Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ecology According to the Baal Shem Tov

Drawing by Hyman Bloom

If you think that the "Torah of the Baal Shem Tov" stopped in the eighteenth century, that idea is debatable. For a discussion of Judaism, Chassidism and the global environmental crisis, please see a new essay by Rabbi Sears on Canfei Nasharim's blog here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Free “Shavuot With Rebbe Nachman” Booklet

BRI is proud to present a free Shavuot study guide. The booklet contains almost 200 pages of  Breslov Torah and prayers. We hope that the booklet enhances your Simchat Yom Tov.

Click here to download.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Eizer L'Shabbos - Shavuos Campaign

Received by e-mail from Eizer L'Shabbos of Tsfat
Dear Friends

I would like to thank to everyone who helped us in the past.

Shavuot is rapidly approaching.This year we have two days in Eretz Yisrael. For poor families, it's extremely difficult. The children and the parents would like some dairy products, as is customary. Our goal is to provide at least 200 packages. The cost is around $20,000 US. We are $12,000 short. If with Hashem's help we are able to give more, we will do it. The phone doesn't stop ringing...

CHAG SOMEACH! GUT YOM TOV, and a healthy summer!

Rabbi Binyomin Rosenberg

Please help Eizer L'Shabbos continue its important work. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to:

Eizer L'Shabbos
5014 16th Avenue, Suite 319
Brooklyn N.Y. 11204

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Nichum Aveilim to Rabbi Jonathan Rietti and Family

The Breslov Center offers its heartfelt wishes of nichum aveilim to Rabbi Jonathan Rietti of Monsey and his brother and sisters in England for the passing of their beloved father, Robert Rietti, a"h. The niftar was a prominent actor and a proud Jew, widely respected in the professional world and in his community. May he be a melitz yosher, a heavenly intercessor, for his family and for all Klal Yisrael. 

For one of the many obituaries that appeared in the international media about Robert Rietti, see here.

Getting Ready for Shavuos

There are many preparations we make for every Shabbos and Yom Tov, spiritually and physically. Here’s some advice from Reb Noson on how we can prepare to receive the “light” of Shavuos, this year and every year!

From Likutey Halakhos, Minchah 7:54, as found in the Rav of Tcherin’s Otzar ha-Yirah (AKA Likutey Eitzos Hameshulosh), “Shalom vi-Achdus: Atzas Shalom,” sec. 15.
Translated by Dovid Sears

All true Torah chiddushim (novel insights) are constrictions and wondrous spiritual vessels, by means of which the Infinite Light is drawn down [to be available to the human mind in this world of limitation] in a measured way, as is appropriate.

However, the prerequisite for this is that many Jewish souls join together in love—because the Divine Light needs a multitude of vessels. For this can only be achieved when thousands and myriads of souls join together in love, “as one person,” to the point that they are capable of collectively receiving this great light in a measured way. It all depends on the revelation of light and its manner of elicitation.

This is the “secret” as to why the Torah could not have been received [at Mount Sinai] until 600,000 Israelites assembled there in love and peace.

Our sages state on the verse, “And Israel camped there…” (Exodus 19:2, noting that the word “camped” is written in the singular)—“like one man with one heart” (Rashi, ad loc.). Similarly, our sages comment on the verse, “Return, Hashem, to the myriads of thousands of Israel” (Numbers 10:36)—“the Shekhinah does not rest on lest than two myriads and two thousands (22,000)” (Rashi, ad loc.). For everything is in keeping with the light that is drawn down, according to the gathering of many Jewish souls in love and peace.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Kinus This Sunday

A kinus will be held in memory of the prominent Breslover Chassidim Rabbi Meyer Wasilski and Rabbi Dovid Zeitlin, zikhronam leverakha, at the Breslov Shtiebel of Borough Park, beginning at 8:00 pm this Sunday evening.

Rabbi Yitzchok Ber of Teplik

Otzar Nachmani, sec. 208-209
From the collected talks of Rabbi Nachman Burstein, zatzal
[Also see R. Noach Sternfeld’s “Giduley ha-Nachal,” (Meshekh ha-Nachal: Jerusalem 1984), os yud, sec. 90, about R. Yitzchok Ber]
Translated by Dovid Sears, unedited

[Rabbi Nachman Burstein relates:]
Reb Yitzchok Ber of Teplik (who previously had lived in Terhovitz) used to spend the entire day in avodas Hashem. He prayed with deep deveykus (cleaving to G-d) and fervor, almost to the point of hispashtus ha-gashmiyus (the soul leaving the body; cf. Tur-Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 98)—to the point that he no longer sensed anyone near him.

Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Bender told how Reb Yitzchok Ber once when he came to the blessing “Ha-bocher bi-amo Yisrael bi-ahavah (Who chooses his nation Israel with love),” and wanted to recite immediately, “Shema Yisrael…” But due to the intensity of his deveykus and self-negation, he fainted, and his family had to revive him.

I also heard from Reb Levi Yitzchok that Reb Noson once told Reb Nachman Tulchiner, “Reb Yitzchok Ber davens with mesirus nefesh (self-negation)!”
[Re. mesirus nefesh in prayer, see Likutey Moharan I, 26 and 80; re. mesirus nefesh in thought, see L”M I, 193; DS.]

And Chazal state (Ta’anis 8a, in the name of Rabbi Ami): A person’s prayer is not answered until he “places his soul in his palm” [i.e., he puts his heart into his prayer completely; see Rashi, ad loc.).

Reb Levi Yitzchok spoke many times about Reb Yitzchok Ber’s great efforts in serving Hashem, beginning at chatzos (midnight), continuing through Minchah (the afternon prayer); during this time he was constantly occupied in Torah study and prayer and divine service. Then, it was impossible to speak with him at all. His holiness was so awesome that he was able to say every person must be holy the way Tefillin are holy – of which Chazal state in Berakhos 6a: It is written in the Tefillin of the Master of the Universe, “And who is like Your nation, Israel?” Thus, we find that the Holy Blessed One “boasts,” so to speak, in His Tefillin about the holiness of the Jewish people. So if, G-d forbid, any Jew were to blemish the holiness of the Jewish people, contrary to the divine will, this would effect the Tefillin of the Holy Blessed One—it might bring about a p’sul (invalidating defect) in the letters of these words, “And who is like Your nation, Israel?” For he would diminish, as it were, the pride that Holy Blessed One takes in them.

[Rabbi Nachman Burstein adds:]
I heard in the name of the Rav of Berditchev—or perhaps it was a different tzaddik—that he once overheard someone speak disparagingly about another Jew. The Rav reproached him, “Chalilah, chalilah! (Heaven forbid!) Don’t speak this way! For this would invalidate the Tefillin of the Master of the Universe, in which it is written, ‘And who is like Your nation, Israel?’” According to a different version of the story, he said, “Would you render invalid the Torah, Heaven forbid? Because each Jew corresponds to a letter in the Torah…”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New Edition of Alim le-Trufah

We are happy to announce that a new edition of Reb Noson's letters," Alim le-Trufah: Michtevey MoHaRNaT," has been published, which contains numerous corrections and twenty letters that have never before been published! This is a milestone in Breslov publishing history. The new sefer should be available in Breslov and other book stores in Israel and America. To order a copy online, please check with Rabbi Moshe Yaakov Rosen of Everything Breslov here. (If he doesn't have the new sefer yet, he probably has it on order from the publisher.)

Breslov Lag ba-Omer Celebrations

There will be a celebration in honor of the Hilulah of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, iy"H on Wednesday night after Maariv at the home of Mr and Mrs Jack Klein, 19 Briarwood Road, Monsey, NY. The public is invited to share in the refreshments, divrei Torah, rikkudim and bonfire. Rav Elazar Mordechai Kenig, shlit"a, of Tsfat is expected to attend the event.

On Thursday Evening at the Breslov Shtiebel of Borough Park, there will be a public se'udah in honor of the Hilulah of Rabbi Shimon. Minchah will be at 7:00pm, followed by the se'udah, featuring several speakers and culminating in a rikkud outside the shul: Cong. D' Chasidei Breslov, 5504 16th Ave, Borough Park (Brooklyn). Anyone who would like to be mishtatef in the cost of the Seudah, please contact R' Shlomo Yitzchok Lichter at or call: R' Yitzchok Alter Fisch 917-577-0668 or R' Shlome Yitzchok Lichter 718-496-2810

Other Lag ba-Omer events locally will be held at the Breslov Shuls in Monsey (on Main Street), Monroe, and Williamsburg. We are sorry that we don't have more details at this time.