Thursday, April 26, 2012

Out-of-Print Sifrei Breslov

There isn't much information about the seforim listed below other than the Zissil page that briefly mentions them and the brief descriptions on the bibliography page.  It's astounding how many out-of-print seforim are out there.  Most people have never seen them partly because no one ever thought they would be profitable to print and sell...
Most Breslov seforim I have seen from the early 1900s are copies of Sichos/Shivchei HaRan arranged in different orders.

Emunas Uman - A collection of about 42 letters shared between Breslov elders, and about 19 correspondences between Rabbeinu z"l and Reb Nosson not printed elsewhere.  First printed in 1966.

Neve Tzaddikim - Printed in 1969 by R' Nosson Tzvi Kenig z"l, compiler of Toras Nosson

Sha'aris Yisroel - I believe this was also published by R' Nosson Tzvi Kenig.

Renat Tzion - A commentary on Likutei Moharan published in 1975.

Sha'aris Ya'akov

Ohr Tzaddikim - A collection of letters shared between Breslov elders in Poland.  Published in 1972.

Niemos Netzach - Collection of letters from Breslov elders compiled by R' Nosson Tzvi Kenig.  

Any thoughts?

A Sefer is Your Best Friend

קל"ה - הלכות ראש חודש ז:נה

Chazal says in Pirkei Avos 1:6, "Provide for yourself a rav, and get (kaneh) yourself a friend (chaver)"  It is brought down in different seforim that the word kaneh hints to the pen that one uses to write holy books. Ideally, one should find himself a rav, but if he cannot a way to rectify this is to get (kaneh) oneself a friend.  That is, one should attach (mechaber) holy books to himself and learn them well.  And, by doing this one will know who the true rav is.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mashiach is Born Everyday

LIkutei Halachos - Hilchos Tefillin 5:15

It is said about Mashiach, "Today I have given birth to you." (Tehillim 2:7) For, Mashiach will completely merit this concept, which relates to longevity. Every moment he will begin to live anew, as if he were born today, which is an aspect of, "Today, I have given birth to you." Mashiach will achieve the concept of being above physical time, as Rabbeinu z"l explains on the above mentioned passuk. Look inside Likutei Moharan I Torah 61.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Drawing Down the Holiness of Eretz Yisrael

קל"ה - הלכות בית כנסת ה:א

(Painting of the Galil by Lael Har)

The essence of a shul's holiness is drawn down from the holiness of Eretz Yisrael, for in Eretz Yisrael is the essence of the ascent of prayer, as it is written, "and pray to You toward their land." (Melachim I 8:48)  And the essence of the holiness of Eretz Yisrael is through, "He has declared to His people the power of His works." (Tehillim 111:6)  This corresponds to what Razal relates, "He took it [Eretz Yisrael] from them and gave it to us," (Rashi on Bereishis), for through this we have to power to sanctify every place in the word with the holiness of Eretz Yisrael.  As such, the holiness of a shul draws upon the concept of conquering Eretz Yisrael, for through, "He declared to his people the power of His works," they were able to conquer the land.  And therefore through building shuls and batei midrash for the sake of Heaven, the way one must act, walk, and return to our holy land, and to conquer it from the hand of the Sitra-Achra is drawn down to us even now.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Light of the Moon Will Be Like the Light of the Sun

קל"ה - הלכות ראש חודש ה:יב

(Painting by Marc Chagall)

The sun and the moon correspond to Moshe and Dovid HaMelech, which in turn relate to glory and kingship, which relate to Torah and prayer respectively.  As is known, the years are counted according to the cycles of the sun, and the months according to the cycles of the moon.  Therefore, on Rosh HaShanah, which is on Rosh Chodesh, the sun and the moon are like one, that is, both are equal in stature.  This relates to the idea that the "light of the moon is like the light of the sun."  This happens once the quality of prayer is increased by turning the Torah that one learns into prayer, and by praying that the Torah be sustained.

