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Jerusalem - Rabbi Bar-Hayim Blasts Flocking To Uman, Says Pilgrims Trying To Escape Realities Of Life

Published on: August 29, 2013 11:23 AM
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Jerusalem - In an explosive interview, a well known but controversial Israeli Rabbi and lecturer came out strongly against the custom of going to Uman for Rosh Hashana, calling both the practices of needing an intermediary to approach Hashem and of flocking to the Ukraine for Rosh Hashana “a distortion of authentic Torah Judaism.”

Rabbi David Bar Hayim, head of Jerusalem’s Machon Shilo, who prefers to be known as a Halachic Jew instead of an Orthodox Jew, has been at the center of central hotly contested issues, having made a claim in 2007 that all Jews are permitted to eat kitniyos on Pesach and that Israeli Jews should use their lulavim when the first day of Succos falls out on Shabbos.  He is also a proponent of reviving the ages-old Nusach Eretz Yisroel and abandoning traditions of Eastern Europe and those established during the Babylonian exile in favor of ancient Israeli minhagim.

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R’ Bar-Hayim blasted those who make the pilgrimage to the kever of the Breslover Rebbe, R’ Nachman, particularly on Rosh Hashana, saying that while the Torah does not command us to make the annual trip to the Ukraine, it does instruct Jews to live in Israel.

“Of all days you would think on Rosh Hashana a Jew would want to be, if he could be, in Eretz Yisroel.”

R’ Bar Hayim suggested that claiming that Jews need to be in a location outside of Israel on Rosh Hashana is a concept that is foreign to Torah teaching and is akin to “adding a new mesorah to the Torah.”

Saying that the notion that the only proper way to approach Hashem is by connecting with a “super-tzaddik” such as R’ Nachman, the Lubavitcher Rebbe or any other holy individual “smacks of Christianity”, R’ Bar-Hayim cautioned that many are attracted to Breslov as a means of protecting themselves from the harsh realities of life.

“This kind of approach is essentially a religious and, as it were, sanctioned form of escapism,” said Rabbi Bar Hayim.  “But in fact it is not a sanctioned form of escapism. There is no such thing as sanctioned escapism.  Escapism is escapism.  Whether it is drugs or whether it is going to Uman, whether it is believing in a certain individual who died many years ago that he is the moshiach and insisting that this is the case.  No matter how many times you repeat such statements it doesn’t make it any more true.  No matter how many times a person goes to Uman it doesn’t make it any more correct.”’

FILE - An ultra orthodox Jewish man carries the Torah near the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the town of Uman, some 200 km (124 miles) south of Kiev, September 8, 2010.  ReutersFILE - An ultra orthodox Jewish man carries the Torah near the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the town of Uman, some 200 km (124 miles) south of Kiev, September 8, 2010.  Reuters

R’ Bar-Hayim acknowledged that when R’ Nachman’s followers were still living in the Ukraine, making the trek to his kever on Rosh Hashana was a logical move, meant to inspire and unite Bresolver chasidim in the absence of their rebbe.  But he expressed doubt that R’ Nachman, who frequently mentioned Israel in his writings, ever intended for his followers to leave Eretz Yisroel and travel to the Ukraine for Rosh Hashana.

“This is something quite ludicrous and flies in the face of everything the Torah teaches us,” observed R’ Bar-Hayim.

Noting that many find themselves uplifted by the pilgrimage, R’ Bar-Hayim suggested that they look to a closer source for inspiration, the words of Dovid Hamelech, designed to foster a deeper connection with Hashem and an essential part of every tefilla.

“Rather than looking for some strange, foreign and very, very devious substitute, let us turn to the real McCoy, the true source of tefilla which begins with Sefer Tehillim.”

R’ Bar-Hayim blasted the Ashkenazi Rosh Hashana davening, charging that many find it lengthy, cryptic, tiring and replete with “many piyutim which are not required by halacha” and are “extraneous to the core of tefilla.”  Suggesting that it be modified to a shorter nusach based on the teachings of chazal, gaonim and rishonim which would be shorter and more meaningful, R’ Bar-Hayim expressed his opinion that doing so might prevent people from looking to Uman for inspiration.

“Running away to Ukraine to escape problems of Ashkenzai davening is not the answer,” warned R’ Bar-Hayim.  “It is simply creating another problem.”


