Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday Night Breslov Class for Women

(Painting by Bart Van Oijen)

Received via e-mail:


Dear Friends,

 night, Tuesday, June 24, we’ll continue discussing life by the light of the wisdom of Breslov Chassidus. We’ll wrap up our talk about relationships (Azamra as Process and Practice)  by briefly recapping The Role of the Tzaddik and Emulating the Tzaddik. (If you’d like a detailed look 
at some Azamra-related questions from this and past classes please see a new series at Breslov.org.)

Then, we’ll begin a discussion inspired by another rich, foundational lesson of Rabbeinu’s, one that offers multi-faceted yet central life-changing insights.

Ayeh? Finding My Place By Searching For Hashem

Some of the topics we’ll cover may include

Mission Possible: How To Find God’s Glory (and Our Authentic Spiritual Self) In the Deepest

Darkest Times and Places

Dealing with Doubts and Pain By Going On A Treasure Hunt

Two Ways to Approach Past Mistakes

The Idol Worshipper...In Your Living Room?!?

Another Look At Simplicity

Achieving Healthy Thought Processes and Mental Clarity

and More

We’ll also continue with the wonderful story, The Sophisticate and The Simple Person from Sippurey Maasios, Rabbeinu’s hard-hitting yet humorous tale of authenticity, personal growth, and self-acceptance.

Time: 8:30 pm
At the Home of Mrs. Yehudit Meira Chervony, 4220 15th Avenue, Apt. 1A
Please feel free to email or call me at 347-686-4843 if you have questions, and Invite a Friend!

Yehudit Meira and I are looking forward to seeing you there,
Chaya Rivka

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rabbi Chaim Kramer - New York Tour

Seeing No Evil

From Breslov.org:

Some versions of the Sefer Yetzirah say the sense associated with the month of Sivan is sight.

Rebbe Nachman, z”l, reveals that looking at others with a jaundiced eye "stops the heart." The judgmental person forgets that everyone has a mission in this world, a spiritual task that can only by fulfilled by each person in exactly his own way. In order to carry out our own mission, we need to remember every day that there is a world to come--that this world is not all there is--but the person who sees others in a negative light is unable to do so. It is as if his heart is spiritually dead. By failing to see the unique contribution offered by another, one curtails his own ability to make his personal unique contribution.

But even one who generally has a generous eye toward others must be vigilant. Just like it can be difficult to correctly make out something at a distance, it is all too easy to let our imagination carry us away into misjudging the motives of people with whom we normally get along. We might fall into a mistaken belief that someone has it in for us. Or perhaps we judge them to be misguided, that they are far from the truth. But it is all too possible that our eyes, our judgments, are mistaking us...just like a person who cannot make out the details of that which stands at a distance from him.

Even when our judgments about others are illusions generated by our imaginations, they can still do great damage; they can be the cause of resentment and conflict. We avoid such misuse of our inner sight by refraining from speaking or listening to slander about others. We need to be very vigilant guarding ourselves from mistakenly misreading our friend’s actions or motivation. This is one of the aspects of spiritual work particular suited to the month of Sivan.

As the Baal Shem Tov, z”l, explains, by turning our mind’s eye toward examining our own faults, we come to find that the flaws of others occupy us less!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Breslov Shtiebel of 43rd Street Gets New Sefer Torah

This past Sunday afternoon, b'simchah rabbah, the Breslover Chassidim of Borough Park and many friends and neighbors and their families celebrated the completion of a new Sefer Torah at the home of Breslover sofer and baal korei, Rabbi Eliezer Trenk, shlit"a. Then the Chassidim danced and sang through the streets, escorting the long-awaited new Sefer Torah to the Hisachdus Avreikhim-Breslov shul on 43rd St. 

This is the first hachnossas Sefer Torah celebrated by the Breslover Chassidim of Borough Park in more than twenty years, and guests came from far and wide. Speakers at the seudas mitzvah at the end of the day were Rav Ephraim Anshin, shlit"a,  of Yerushalayim and Rav Yitzchok Freidman of Williamsburg, shlit"a, among others. May we share many such simchahs!

More photos may be viewed here.

Music, Song, and Dance

Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

In this material world, especially if we have sinned and are very far from God, the main way to attach ourselves to God is through melody and song.

