Sunday, December 30, 2012

Parchment and Ink

הלכות ערב ד:ז

When a Jew wraps himself with a tallis and puts on tefillin he draws upon himself the holiness of the parchment and  ink of a sefer Torah.  And, when he davens and reads Krias Shema it is as if he writes and etches the letters of the Torah in ink upon the parchment.  This kedusha is then whole and complete - that is - the writing of a sefer Torah, which contains everything.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

168th Yartzheit of Reb Nosson zt"l

פרפראות לחכמה סא: ח

Reb Nosson's passing was directly connected to the three tragedies that took place in Teves.  Ezra was a scribe: he spread Torah among the Jews.  Reb Nosson was Rebbe Nachman's scribe - he was the only one of his followers who worked constantly to spread his teachings as widely as possible.  Even people who never met the Rebbe are aroused to serve Hashem through his writings all because of Reb Nosson.

With the passing of the scribe there is a reduction in the spreading of Torah, as manifested in the translation of the Torah into Greek (which obscured the deeper meaning of the Hebrew text).  This corresponds to the imposition of secular studies and atheism on the Jews in our times.

Heresy leads to the siege of Jerusalem and exile, corresponding to the infamous Russian Pale of Settlement and the mass migrations of Eastern European Jewry, which began around Reb Nosson's passing.  Not for nothing did Reb Nosson mention these three tragedies and exhort his followers to "be strong with money, willpower, and effort," and make sure to spread the Rebbe's teachings.

שיח שרפי קודש קס"ח

Before his passing, Reb Nosson spoke about the "three laws," with the Breslover Chassidim should observe.  They must:

  1. Go to Uman for Rosh Hashannah
  2. Study the Shulchan Aruch every day
  3. Practice hisbodedus every day

שיח שרפי קודש תרנ"ה

Reb Naftali, who was in Uman, already knew that Reb Nosson had passed away.  When asked how he knew, Reb Naftali answered, "I had a dream in which I saw Reb Nosson running quickly,  I said 'Reb Nosson! Where are you running?' 'Me?' he said.  'Straight to the Rebbe!' "

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Light of the Tzaddikim

ל"ה -חלכות כבוד רבו ותלמיד חכם ג:יח

It is forbidden to derive material pleasure from the Channukah lights.  The holiday of Channukah was instituted by Chazal, and the lights of Channukah correspond to the true tzaddikim.  The implication is that one should not seek the light of the tzaddik for material benefit, as it is common in our generation.  Rather, one must attach oneself to the tzaddikim for spiritual purposes only.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Translation of Likutei Halachos

Work on the translation of Likutei Halachos by Breslov Research Institute to being soon. Click here for more.

Pe'er HaLikutim

פאר הליקוטים is a new sefer published by Shir Chadash (R' Yisrael Yitzchak Bezinson) located in Tel Aviv.  The layout is set up like a standard gemara daf.  Without any reservations, I think that this is the most extraordinary edition of Likutei Moharan ever published (at least in my collection).  The commentaries and excerpts are exhaustive and span the entire corpus of Torah literature including items from many different Chassidic seforim, ie Degel Machaneh Ephraim and Kedushas Levi.

If you want to learn Likutei Moharan thoroughly, b'iyun, you need this sefer.  Unfortunately, only the first 6 Torahs have been published.  The entire project may take a few years to complete, but certainly worth the wait.

The sefer can be purchased here, and comes in a large and small.  I have the "small" version, which is actually pretty big.

Here is a sample page.

A Jew Must Bind Himself To The Wisdom In Everything

הלכות פקדון ד:יט

Everything has a root up on high.   Even though the things that exist in this world are clothed in physicality and corporeality, the main components of all things are located Above.  All things are imbued with wisdom and insight - this is the aspect that is up on high Heavenward. It is a Jew's task in this world to bind the phsyical aspect of all things to their root in Heaven.