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1

 Aug 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM Mistahkurtz Says:

He's right about the Rosh HaShanah davening. My shul, which does not shlep and does not have a break takes between 5 and 6 hours. Why do we need to say so many piyyutim that nobody really understands anyway?

2

 Aug 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM Anonymous Says:

the rabbi cut his peyos is he a lubavitcher practicing. מנהג אבותיו or either sefardic and ashkenazig both didn't allow to cut their peyoss! proably just a run off the mill typical zionist israeli rabbi. שהעמיד דבריהם על ד"ת.. when it suits them.

3

 Aug 29, 2013 at 11:53 AM sane Says:

The whole Uman thing has become a circus. For many, it is nothing more than having some fun away from the wife an kids. It is utterly disrespectful to the holiness of the Yom Tov.

4

 Aug 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM Mekav Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

the rabbi cut his peyos is he a lubavitcher practicing. מנהג אבותיו or either sefardic and ashkenazig both didn't allow to cut their peyoss! proably just a run off the mill typical zionist israeli rabbi. שהעמיד דבריהם על ד"ת.. when it suits them.

Don't know about you, but some groups never grew peyos. Think about the Yekkes, the Danish community, the French community, etc. Not everyone in Europe were Chasidim... there were frum communities before the Chasidim showed up and changed "Minhag Avoseinu".

5

 Aug 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #4  
Mekav Says:

Don't know about you, but some groups never grew peyos. Think about the Yekkes, the Danish community, the French community, etc. Not everyone in Europe were Chasidim... there were frum communities before the Chasidim showed up and changed "Minhag Avoseinu".

WOW learned something new today, that PEYOS is a minhag from chasidim? EXCELLENT! You should get a plaque for that! I am a proud litvak a descendent of the biggest gedolim All of them had PEYOS and long! And btw just look at history the sfardim and Yemenite Jews all had peyos!

6

 Aug 29, 2013 at 12:32 PM Andrew Says:

I am always amazed that so many people put so much effort into criticizing what ... other people do. Why do you all care so much? Everyone should be free to do as they please. And if 30,000 people chose to go to Uman for what they find spiritually uplifting -- why should you all care??

Especially -- for those Israelis going to Uman: why are people not instead commending them for living there the rest of the year, and building their lives there. And for someone living in chutz l'aretz to criticize them is somewhat ... hypocritical.

But, so is that way of the world -- our world included.

Of course, we should all feel free to criticize ourselves for anything we need to repair and work on!

7

 Aug 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

the rabbi cut his peyos is he a lubavitcher practicing. מנהג אבותיו or either sefardic and ashkenazig both didn't allow to cut their peyoss! proably just a run off the mill typical zionist israeli rabbi. שהעמיד דבריהם על ד"ת.. when it suits them.

Chasidim only came about in Europe within the last few hundred years. Before that, they were all just "plain Ashkenazim". Peyos were cut-and still are today by many groups including yekkes, misnagdim, and others. Chassidus changed "minhag avoseinu"!! They are more "modern" than yekkes and others!

8

 Aug 29, 2013 at 01:09 PM The_Truth Says:

I totally agree with him, that Uman has become a bigger "religion" than Judaism to many. On the other hand, there are many to whom Judaism would be nothing if not for Uman. Rosh Hashona davening should be more inspiring in the majority of places and that gap has been filled with an escapism to Uman.

I want to know more about his views on Nusach Eretz Yisroel - what is it?

(Is it just me who smiled when I read the picture caption: "Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man carries Torah..." )

9

 Aug 29, 2013 at 01:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

the rabbi cut his peyos is he a lubavitcher practicing. מנהג אבותיו or either sefardic and ashkenazig both didn't allow to cut their peyoss! proably just a run off the mill typical zionist israeli rabbi. שהעמיד דבריהם על ד"ת.. when it suits them.

What a dumb response....rather than addressing the substantive merits of the Rav's arguments, he comments negatively on his hairstyle. The insanity of the Rosh Hoshanah Uman Pilgrimage has been criticized by many respected rabbonim but tolerated by the gadolim because they indirectly benefit from the personality cult it perpetuates. Stay home, daven with kavanah, and go to any of the many kivrei tzadikim in EY if you feel compelled to ask the Ebeshter for a special intervention.

