Breslov Newsletter 2



Breslov Newsletter 2
Torah and Chessed Institutions
Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva
Weekly English Newsletter from Rav Shalom Arush's Yeshiva
Shmuel Hanavi 13, Jerusalem
Visit us on the web at
Parashat Vaera, 5772
Words from our Rosh Yeshiva
Bringing the Moshiach, part 2, Learning How to Pray
Last week we learned how each and every single Jew has an
aspect of the Moshiach inside of them. We also explained that
the main way to guard and in fact reveal this aspect of Moshiach is by overcoming the desire for niuf (immoral desires, immodesty, etc.). We then said that the main weapon we have in
order to be able to overcome this desire, or to gain any good
attribute is prayer. Now we will continue with the Rosh Yeshivas
words explaining how one can acquire and use this weapon of
s long as a person does not have and use this service of
praying, anything that he will learn or hear will always remain in potential, and he will not be able to bring it into actual
practice. For the only way to bring what a person learns into
practice is by praying extensively in order to fulfil what one has
Anyone who is truthful with himself will admit that he is very far
from fulfilling all that he has learned. Even regarding the fulfilling of simple halachot (like preparing netillat yadayim by your
bed, birkat hamazon, etc.), how much more so is a person far
from fulfilling those mitzvot which are dependent on the heart
(like faith and trust in Hashem, happiness, etc.). Each time we
read a new lesson or hear a new class, and we are supposed
to do this, or behave like this, etc. Each time a new understanding is put into our head, and then another new concept is
learned; but where are we holding as far as the fulfilment of
any of these new concepts? Each one of us knows that we are
not succeeding in fulfilling all of these new things that we are
The single piece of advice that includes all other advice, is the
advice of prayer. That is, after one hears some new teaching or
learns of some new practice that seems proper and fitting, one
then has to go and pray in order to be able to fulfil it. Each new
thing a person learns is generally very hard to fulfil, and unless
a person learns to pray, then all these new teachings will not be
able to help him. Therefore, we must learn the 'advice of all advice,' which is prayer. Through prayer, a person can come to
being able to fulfil all the new teachings and practices
that he learns, he will be able to draw it down from
potential into actual and actually do it.
This is the simple explanation of what Rebbe Nachman taught us in LM II:25, that it is good for a person
to make prayers from his Torah learning. Whatever
lesson he learns or advice he receives from the true
Tzaddikim, he should then take that and turn it into
his own personal prayer. This was the secret of how
Rebbe Natan became the greatest of Rebbe Nachman's followers. After hearing a lesson from the
Rebbe, the other Chassidim would all go to sleep.
Rebbe Natan would spend the rest of that night in the
forest crying out to Hashem to make him worthy of
fulfilling the lesson or the advice that he had just
learned. He would beg Hashem to help him know the
proper way to put it into action and to help him never
forget or lose this wonderful teaching.
Rav Arush suggests that each of us should take 30
minutes out of our day to pray on one specific universal thing such as guarding the eyes, modesty or happiness, etc. Then within that 30 minutes, we can
bring in any new thing we are currently learning and
pray for it as well. We will then see how each new
thing we learn reinforces the one thing we are praying for as 'all rivers lead to the sea.' May we all merit
seeing the fulfilment of all our prayers, Amen.
Rav Shalom Arush
A Daily Stroll Through the Garden
The Garden of Gratitude, pages 21-40
oin us as we pace ourselves through Rav Shalom
Arush's books, which have given so many people
the ability to overcome and succeed in the face of
life's most difficult trials and tribulations. We will be
starting with "The Garden of Gratitude" with a pace of
about 3 pages per day which should take only about
5 minutes a day. (You can find "The Garden of Gratitude" at your local Jewish bookstore or it can be ordered on line at
To sponsor this newsletter please contact Jerusalem: 011 972 2 532 3339, New York: 718 577 2975.
