Sunday, December 24, 2017

Reb Noson's Yahrtzeit

This year Asarah beTeves, which is also Reb Noson's yahrtzeit, begins on Wednesday night, December 27  through Thursday, December 28. It is a day-time fast.

On the evening of Asarah beTeves, Reb Noson's yahrtzeit is commemorated by lighting a 24-hour candle and sharing a communal meal. In some Breslov communities it is customary to read the description of Reb Noson's histalkus (passing from the world) from Alim leTerufah (Jerusalem: Toras HaNetzach 2000 ed., pp. 913-918). It is also proper to study an additional portion of Reb Noson's teachings on his yahrtzeit, and to give tzedakah in his name according to one’s means.

The survival of Breslov Chassidus is due to the dedication to the point of mesirus nefesh of Reb Noson and his unique understanding of Rebbe Nachman's teachings, as we seen from his masterwork, Likutey Halakhos. The Rebbe compared their master-disciple relationship to that of the sun and the moon, which reflects the light it has received so that it illuminates the night -- meaning the situations in life that are like the night -- and to Moshe Rabbeinu and Yehoshua bin Nun, who led the Jewish people into Eretz Yisrael. The Rebbe also once said, "Were it not for Reb Noson, not a page of my writings would remain."

For the story of Reb Noson's passing in English, see Rabbi Chaim Kramer, "Through Fire and Water" (Jerusalem: Breslov Research Institute), Chapter 48.

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