Friday, November 29, 2013

Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Avraham ben Reb Nachman Chazan

Painting by Yitzchak Besancon

On Sunday night, Dec. 1, through Monday, December 2, which is the fifth day of Chanukah, Breslover Chassidim will commemorate the yahrtzeit of one of our greatest luminaries, Rabbi Avraham ben Reb Nachman Chazan (1849-1917).

The son of Reb Noson’s close follower Reb Nachman Tulchiner, Reb Avraham was a key figure in the Uman Breslov kehillah and later in Yerushalayim, and he passed on many oral traditions (some of which are found in his “Kokhvei Ohr”). His talmidim include Reb Levi Yitzchak Bender and Rabbi Elya Chaim Rosen, both of whom survived the Holocaust and became key figures in the Yerushalayim Breslov kehillah after WWII.

Reb Avraham ben Reb Nachman was an extreme ascetic who had nothing to do with the materialism of this world. It is said that for many years he was accustomed to leave his home on Sunday to seclude himself in the Grekko forest outside of Uman with a few seforim and a few rolls of bread, and not return until the following Erev Shabbos. His “Bi'ur HaLikkutim” is one of the most profound works ever written on Likutey Moharan.

Zekhuso yagein aleinu v'al kol Yisrael!

One for the Road: A Reminiscence

Painting by Fenna Moehn-Hummel

Dovid Sears
Parshas Miketz
L’zekher nishmas my cousin Avigdor ben Shmuel (Jim Smotrich)

Before I found my way to Breslov, I explored Chabad for several years. In 1979, when we were still living in my hometown of Norwich, Conn., I took the kids to Crown Heights on several occasions. In 1981 we moved to Providence, and maybe a year later, the whole family drove to Crown Heights to celebrate Yud-Tes Kislev with the Lubavitcher Rebbe in person.

The next morning, after a huge farbrengen (gathering) that lasted into the early morning hours, I davenned a little later than usual, a luxury to which I was unaccustomed in Providence. Then I took the family out for lunch (another luxury for “out-of-towners”); packed up the car; and returned to 770 in search of an early Minchah. However, to my surprise, there were no early minyanim.

Seeing a short, elderly, white-bearded Chassid wearing a black fur hat, I approached him and asked if he knew when there would be a minyan. "Three o'clock by the Rebbe," he answered with a smile in heavily-accented English.

"That's more than an hour away," I sighed. "My family is waiting for me outside. I guess I’ll have to daven bi-yechidus(alone).”

"You can't wait just one more hour to see the Rebbe?" he asked gently.

"I have to drive over four hours to get home," I explained apologetically.

He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye. "Then let me leave you with a vort (short teaching) on the parshah from my Zeide (Grandfather), olov ha-sholom." (Since the elderly chassid appeared to be around eighty years old, that would suggest that his grandfather must have been lived in the 1800s, although he might have survived into the 1900s.)

Eager to daven and leave, but not wanting to be impolite, I asked him to tell me the vort.

"At the beginning of the parshah [Miketz], when Paroh (Pharaoh) has his dream, he tells his dream-interpreters that he was omed al ha-y'or - 'standing on the river.' But when he hears about Yosef and calls him out of prison, and Yosef is right there in front of him, Paroh retells the dream a little differently. He says that he was standing al sfas ha-y'or - 'on the bank of the river.'

"Before he met the tzaddik, Paroh thought he could walk on water! But when he finally saw Yosef in person, he stopped fooling himself. Now he knew that he was only a bosor vo-dom, only a plain human being.

"This was my Zeide's vort!"

I thanked him warmly, davenned Minchah alone in 770, hurried back to the car, and headed for home. When we got to Stamford, Conn., about an hour away, we pulled into a gas station. As I filled the tank, I began to reflect on the old chassid'svort. Only then did I have enough mental focus to realize what he had meant to tell me - to see a tzaddik is a precious thing! It can awaken a man from a lifetime of self-deception. Therefore, how could I hurry away so quickly, missing an opportunity to daven Minchah with the Rebbe?

During another visit to Crown Heights, I noticed the famous Reb Abba Pliskin, of blessed memory, shuffling along the sidewalk on Kingston Avenue. I wondered if he was the old chassid who had told me that penetrating insight after Yud-Tes Kislev. However, when I approached him and asked, Reb Abba professed ignorance and continued on his away. "Who could the old man have been?" I wondered. “ Eliyahu ha-Novi?”