10

 Aug 29, 2013 at 01:41 PM SandraM Says:

Just live and let live, man! If people get feel spiritual by going to Uman, why do you care? In one speech, the man condemns a style of prayer because it is not old minhag, and that advocates the changing of how Jews have been praying (piyutei ashkenaz). Which one is it, man? Change or no change.

If you don't like the Rosh Hashana prayers, so don't say them, I find them exceptionally beautiful. It seems like many MO rabbis, this guys just wants everyone and everything to fit into HIS worldview.

Talk about intolerance.

11

 Aug 29, 2013 at 01:43 PM Moishe Says:

I wish that more mainstream Rabonim would also come out against this
Amei Ha'aretz Minhag . It seems that the Rabonim
are scared to voice their opinion, being so many thousands
fell into the trap and consider it a Mitzvah and a holy thing to leave
Eretz Yisroel where Hashem won't listen to your Tefillos and go
to the Ukraine. When the Bais Hamikdash will be rebuilt, these same
people will still travel to Uman

12

 Aug 29, 2013 at 02:06 PM msregister Says:

אלול - אני לאומן ואשתי לבד

13

 Aug 29, 2013 at 02:10 PM shtarkzich Says:

I am Orthodox and my sons are presently learning in Lakewood. They and most people in my circle agree with me that while Rebbe Nachman was alive it was a fine thing to do for whoever so wished. However, it is extremely unlikely that Rebbe Nachman would want so many yidden leaving their families (in and out of Israel) for Yom Tov and incurring the expense which many have difficulty in meeting (and probably giving less tzedaka as a result) while enriching the anti-semitic populace who my Auschwitz survivor father, olev hasolem, used to refer to as the "Ukrainische merderers".

14

 Aug 29, 2013 at 02:17 PM hashomer Says:

The Breslover ravs need to consider keeping their followers in HaEretz 365. Ukraine is traife and covered in blood.

15

 Aug 29, 2013 at 02:25 PM Facts1 Says:

"Saying that the notion that the only proper way to approach Hashem is by connecting with a “super-tzaddik” such as R’ Nachman, the Lubavitcher Rebbe or any other holy individual “smacks of Christianity”

No one said its "the only way"! On the contrary he is saying the only way is his way.

16

 Aug 29, 2013 at 02:47 PM Anonymous Says:

he seems angry that Jewish people are looking for God's presence and it has nothing to do with him.

18

 Aug 29, 2013 at 02:59 PM my4amos Says:

The first red flag came as "prefers to be known as a Halachic Jew instead of an Orthodox Jew." It's the well observed behavior of men who are ashamed of who they are: they want to change their name. Remember how few years ago modern orthodox became (admittedly not without reason) so ashamed of the moniker that they started calling themselves "centrist orthodox?" Didn't work, did it? Or liberals wanting to rebrand themselves as "progressives?"

Then came more red flags. The man, whose name strongly suggest that he is sephardi, paskened, just willy-nilly, "ALL Jews are permitted to eat kitniyos on Pesach." Then, of course, "Israeli Jews should use their lulavim when the first day of Succos falls out on Shabbos." And last but not by any means least: "abandon traditions of Eastern Europe and those established during the Babylonian exile." Yep, why not?

Not getting into this Uman issue, this worthless man has no credibility.

19

 Aug 29, 2013 at 03:14 PM SandmanNY Says:

It was the minhag of many Jews in the Alterheim to go to their rebbe for a Yom Tov, even if it meant traveling a distance. Rebbe Nachman made a promise to his followers that if they came to him at Rosh Hashanah, gave a little tzedakah and recited the Tikkun HaKlali, he would be a melitz yosher for them. Do some people go for the circus aspect? I suppose, although my experience there three times was very uncircus-like.

20

 Aug 29, 2013 at 03:36 PM yaakov doe Says:

Is he asking that we deprive the anti Semitic Ukrainians of their main source of income for the year?