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Avodat HaShem
The Concept of Modesty
odesty or tzniut is a very misunderstood concept in Judaism. It is
not something that is necessarily defined by the clothes you wear, nor does
it apply only to a woman, as we will
soon explain G-d willing. When I
looked up the actual word tzanua I
found it to mean; decent, humble, modest and meek. I was
thinking about it for some time, and it became clear to me
that the whole concept of modesty only applies when you
put G-d in the picture. That is, one has to be decent, humble, modest and meek in front of their Creator. Hashem
then opened my eyes to find in Rebbe Nachman's writings
something which I believe will help us tie all the above together for a much better understanding of the concept of
modesty. Following is a translation of Sichot HaRan #136:
Rebbe Natan writes: I heard a further discussion on the lesson appearing in Likkutei Moharan 172 on the verse, "The
whole world is filled with His glory (Isaiah 6:3)," from one of
my companions.
The main thing is to nullify every one of your negative personality traits. You must strive to do so until you have totally
obliterated your ego, rendering it into absolute nothingness
before G-d. Begin with one trait and annihilate it completely.
Then work on your other traits, one at a time, until they are
totally nonexistent. As you annihilate all the negative parts
of your own personality, G-d's glory will begin to shine
through you and be revealed. It is written in Ezekiel 43:2,
"And the Earth was alight with His glory." G-d's glory is like
The larger an object, the greater it's shadow. A thin rod
casts a very small shadow, while a more substantial object
casts a larger shadow. A great building will cast an even
larger shadow. As more light is obstructed, a greater
shadow is cast. The same is true of G-d's glory. The material obstructs the spiritual and casts a shadow. The denser
the object, the deeper a shadow it will cast.
When you are bound to a negative emotion or desire, it obstructs G-d's glory and casts a shadow. G-d's light is then
hidden from you. But as you nullify these emotions and desires, you also remove this shadow. And as the shadow departs, the light of G-d's glory is revealed.
When a person is worthy of annihilating the shadow completely and making it into absolute nothingness, then G-d's
glory is revealed to all the earth. There is no obstructing
shadow, and the light can shine through in all of its' glory.
It is written, "The whole earth is filled with His glory." 'Filled'
is melo, which can also be read milo - from nothing. "From
nothing is all the earth His glory." When there is nothing –
nothing casting a shadow and obstructing His light – then
His glory is revealed in all the earth.
Now I think we can get back to our explanation of modesty.
The real idea of being modest in front of Hashem lies in
making yourself bitul nullified in front of Hashem. Then we
can fulfil our mission and the true purpose of creation which
is to reveal G-d to the whole world.
With that being said, let us now apply this new understanding to clothing and how we dress. If we are wearing our
clothes in order to reveal, accentuate, draw attention to and
display our bodies, than we are doing the exact opposite of
what is necessary to allow G-d's glory to shine through us.
Instead of revealing Hashem through our dress, in this
case we are using our clothing to in fact cast a bigger
shadow which actually blocks out Hashem's light.
It should also be clear to us now, that this concept applies
equally to men and women. It is not anymore a question of
how long or short your skirt is, how tight and stretchy it is,
or how long and flowing that wig you are wearing is for
women, and similarly for men, how tight and fitted your suit
is, how pointy and shiny your shoes are, etc. Now we can
look at modesty with a whole different approach; and that
is, am I putting on my clothing to draw attention to myself,
which takes away the attention from Hashem, or am I using
my clothing to cover and conceal my body which will allow
Hashem's glory to fully shine through me. This should be
the real question we ask ourselves every morning when we
stand in front of the mirror and get dressed.
May we all merit being a fitting vessel to allow G-d's light to
shine through us, and may we be worthy of seeing the fulfilment of the prophecy that the whole world will be filled with
G-d's glory, Amen.
Insights on the Parasha
Why is Hashem doing this to me?
ast week's parasha ended with Moshe asking Paroh to
release the Jews. Not only did Paroh refuse, but he
even increased the workload and burden of the Jewish
slaves. The Jews then complained to Moshe and Aharon
about their increased burden, so Moshe turned to Hashem
and asked, "Why have You worsened the situation of this
This week's parasha opens up with the verses, "Elokim
spoke to Moshe and said to him, I am Hashem. I appeared
to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov as E-l Sha-ddai, but My
Name of Hashem, I did not make known to them."
Rashi explains that this opening verse is a continuation of
the previous parasha when Moshe asked, "Why have You
worsened the situation of this people?" And Hashem's answer to that question was, "Elokim (The Name that represents G-d's aspect of judgement) spoke to Moshe and said
to him, I am Hashem (The Name that represents G-d's aspect of mercy)."