The Rebbe, Reb Nachman of Breslov, zatzal, tells us something similar, if not identical. In Torah 67 in Likutey Moharan Tinyana, he expounds on the connection between the first and last words of the Torah: bereishis (“In the beginning”) andl’einey kol Yisrael (“In the eyes of all Israel”). He cites the Tikuney Zohar that the letters of the word bereishis may be rearranged to spell rosh-bayis (“head of the house,” i.e., the tzaddik of the generation). When the tzaddik who is the “head of the house” is revealed, our eyes are opened and we can begin to examine ourselves and see where we stand in our spiritual work of self-refinement. As a result, we can return to Hashem and purify ourselves, so that we may see the light of Hashem in all things.

The Rav of Tcherin in his commentary Parpara’os l’Chokhmah on Likutey Moharan I, 4, states that the tikkunim obtained by being in the presece of the taddik are still available when we learn his teachings—since the daas of the tzaddik is truly the “face of the tzaddik, and may be found in his teachings.

In the zekhus of the tzaddikim, may all of our eyes be opened—as it states, l’einey kol Yisrael, “in the eyes of all Israel.” Then, as in the case of Yosef, whom the King of Egypt called “Revealer of Secrets,” the “secrets” of G-dliness will be revealed in this world.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Knowing With the Heart

Sichos HaRan 39
Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom (Breslov Research Institute), pp. 140-141

In memory of Shmuel ben Chanokh Zundel Sears
Yahrtzeit: 18 Kislev

You should be able to feel another's troubles in your own heart. This is especially true when many are suffering.

It is possible to clearly realize another's anguish, and still not feel it in your heart.

When an entire community is in distress, you should surely feel their agony in your heart. If you do not feel it, you should strike your head against the wall. You should strike your head against the walls of your heart.

This is the meaning of the verse (Deut. 4:39), “Know this day and realize it in your heart.” You must bring the realization from your mind to your heart. Understand this well.

We later heard that the Rebbe once said that this is the meaning of the passage (Isaiah 38:2), “And Hezekiah turned his face to the wall.” The face that he turned was his awareness, bringing it inside the walls of his heart.[1] For one's true face is his mind, which illuminates it from within.[2]

[1] Yerushalmi Berakhos 4:4 (35a); Sanhedrin 10:2 (51b); Chayay Moharan 17a ($14).
[2] Likutey Moharan I, 30:4.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rabbi Chaim Kramer to Speak in Manhattan

 Received by email.

Sponsored by Exciting Judaism and The Carlebach Shul



Nov 19, Tuesday Evening, 8:30 pm -10:00 pm
Rabbi Chaim Kramer

Author and Director of  the Breslov Research Institute Will discuss his latest book, “Rebbe Nachman & You”.

Rebbe Nachman shows everyone how to get the most out of life.

Come hear what Rabbi Kramer has to say to you.

The Carlebach Shul

305 West 79 St, NYC

(212) 580-2391 


Please tell your friends about our Exciting lectures
& Forward this New Awareness Opportunity.

New Book Release by Rabbi Dovid Sears: The Power of Psalms - Rebbe Nachman on Tehillim Vol. I

From Breslov Research Institute:


Saying Tehillim (Psalms) is an age-old Jewish practice. The image of the well-worn volume soaked with a mother’s tears accompanies many children as they grow up. Individuals, congregations and entire communities say Tehillim to evoke merit for the sick, those in danger, the childless, and many others. Psalms are also part of our daily prayers, giving voice to our desire to connect with God.

For many of us, though, the Tehillim remain an enigma. How exactly do we apply King David’s prayers to our own situation? How do we arouse our hearts with words that we may not understand fully? In short, how do we find ourselves in the Psalms?

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov shows us how. His teachings probe and extract the deeper meaning of Psalms and their import for our daily lives. With incisive commentary and original insights, the Rebbe transforms our saying of Tehillim from rote recital to genuine prayer.

The next time you “say Tehillim,” say it with The Power of Psalms. With Rebbe Nachman at your side, you can indeed find yourself and your inspiration in the Psalms.