21

 Aug 29, 2013 at 03:39 PM Upset Says:

Isn't it strange that this so-called rabbi who wants to permit the eating of kitnios on Pesach for Ashkenazim, wants to abridge the Rosh Hashana davening, and use a Lulov on Shabbos all against the edicts of earlier giant rabbis. Look who is calling the kettle black? This man, is called a reform rabbi in my book and has no credibility in orthodox circles and his opinion has been rendered worthless by the mere fact he has no faith in any rabbi, especially the great rabbis of the past. No wonder he condemns the Breslovers who believe in the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, Rebbe Nachman. It seems he is a law unto himself and he doesn't believe in any rabbi let alone Rebbe Nachman as his statements indicate. The Breslovers do believe in the entire Torah and the rabbis which he is guilty of not doing. He is doing much worse than what he is accusing the Breslovers of doing. He has no right to say anything about Judaism when he has no regard for any rabbi. Just as he condemns the rabbis so I condemn him and say he is a heretic who has no place to give his opinion about Judaism in the first place.

22

 Aug 29, 2013 at 03:39 PM MelvinW Says:

It is well know that Breslov is anything BUT Chasiddus. When the Bal Shem Tov was nifter there was never a thought of NOT replacing him. The Ikar of Chassidus is to be connected to a living Rebbe who can guide you.
So many of the Gedolim of the 1800's warned us about Breslov and they were proven to be 100% correct.
. All the insanity's like Na Nach, Burka women, refusing to go to doctors, etc come from this break off of Yiddeshkiet. Going to daven by a grave in blood soaked Ukraine is just the tip of the iceberg. What I am saying isn't Sinas Chinam it's Ahavas Hashem and Ahavas HaTorah.
Being a Chosid of someone who died close to 200 years ago is insanity and has nothing to do with Yiddishkiet.

23

 Aug 29, 2013 at 03:54 PM Chill out. Says:

My bro is a Breslover and a very big learner who has covered shas
And poskim. He also makes the trek to umam for Rosh Hashanah every year. So while I'm not Breslov nor have I been or plan to go I wouldn't rush to bash a sect of yidden. To say its like the notzrim is ludicrous. Breslovers don't hold it's the yud gimmel ikrim but they are very much into it. They get a chizuk.

24

 Aug 29, 2013 at 03:57 PM Mekav Says:

Reply to #5  
rebbe123 Says:

WOW learned something new today, that PEYOS is a minhag from chasidim? EXCELLENT! You should get a plaque for that! I am a proud litvak a descendent of the biggest gedolim All of them had PEYOS and long! And btw just look at history the sfardim and Yemenite Jews all had peyos!

I never said Peyos were a minhag from chasidim. It is actually a custom of Eastern Europe and the Sefardim (although I believe some Sefardi groups did not grow them). The comment about Chasidim was in regard to the rest of the comment I was replying to... which was about Israeli's changing Minhag Avoseinu.

BTW, some of us have Yichus as well... but Yichus does not make a person. If that is all you have to base your argument on you fail. I too have Yichus of Gedolim (both Chassidishe Rebbes and Misnagdishe Rabbonim), but I provided evidence to back my point up about Peyos not being grown by all communities. Let me guess, you think Moshe Rabbeinu and R' Saadiya Gaon wore streimlach/spodeks or Borsalinos?

25

 Aug 29, 2013 at 04:47 PM Anonymous Says:

normally i agree with the 'live and let live' way ot thinking. but when there are so many poor people who need to collect for weddings etc from the 'rich' americans and organizations like yad eliezer and misamchei lev who raise money to feed the kids, yet recipeients of tzedaka find the money to go to uman, i am outraged. i dont understand how the leaders of this community can promote going to uman, what a waste of money.

26

 Aug 29, 2013 at 05:33 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #24  
Mekav Says:

I never said Peyos were a minhag from chasidim. It is actually a custom of Eastern Europe and the Sefardim (although I believe some Sefardi groups did not grow them). The comment about Chasidim was in regard to the rest of the comment I was replying to... which was about Israeli's changing Minhag Avoseinu.

BTW, some of us have Yichus as well... but Yichus does not make a person. If that is all you have to base your argument on you fail. I too have Yichus of Gedolim (both Chassidishe Rebbes and Misnagdishe Rabbonim), but I provided evidence to back my point up about Peyos not being grown by all communities. Let me guess, you think Moshe Rabbeinu and R' Saadiya Gaon wore streimlach/spodeks or Borsalinos?