Likutey Halachot, Nesiat Kapayim 5:6

* * *

It is good to get into the habit of livening yourself up with a tune.

Holy melodies are very exalted, having great power to stir the heart and draw it to God.

Even if you cannot sing well, you can still inspire yourself with a tune. Sing it as best as you can, in privacy if you wish. The loftiness of melody is beyond all measure.

Sichot Haran #273

* * *

Music and prophetic spirit

A holy melody can bring you to the level of prophecy. Music is the foundation of true attachment to God.

Likutey Moharan I, 3

* * *

It was through music that prophetic spirit rest ed upon the prophets (see II Kings 3:15 ) . A musical instrument is a vessel containing air ( ruach , spirit). The air in the instrument is a mixture of good and bad. On the one hand there is the anxious, depressed spirit - a bad spirit, as we find in the case of King Saul: "and an evil spirit terrified him" ( I Samuel 16:14) . On the other hand, there is a good spirit, as it is written: "Let Your good spirit lead me in an even land" (Psalms 143:10) . This good spirit is the spirit of prophecy: holy spirit. But when good and bad are mixed up, it is impossible to receive true prophecy.

The musician playing the instrument must gather the good spirit - the spirit of prophecy - and separate it from the sad, depressed spirit. He must understand music in order to know how to sift out and gather up the parts of the spirit and put them together in order to construct the melody, namely the joy, in order to build the good, prophetic spirit, which is the opposite of the depressed spirit. He must move his hand up and down the instrument in order to channel the joy and bring it to perfection.

And when the prophet hears a melody from an expert musician, he receives a spirit of prophecy, the very spirit that the musician gathered with his hand and separated from the depressed spirit. Thus the attendants of the depressed King Saul said to him of the young David: "And he will play with his hand and it will be good for you" ( I Samuel 16:16 ) .

Accordingly, by playing the musical instrument with one's hand, one sifts, purifies and elevates the good spirit and separates it from the bad. This is the way to overcome the evil spirit of folly that seeks to spoil and upset the good, prophetic spirit. The bad spirit is dissipated through the joy that comes through the hand of the player.

For the root of the power of the spirit of folly lies in sadness and depression. Therefore the only way to receive a holy spirit of prophecy is through joy - the joy created by the hand of the player. Thus, "It was when the musician played that the hand of God was upon him" ( II Kings 3:15 ) ; "and he will play with his hand and it will be good for you". The player who has the power of the hand can sift out the good spirit from the bad and thereby subdue the evil spirit.

Likutey Moharan I, 54

* * *

Melody, health and healing

The life and workings of the body are governed by ten basic pulses. These in turn are vitalized by ten kinds of melody emanating from the soul. Negativity, anxiety and depression weaken the pulses, and this can cause illness. But when the melody of the soul is joyous, it strengthens the vitality of the pulses and brings health to the body.

Likutey Moharan I, 24

* * *

Sweetening decrees

Melody sweetens the harsh judgments. When you sing the words of your prayers in a clear, bright voice, the Indwelling Presence is robed in radiant garments, and this is how the harsh judgments are sweetened

Likutey Moharan I, 42

* * *

When harsh decrees threaten Israel , they can be sweetened through dancing and hand- clapping.

Likutey Moharan I, 10

* * *

Joy of the mitzvah

Dancing for joy over a mitzvah is a wonderful thing. There are times when it is a mitzvah to drink wine, as on Shabbat and festivals, or at weddings and other religious celebrations. If you drink on such occasions, do not drink to excess but in moderation. Your intention should be for the sake of Heaven, to experience the true joy of Israel , which is to rejoice in God, who chose us from all the nations.

As the joy begins to radiate within you, it will spread to your legs until you literally start to dance for joy. This will banish the forces of impurity, which take hold of the legs, mitigating harsh judgments and enabling you to receive blessings.

The fervor with which you dance is "a fire offering, a sweet savor to the Lord" (Numbers 28:8) . However, when a person dances with the heat of the evil inclination, this is a "strange fire" (Leviticus 10:1) , while the wine he drinks is the "wine of drunkenness", which allows the forces of impurity to take hold .

Holy dance has the same power to sweeten harsh judgments as a redemption performed by a Tzaddik.

Likutey Moharan I, 41