Rectification of the Moon and Prayer

קל"ה - הלכות ראש חודש א:א

Blemished prayer is a concept of a flaw within the moon.  On Rosh Chodesh, which is a time of rectification for the moon since it will begin to become full again, it is also a time for the rectification of prayer.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gut Shabbos!

ליקוטי תפילות יט

Please, Hashem - You know that I don't have the power to bring the holiness of Shabbos by myself.  Have pity on me and arouse Your love for me.  You know how far I am from experiencing the true holiness of Shabbos.  Be kind to me and grant me the true holiness of Shabbos as an outright gift.  Let me add to Shabbos at its beginning and its end, and help me draw the holiness of Shabbos into the other days of the week until all the six working days will have the purity and holiness of Shabbos.  (The Fiftieth Gate)

Closeness to the Shechinah at Night

קל"ה - הלכות תפילה א:ב

The Torah that one learns at night has a greater chance of rising to the Shechina, both from man's side and from the Shechinah's side.  This is because at night a person is better able to nullify and attach himself to Hashem than during the day.  Night is a time when the world is much more still and the concerns of this physical world are not being pursued.  Also, the Shechinah comes close to the person who is learning Torah at night and listens to his voice as it is written, "Arise, cry out in the night at the beginning of the watches, pour your heart out like water before Hashem's face." (Eichah 2:19)  Specifically Hashem's face, because the Shechinah is so close, and [the person learning Torah] he is literally in front of Hashem's face.  At night the Shechinah dwells in the lower worlds, and the essence of her comfort is through being close to one who is learning Torah.

What Creates Rain and Dew?

קל"ה - הלכות תפילה א:א

Dew and rain are made from one's Torah study.  That is, when one learns Torah at night rain is made, and through one's learning during the day dew is made.  Therefore, during the winter [when the nights are very long] when one mostly learns during the night time, we say [during Shemona Esrei] He who causes the rain to fall and during the summer time we say He who causes the dew to fall.  

However, because of study that isn't befitting and doesn't rise up to the Shechinah, one causes the rains to stop, Heaven forbid.

Breslov Connect

Our friends over at Breslov Research Institute have started a new project with the goal of bringing yidden together to learn the Rebbe's seforim.  The site is called Breslov Connect, and helps facilitate chevrusas in person, on the phone, through skype, and a few other ways.  The site is still under construction, but should be fully operational very soon.  You can still sign up as I have already done!
Check it out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seforim for Sefiras HaOmer +Shavuos

An entire sefer dedicated to the HaKdoma of Likutei Moharan elaborating on the greatness of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai. Purchase the sefer here.

Breslov insights into Shavuos.  Purchase this sefer here.

A collection of practical guidance and advice on how to improve our middos during the days of Sefiras HaOmer enabling us to prepare for Kabbalas HaTorah on Shavuos.  Arranged according to the 49 days cycle and advises us about each individual day.  Purchase this sefer here.

Breslov insights into Lag BaOmer.  Purchase this sefer here.

Breslov insights into Shavuos.  Purchase this sefer here.

Stories of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai and his son Reb Elozor gleaned from Shas, Midrash, and the Zohar.  Purchase this sefer here.

The Importance of Netilas Yadayim

קל"ה - הלכות נטילת ידים לסעודה ג:ב

Neglecting the mitzvah of washing one's hands before a meal is a concept of the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, which encompasses all the prohibitions and sins in the Torah.  From this neglect comes the grasp of the Sitra Achra/Contamination of the Snake.  It is because of this neglect that Chazal said a person deserves death, a concept of, "Because on the day that you will eat from it you will surely die."  But, through washing one's hands before a meal a person draws upon himself purity, as in, "the river comes forth from Eden," which is a concept of the Sea of Wisdom.  Then, a person's eating corresponds to 'manna that lightens within him the radiance of Hashem's Will.'

Monday, April 16, 2012

Torah from the Tzaddik

קל"ה - הלכות ברכת התורה א:ב

A person must travel to the Tzaddik to hear words of Torah directly from his lips, because then one is able to receive the light of the Torah, which is a blessing and an elixir.  But even if one does hear words of Torah from the true Tzaddik, he is unable to fully receive these words except through guarding his bris.