Therefore, all the questions and doubts we have about
Hashem, are brought about because of a concealment of
the emett (truth). For from the emett is drawn out the ways
of Hashem, and these ways are beyond our understanding
and comprehension. Like the example of the righteous person who suffers and the wicked person who prospers. All
this (the fact that Hashem's ways are hidden from and beyond our understanding) is done for the sake of our having
free choice.
Marriage & Family
he Rebbe often warned us to honor and respect our
wives. He said, "Women have much anguish from their
children. They suffer in pregnancy and childbirth and then
have the troubles of raising their children. This is besides
the many other areas in which they suffer for you. You
should take this into consideration and honor and respect
your wives."
This is what is meant by, "Elokim spoke," the aspect of
strict judgement, "And He said to him (Moshe), I am
Hashem," the aspect of mercy. That is, Hashem was making it known to Moshe that Hashem is Elokim, judgement is
really mercy; both are really one. The aspect of mercy and
the aspect of judgement are both one in the most truthful
way, it is just that we do not have the ability to fully understand this, for the essence of Hashem's ways are beyond
our understanding, just like His existence itself is beyond
our understanding.
The Talmud teaches us, "Honor your wives that you may
have wealth." It also states, "It is sufficient that they raise
our children."
And this is what is meant by, "I appeared to Avraham,
Yitzchak and Yaakov as E-l Sha-ddai, and My Name
Hashem, I did not make known to them." This is because
the main revelation of G-dliness in the world came through
the Avot (Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov) and it would be
impossible to reveal it all in one solid dose. Truth has to be
revealed level by level in this world in order to maintain an
aspect of free choice. The ultimate truth of Hashem's Oneness, that Hashem (mercy) and Elokim (judgement) is one,
will only be fully revealed with the coming of the Moshiach.
(Likkutei Halachot on the parasha)
ow that we have just learned this, let us try to live with
this level of emuna (faith), even in situations that go beyond and against our own understanding. The homework
for this week is that no matter what happens to us, we must
not react with anger, worry or frustration. Rather, we should
stop ourselves, take a deep breath of patience and say, "I
know this is from You Hashem, and I therefore know that
this is for my good – even though I do not understand it." At
this point we can even go so far as to thank Hashem for the
good that we know he is currently doing for us. This attitude
will allow us to merit seeing things for the true good that
they really are. As Rebbe Natan teaches us, "If we would
all listen to the words of the true Tzaddikim and follow this
path, to have constant emunah in Hashem that all is for the
good, and we would give praise and thanks to Hashem for
both the good and the apparent not good, as it is written,
'To Hashem I will praise, to Elokim I will praise,' then certainly we would nullify all the troubles and all the exiles
completely and we would already be experiencing the full
May Hashem bless us all to go in the ways of emuna,
praise and thanksgiving, and may we all soon experience
the full and final redemption of our people, Amen
(Sichot HaRan #264)
A Story for the Shabbos Table
The Importance of the Mikvah
This story was told by Rav Yosef Mugravi shlit"a, who was
very close to Rav Elazar Abuhatzera zt"l.
nce when I was waiting to enter into the room and
speak with Rav Elazar Abuhatzera zt"l, I began speaking with a yeshiva student who was waiting in the line
ahead of me to speak with the Rav. As we were talking, he
told me of the reason he had come. He had a question to
ask the Rav regarding the mikvah. His situation was as follows, each morning he awoke an hour before prayers and
he had two options in front of him, either to sit and learn
Gemara before prayers, or to go to the mikvah in which
case he would have to forgo the extra Gemara learning
each morning. He then asked me what I thought the Rav
would answer him, so I said that certainly it would seem to
me that the Rav would tell you to learn Torah since we
know that there is nothing greater than learning Torah. I
then asked him to please come back and tell me what the
Rav indeed answered him on his way out.
