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar. When asked about this, Reb Gedaliah said that this was the date that Mosdos Nachal Novea Mekor Chochma purchased its first property in Tzefas.
(Heard from Rabbi Dovid Shapiro)