Monday, May 14, 2012

The Shadchan’s Chair

Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
From Tzaddik: A Portrait of Rabbi Nachman (Breslov Research Institute), 210
Chayei Moharan  84

In the merit of Rebbe Nachman’s awesome dream, may all those who need to find their proper shidduch succeed in doing so, be-karov!

Shortly before Rosh HaShanah 5569 (at the end of the summer of 5568-1808) the shochet (ritual slaughterer) of Teplik brought the Rebbe a very special chair.[1] In the same period, the Rebbe related a vision or dream he had had. They brought him a chair. It was surrounded by fire.

“The whole world was going to see this chair: men, women and children. On their way back from there, all of a sudden they all became paired up with each other, and marriage relationships were forged between them. All the leaders of the era also went to see the chair. I asked, ‘How far away is it, and for what reason were marriage pairs suddenly formed?’

I went in a circle around them in order to get there, and I heard that Rosh HaShanah soon would be coming. I wasn’t sure whether to return or to remain there. I was undecided. I said in my heart, ‘How can I stay here for Rosh HaShanah? However, intellectually I thought, ‘Considering my physical weakness, why should I go back?’ So there I was, and I came to the chair, and there I saw Rosh HaShanah—the real, actual Rosh HaShanah. The same with Yom Kippur—the real, actual Yom Kippur. The same with Sukkot—the real actual Sukkot. And I heard that they were shouting, ‘Your new moons and festivals My soul hates’ (Isaiah 1:14). ‘What business have you to judge the world? Rosh HaShanah itself will judge.’ Then they all fled, together with the leaders of the era. Everyone fled.

“I saw that the chair was inscribed with the forms of all the creatures in the world—every single one was inscribed there together, with his marriage partner next to him. This was the reason why all the marriage pairs had been formed, because each one was able to see and find his marriage partner there.

“Something I had been studying during the previous few days now came into my mind. There is a verse which says: ‘His throne was fiery flames’ (Daniel 7:9). The first letters of the words Koursey SHevivln Di Nur spell out the word ShaDKhaN—matchmaker. Because it was through the chair that the marriage pairs were made. Furthermore, the word KouRSey (“throne,” spelled khof-reish-samech-yud) is made up of the initial letters of Rosh HaShanah (reish), Yom Kippur (yud, khaf) and Sukkot (samech); this, too, is why Shemini Atzeret [the last of the series of festivals celebrated during the Hebrew month of Tishrei] is the time of the marital union of the Supernal Matron.[2]

“ ’What shall I do for my livelihood?’ I asked. They told me I would be a matchmaker.

“The fire went around it in a circle—because the truth is that Rosh HaShanah is a great goodness to the world. It is the season when the moon is hidden, and of this it is said, ‘Bring an atonement for Me’ (Chullin 60b). This is a great goodness to the whole world, because it is through this that we are able to beg for atonement on Rosh HaShanah.”

© 1987 The Breslov Research Institute

[1] Yemey Moharnat 31; Until The Mashiach, p. 160.  According to tradition, this chair is the one in the Breslov synagogue in Jerusalem.
[2] Zohar III, 96b, 97a. 

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