Thursday, June 10, 2021

Sivan and Tammuz

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

Khof Sivan

It was customary throughout the Ukraine and Russia to recite selichos on the twentieth of Sivan, including in the Breslover community. This commemoration of the 6,000 martyrs of the Nemirov massacre of 1648 persisted in Eretz Yisrael and chutz la-aretz until recent years, when it began to fall into neglect. However, Reb Noson mentions it in Likutey Halakhos.
(See Likutey Halakhos, Shluchin 5:36; Chovel Be-chavero 3:7, 9. The selichos for Khof Sivan are printed in the Siddur Tefillah Yesharah-Berditchev and elsewhere.)


Reb Avraham Sternhartz used to fast on Khof Sivan.
(Rabbi Avraham Shimon Burshteyn, in the name of Rabbi Moshe Burshteyn)

Ches Tammuz

In Uman, selichos were also recited on the eighth of Tammuz, when many thousands of Jewish men, women, and children were slaughtered during the Haidamak uprisings of the same period. However, this minhag has also fallen into disuse.


Reb Avraham Sternhartz used to fast on Ches Tammuz.
(Rabbi Avraham Shimon Burshteyn, in the name of Rabbi Moshe Burshteyn)

Khof-Beis Tammuz

The yahrtzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Bender, the central figure in the Breslov Kehillah of Yerushalayim after WWII, is 22 Tammuz. For a brief biography of Reb Levi Yitzchok, see hereA rare video of one of his shmuessen in Yiddish is also available online here. Together with his lifelong friend, Reb Elyah Chaim Rosen, Reb Levi Yitzchok rebuilt the Breslov community and devoted himself to preserving and passing on the Breslov mesorah from Uman. Much of this material has been transcribed from audio tapes and published as "Siach Sarfey Kodesh" in eight volumes. 

Khof-Gimmel Tammuz

This is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Gedaliah Aharon Kenig, talmid muvhak of Rabbi Avraham Sternhartz and founder of Mosdos Nachal Novea Mekor Chochma, the umbrella organization of the Tsfat Breslov community. Reb Gedaliah was a reknowned for his ahavas Yisrael, arichas apayim, and great wisdom both in understanding people and in all areas of Torah, particularly pnimiyus ha-Torah. He edited and published several seforim written by other Breslover Chassidim, including his teacher Reb Avraham’s Tovos Zikhronos and Reb Ephraim ben Naftali’s Likutey Even / Tefillas ha-Boker, as well as one original work, Chayei Nefesh, on the nature and role of the tzaddik. His other writings remain in manuscript.

Khof-Gimel Tammuz is also the yahrtzeit of sixteenth century kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Cordovero of Tzefas, author of Pardes Rimonim, Tomer Devorah, Ohr Ne’erav, and other important mystical works—a tzaddik with whom Reb Gedaliah felt a deep lifelong affinity. Reb Elazar, his brothers, and other chaveirim usually visit Reb Gedaliah’s kever on Har ha-Zeisim in Yerushalayim on the yahrtzeit, where they recite Tehillim and pray for Klal Yisrael in his merit.

An English translation of the first half of Reb Gedaliah’s “Chayei Nefesh” is available on the sidebar of this website. It is hoped that his other works, which include original commentaries on Likutey Moharan and Tikuney Zohar, as well as his letters and an encyclopedia of terms in Rebbe Nachman’s writings, will be published in the near future, be-ezras Hashem.

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