On his way out he came to me and said that the Rav told
him, "Certainly going to the mikvah is preferable." I was a
bit in shock by this answer and when my turn came
around, I asked the Rav about this matter, to explain to me
why indeed going to the mikvah was preferable than the
extra learning? So Rebbe Elazar explained to me as follows,
Once when I was a young boy in Morocco, my grandmother came to me in the morning and said to me, "Elazar,
a long time has passed since morning prayers, and your
grandfather (the Baba Sali) who left the house at midnight
has still not returned, please go to the shul and see where
he is." I immediately ran to the shul to find that he was not
there nor had anyone seen him that morning for prayers. I
then ran in the direction of the river where my grandfather
used to dip every midnight before he spent the rest of the
night in learning. To my shock, I saw my grandfather lying
on the ground by the edge of the river nearly completely
[Continued on Page 4, Column 1]
[Continued from Page 3, Column 2 “Story”]
passed out. Of course I immediately assisted him and then
I asked him what had happened? He told me that at hatzot
(midnight) when he came to dip, he was swept away by the
current nearly to the depth
of the river which was
mostly frozen over at that
time. Then after great effort
and exertion, he was finally
able to save himself. However, he fell over from exhaustion on the bank of the
river until that moment
when I had arrived. I then
asked him in amazement,
"But Grandfather, was it really worth it to risk your life
to dip in the river and as a result you missed out on a whole
night of learning as well as prayers at the netz hachama
(sunrise)?" My grandfather then gave me an answer which
became deeply engraved in me. He said, "It would be
preferable for me to die for the mikvah, than to learn and to
pray without the mikvah."
(Of course it should be clear that one should not risk their
life in order to go to the mikvah, this was only fitting for
someone as holy as the Baba Sali. In any event, we can
take the mussar from this story of the great importance of
going to the mikvah each morning which purifies a person
and lifts his learning and praying to a much greater level.)
The Rebbe’s Promise
hen my days are over and I leave this world, I will
still intercede for anyone who comes to my grave,
gives a coin to charity and says these Ten Psalms. No matter how great his sins, I will do everything in my power,
spanning the length and breadth of the creation to cleanse
and protect him. I will pull him out by his peyos from
gehenom. I am very sure of everything I say, but I am most
sure in regard to the great benefit of these Ten Psalms.”
The Ten Psalms are 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137,
150. They are also very beneficial to say at any time.
Gems of Rebbe Nachman
mmersing in the mikvah is the cure for all troubles. The
mikvah has the power to purify us from every kind of sin
and impurity. The spiritual power of the mikvah is rooted in
the most exalted levels of wisdom and love (Likkutei Etzot,
Mikvah #1).
mmersing in a mikvah helps to make it easier to earn a living and receive the flow of blessing. Strife and anger are
dissipated and in their place comes peace, love, deep wisdom, healing, length of days, and the power to arouse peo-
ple to return to G-d (ibid. #2)
here are people who like to disguise miracles with the
claim that it is just nature. When these non- believers,
who do not have faith in miracles, are removed from the
Earth, and emuna increases in the world, then the Moshiach will come, for the redemption is dependent on faith
(Etzot, Emett and Emuna #3).
Schedule of Classes
English classes offered at the Chut Shel Chessed
Yeshiva (Shmuel Hanavi 13, Jerusalem)
9:00 – 10:00
9:00 – 10:00
Daf Yomi shiur
Gemara Taanit
Rav Dror Moshe Cassouto
10:15 – 11:30
Gemara Chagiga
11:45 – 12:30 Likkutei Moharan
12:30 – 1:00
Sifrei Rav Arush
10:30 - 11:45
Rav Nasan Maimon
Likkutei Halachot (
1:00 Mincha
Rav Yishai Tokayer
1:30 – 2:15
2:15 – 3:00
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
Introduction to Breslev
Rav Ashi Dick
3:00 – 4:00
4:00 – 5:00
Chumash with Mefarshim
Gemara skills
5:00 Maariv
Rav Micha Golchevsky
5:30 - 8:00
Halacha and Chassidut
Wed Afternoons (open to men and women):
4:30 - 5:00
Rav Elgrod Halacha
5:00 - 6:00
Rav Dr. Zev Ballen
6:15 - 6:45 Rav Nasan Maimon
7:15 - 8:15 Rav Lazer Brody
View the Wed. classes live at
Thursday Nights Up All Night:
9:00 pm – 12:00 Yehoshua Goldstein
Likkutei Etzot, Zohar on the Parasha,
Likkutei Halachot, Rebbe Nachman's Stories
For more info about the classes
Call Avraham at 054 846 9072

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