Monday, July 18, 2016

Three Weeks


From “Breslov Eikh she-Hu: Customs and Good Practices” compiled by Dovid Zeitlin and Dovid Sears



Many Breslover Chassidim study Likutey Moharan II, 67, during the Three Weeks and recite the corresponding prayer, Likutey Tefillos II, 33. Some also recite this prayer on Tisha be-Av, but only after chatzos, since it contains words of consolation.
(Cf. Si'ach Sarfey Kodesh VI, 499)

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Breslover Chassidim dance after davenning even during the Three Weeks, until Rosh Chodesh Av. The melody usually sung at this time is "Nicham HaShem Tzion." However, beginning on Rosh Chodesh, dancing is curtailed until after Tisha be-Av.
(Si'ach Sarfey Kodesh IV, 191)

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During the Three Weeks, some Breslover Chasidim are accustomed to sit on the floor every weekday at noon to recite Tikkun Chatzos, including on Erev Shabbos, as mentioned in Shulchan Arukh. This was Reb Gedaliah’s practice. Reb Elazar informed us that his father would have liked his talmidim to do so be-tzibbur, but this was not feasible at the time. 

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Like all Chassidim, Breslovers follow the shittah in halakhah that there is no public display of mourning on Shabbos Chazon.

Heh Av

This is the yahrtzeit of the Arizal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria Ashkenazi) of Tzefas, universally recognized as the foremost master of Kabbalah by all Chassidic, Lithuanian, and Sefardic kabbalists. His teachings were written down by his talmid muvhak, Rabbi Chaim Vital (Calabrese), and primarily consists of “Eight Gates,” including the bedrock of his teachings, the Eitz Chaim.

In Tzefas, the hillulah of the Arizal attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world, who recite Tehillim and pray at his gravesite. It is also a widespread custom to immerse in the natural spring where he was accustomed to immerse, not far from his kever in the old Beis ha-Chaim. The Arizal stated that whoever did so would succeed in doing teshuvah for all his sins before he died.

(“Chayey ha-Arizal, a Hebrew biography of the Arizal culled from Shivchey Arizal and other classic sources was compiled and annotated by Rabbi Avraham Abish Tzeinvirt, and published by Makhon Da’as Yosef, Yerushalayim 1990. Rav Ya’akov Hillel of Machon Ahavat Shalom also has published an annotated critical edition of Shivchey Arizal.)

Tisha be-Av

Tisha be-Av  is one of the five times that Breslover Chassidim daven together ki-vasikin. The avodah of reciting Kinnos is taken very seriously and lasts until the late morning.

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Reb Levi Yitzchak Bender stated that on Tisha be-Av, it is our minhag to recite the berakhah "she'asah li kol tzorkhi" in its proper place in Birkhos ha-Shachar.
(Si'ach Sarfey Kodesh VI, 497. Similarly, cf. Darkei Chaim ve-Shalom [Munkatch] 675. Some communities omit this berakhah because the Gemara associates it with donning the shoes, and on Tish Be-Av it is forbidden to wear leather shoes or sandals. However, it is permissible to wear shoes made from other materials, such as canvas or plastic.)

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The fast is broken immediately after Ma'ariv in the synagogue, prior to Kiddush Levanah. It is customary to dance after reciting Kiddush Levanah upon the conclusion of Tisha be-Av, despite the fact that most restrictions are maintained until noon of the following day.
(Cf. Si'ach Sarfey Kodesh IV, 270)

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Soon after Tisha be-Av, Reb Elazar Kenig usually begins studying the lesson from Likutey Moharan that he will publicly deliver on the second night of Rosh Hashanah, together with its related teachings from Likutey Halakhos, etc. On some years he has started learning his Rosh Hashanah lesson even earlier. 

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