Jewcology: Cold Water Wash

Received via Jewcology:

Cold Water Wash

Action: Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot. 
Washing machines typically have several water temperature settings for the wash/rinse cycles. Many people have different opinions about which clothes to wash on which settings, however, all but the dirtiest clothing can be effectively washed on cold.  Switching to cold water can save the average household $30-$40 annually, depending on whether the home’s water heat is electric- or gas-powered. 
Skeptical about whether cold water will get clothes clean? Try doing all laundry on cold for a week, and see if clothes are washed to satisfaction. Since cold water is gentler than warm or hot water, there’s nothing to lose. Give it a try! 
Online Tool:
Looking for more tips for how to save energy while doing your laundry?  Check out this handy resource from Earth911. 
By taking this action you can save approximately 355 kWh in a year.  Learn more about our assumptions in the Year of Action.
Take this action now on your individualized My Savings page. (You must be logged in to Jewcology to access this page.  Not yet a member?  It's free and easy to join!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tefillos Needed for Rabbi Nachman Burstein

Received via e-mail:

Please daven for a refuah shleima for Rav Nachman Burstein Shlita, who had a stroke last week.

It was treated in a timely manner, B”H, and he is recuperating, but it is still very hard for him to speak.

Please daven for R’ Nachman Yisrael ben Baila Gittel that he should have a complete and speedy recovery amongst all Cholim BeYisrael.

May we only hear besuros tovos always.

Exciting Judaism - November Events

Received by Email

Exciting Judaism 
This Month at The Carlebach Shul

Nov 12, Tuesday Night, Breslov Learning

Likutey Moharan Study Group

7:45 pm - 8:50 pm

Nov 12 , Tuesday Evening
Breslov Learning With Rabbi Naftali Citron
9:00 pm – 10:0 pm

The Dynamics of Prayer

Visit his YouTube channel


Both Study Groups Suggested Admission $10.00.



 Nov 14  Thursday Evening
Beginning at 8:00 pm

Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum of Jerusalem

Rhodes Scholar
Author & Translator of More Than 25 Seforim
Director of the Azamra Institute


The Carlebach Shul

305 West 79 St

Thursday, November 7, 2013

BRI: New Books Now Available


Our two new life changing books: 
Rebbe Nachman & You and Rebbe Nachman’s Tikkun: The Complete Remedy are now available exclusively on our website.

In honor of this great accomplishment, we are offering you the opportunity to purchase either one of these new titles and 
receive 30% off the rest of your order! Receive this discount by visiting our bookstore, add the desired publications to your cart and use the coupon code: rebbenachmanandyou at the checkout. (Remember to click to update your order total after pasting in the coupon code.)
Let the wisdom of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov change your life.
Based on the timeless teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), this fundamental guide to living a fulfilled and meaningful life puts you in touch with your true inner self. It provides the keys that can help you reach your full potential, and lead a balanced, authentic, healthy life in a fast-paced, superficial world.
Rebbe Nachman shows everyone how to get the most out of life. Come hear what he has to say to YOU.
Also available for Amazon’s Kindle. We expect this book to become available at all local Judaica Store within the next couple of weeks.
 Rebbe Nachman’s TIkkun: The Comple Remedy
Depression – one of the greatest illnesses of modern times – stems from man’s abuse of his God-given powers. Rebbe Nachman reveals a wondrous antidote, the Tikkun HaKlali (Complete Remedy), which attacks the flaw by drawing on the most creative force in the universe: song. Contains Reb Noson’s Introduction in Hebrew and English, the Yehi Ratzon recited before the Tikkun, the complete text of the Ten Psalms with English translation and transliteration, concluding prayers and selected commentary.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nightly Learning in Boro Park Breslov Shtiebel on 16th Avenue

Received via e-mail:

Starting Sunday night, Nov. 3 (Rosh Chodesh Kislev, second night) there will be a learning seder every night in the Breslov Shtiebel

Time: 9:00 pm

There will be a shiur on Maseches Megilah at 9:10

Maariv will be at 9:45

If you would like a chavrusa, please contact R' Mordechai Ehrman in shul, or call him @ 917-216-7272

Please come and join!

Breslover Shul 5504 16th Ave