Kabbalas HaTorah

קל"ה - הלכות ברכת התורה א:א

By going out from the Exile of Egypt, which is the nakedness of the land and a concept of sexual immorality, and sanctifying ourselves in the 49 days of Sefiras HaOmer, which encompasses all the letters in the names of the Tribes, which is a concept of "the holiness of one's bris or covenant," one can merit to receive the Torah on Shavuos.  The whole purpose of receiving the Torah is that it [Torah] should be a blessing and an elixir.  This can only be done through  the holiness of one's bris.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Shiur on the Birth of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

I highly recommend the following shiur given by R' Nasan Maimon on Lag Ba'Omer and the fascinating story behind the birth of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai zt"l.  Enjoy!

Sleep and the Desire for Money

קל"ה - הלכות שבועות א:א

When a person is able to stay awake the entire night and break his desire to sleep he is then able to break his desire for money.  As a result he is able to rely solely on Divine Providence, which is a concept of open eyes that are not threatened.  

Most of the holy sparks and sunken souls are contained within money, because the essence of the scattering of one's soul happens through the desire for money. The tzaddik who is able to completely break the desire for money is able to draw all of the sunken souls that had fallen because of money.  He is able to protect, gather, and uplift them to the highest holiness.  By doing this, the tzaddik makes a tremendous unification in Heaven, and is thereby able to draw down Torah. Through this complete Divine Providence is drawn into the world.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How Does Food Sustain A Person?

קל"ה, הלכות פסח ג:א

Everything in the world is rooted in four essential elements: fire, air, water, and earth.  Man and the food that he eats are also rooted in these elements.  The essence of one's "life-spirit" is drawn into a person through the food that he eats as is empirically observed.  Through this a person's vitality is sustained.  But, the fact of the matter is that it is not only through bread alone that a person is sustained, that is, "through all that comes forth from Hashem's mouth," meaning, man is sustained through the "life-spirit" that Hashem draws into the food that is eaten.  The essence of this vitality is from the Torah, from where the "life-spirit" is drawn as elaborated inside [both Likutei Moharan and Likutei Halachos].

Therefore, one needs to eat according to the Torah and Halacha, which relates to the concept of, "And Your Torah is within my inner parts." (Tehilim 40:9)  No food item has strength to sustain a person unless it is bound up in Torah, which is the source of its vitality.  Again, this is a concept of, "All that which comes from Hashem's mouth gives life to man."   This corresponds to the brocha that a person must say on every food item he wishes to eat, because the brocha relates to "All that which comes from Hashem's mouth, etc," which relates to the "life-spirit" of holiness.   This is the essence of vitality.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How To Eat Chametz in Joy and Holiness

קל"ה, הלכות פסח, ב:ב

The redemption from Egypt is a concept of joy and freedom, as in, "in joy you will go out."  And, therefore we must eat matzah, for matzah is a concept of joy.  On the other hand, chametz and sourdough (שאור) correspond to severely prohibited grief and sighing.

But all of this is only on Pesach, for at this time the Sitra-Achra has a limited grasp and control.  Therefore, Klal Yisrael needed to leave Egypt in haste, because the Sitra-Achra was subdued for only a short amount of time.  So, one must free himself from the grief and sighing that correspond to chametz and sourdough, so they do not interfere and confuse our joy.  Therefore, one must eat only matzah and no chametz [on Pesach].

The holy Zohar explains that the matzah is a remedy, [matzah is a concept of joy] because joy is a remedy for all ailments.  And, through using this remedy (matzah) a person is able to eat chametz [which is normally related to grief and sighing] after Pesach, and it will be in holiness and in joy.

But, on Shavuos when Klal Yisrael stood at Mt. Sinai and was able to control the inclination, the Sitra-Achra was completely subdued.  And, therefore on Shavuos one has to bring two loaves of bread, which are chametz, as an offering.  This is the essence of complete holy joy - to drive away one's grief and sighing and turn it into joy.

So, in the future when joy will abound, there will only be the Offering of Thanks (Todah), which includes chametz.  This is because it is the essence of complete joy.  It will only be in the future, because only then will the Sitra-Achra be completely eradicated.  And, therefore this time will be known as, "you will not go out in haste."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mekor Chochma Siddur

The number of Breslov seforim available today in both Hebrew and English is astounding.  I personally have a taiva to purchase Breslov seforim of all sorts - especially editions of Likutei Moharan that include various peirushim.  One particular sefer that I am extremely fond of is the Mekor Chochma siddur.  This siddur was compiled and published by Reb Shmuel Heshil Friedman, a talmid of Reb Avraham Sternhartz in Tel Aviv in 1924.  

A number of people I know including myself have wondered if there is any "Breslov Chitas" available.  This siddur is definitely it.  The siddur is divided into three volumes: weekday, Shabbos and Yom Tov, and the topic of Kedushas Eretz Yisrael.  Each volume is accompanied by all pertinent halachos from the "Derech Hachayim" and extensive excerpts from the whole corpus of Breslov serforim.  I highly recommend this siddur to anyone and everyone.  Literally every Shabbos someone asks to flip through the siddur and always appears very impressed with what they find.  I can also add that personally, any relevant passages placed beside the tefillot are very helpful in aiding with on-the-spot comprehension of what I am saying during davening.

The siddur can be purchased from Rabbi Rosen at his online seforim store,

Eating Joyfully Rectifies the Act of Eating

קל"ה, הלכות פסח, ב:א

The ten types of pulses within a person get their strength and vitality through the food that a person eats.  And, because the essence of the vitality of the ten pulses correspond to the ten types of song, which relate to happiness, the rectification for eating is by eating with joy.  It is written, "Go, and eat your bread joyfully."  The opposite is, "In sadness she will eat," which draws forth from the concept of the blemish caused by eating from the Tree of Da'as.  This relates to the ten mitzvot that one does with bread as well as the ten words in the bracha said over bread, "HaMotzi Lechem Min HaAretz."  All of this relates to the ten types of song, which are the concept of joy, which is the essence of the rectification of one's eating.
קל"ה, הלכות פסח : א

The Exodus from Egypt is related to the revelation of da'as, from which come three effects: the well, the cloud, and the mahn.  These items correspond to the acts of eating, drinking, and dress.  And, these items relate to the three mitzvos done at the seder, for matzah relates to a persons brain and da'as.  It is through da'as that one merits to wage war against Amalek.  He also merits the concept of tikkun habris and the holiness of Shabbos, which relates to the idea of completely nullifying evil.  All of these aforementioned concepts are hinted to by every aspect of the Pesach seder and the mitzvah of Counting the Omer after the first day of Pesach.

New Idea. What do you think?

It has been quite some time since I last posted any translations or musings.  This is what happens when life gets in the way.  I would like to return to posting regularly.

Although there aren't many who frequent this site, I have been told by a handful of individuals that they enjoy the relevance of the excerpts I select to translate as well as some of my immediate thoughts.
While there are many brief passages in Likutei Halachos that are inspiring on their own, it is sometimes very insufficient to translate one small passage.  Every statement in the sefer relies on previous and upcoming statements, and translating a tiny fragment of a Halacha leaves much to be desired.  Yet, translating all the Halachos for a given topic is not so simple due to background that should be elaborated, and unfortunately I do not have time to do it.  Maybe someone else would be interested to translate entire Halachos and post on this blog?   In general, it would be great if other people would post on this blog.  I'm open to any postings that are relevant to Sifrei Breslov.  The blog has a lot of potential.

I have decided that in the meantime I would be much more capable of translating sections of Kitzur Likutei Halachos, which is essentially Otzar HaYirah arranged according to the order of the Likutei Halachos and the Shulchan Aruch.  Otzar HaYirah was written by R. Nachman of Tcherin, a talmid of Reb Nosson.
I would love to know what people think about this.

כל טוב וחג פסח כשר ושמח