Who cares about Yichus? i just mentioned it in regards to the peyos, And i remember many old timers from the Yeky community WITH PEYOS!
And if M.R had a shtreimel obviously NOT because the shtremel history is from some anti-Semitic law that Jews should wear something from an animal,

27

 Aug 29, 2013 at 05:45 PM Aryeh Says:

A man who leaves his wife for Rosh Hashana, leaves the shechina as well. Let the single men go and daven for you.

28

 Aug 29, 2013 at 06:36 PM Mekav Says:

Reply to #26  
rebbe123 Says:

Who cares about Yichus? i just mentioned it in regards to the peyos, And i remember many old timers from the Yeky community WITH PEYOS!
And if M.R had a shtreimel obviously NOT because the shtremel history is from some anti-Semitic law that Jews should wear something from an animal,

I am not arguing that there weren't Yekkes with Peyos... just that it was not the minhag to have them. Some obviously did have them, but it was not the norm in Western Europe. If you look at the pre-war pictures of the Litveshe yeshivas, most did not have peyos.

With regard to Yichus, you stated:
"I am a proud litvak a descendent of the biggest gedolim All of them had PEYOS and long!"
That does not sound like proof of your contention that everyone had peyos. Do you really know what kind of peyos your great-great-grandfather had? Or are you making an assumption?

And the comment about Moshe Rabbeinu was rhetorical...

29

 Aug 29, 2013 at 06:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
SandmanNY Says:

It was the minhag of many Jews in the Alterheim to go to their rebbe for a Yom Tov, even if it meant traveling a distance. Rebbe Nachman made a promise to his followers that if they came to him at Rosh Hashanah, gave a little tzedakah and recited the Tikkun HaKlali, he would be a melitz yosher for them. Do some people go for the circus aspect? I suppose, although my experience there three times was very uncircus-like.

There were many minhagim from the alterheim (aka 18th and 19th century Eastern Europe) that should have been left in the alterheim and this is one of them. Yidden should celebrate yom tovim with their families and focus on the real meaning of the chag not leaving their wives and children alone so they can spend some "quality time with their rebbe". If its such a big mitzvah, why not take the family with you. The Uman meshugaas has become a joke that no rav seems to want to address since as another poster noted, it serve to perpetuate the cult of personality on which they thrive.

30

 Aug 29, 2013 at 06:59 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #27  
Aryeh Says:

A man who leaves his wife for Rosh Hashana, leaves the shechina as well. Let the single men go and daven for you.

That's your opinion Daas Poshuter Yid

31

 Aug 29, 2013 at 07:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
MelvinW Says:

It is well know that Breslov is anything BUT Chasiddus. When the Bal Shem Tov was nifter there was never a thought of NOT replacing him. The Ikar of Chassidus is to be connected to a living Rebbe who can guide you.
So many of the Gedolim of the 1800's warned us about Breslov and they were proven to be 100% correct.
. All the insanity's like Na Nach, Burka women, refusing to go to doctors, etc come from this break off of Yiddeshkiet. Going to daven by a grave in blood soaked Ukraine is just the tip of the iceberg. What I am saying isn't Sinas Chinam it's Ahavas Hashem and Ahavas HaTorah.
Being a Chosid of someone who died close to 200 years ago is insanity and has nothing to do with Yiddishkiet.

"So many of the Gedolim of the 1800's warned us about Breslov and they were proven to be 100% correct" ......MelvinW dear, which Gedolim are you referring to ? the ones that told the 6 million Jews that its OK to stay in Germany.

32

 Aug 29, 2013 at 08:44 PM Draye Says:

nobody is forcing anybody to go.some personalities use to return to their yeshivos for the Whole month of elul.live and let live!

33

 Aug 29, 2013 at 09:08 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #28  
Mekav Says:

I am not arguing that there weren't Yekkes with Peyos... just that it was not the minhag to have them. Some obviously did have them, but it was not the norm in Western Europe. If you look at the pre-war pictures of the Litveshe yeshivas, most did not have peyos.

With regard to Yichus, you stated:
"I am a proud litvak a descendent of the biggest gedolim All of them had PEYOS and long!"
That does not sound like proof of your contention that everyone had peyos. Do you really know what kind of peyos your great-great-grandfather had? Or are you making an assumption?

And the comment about Moshe Rabbeinu was rhetorical...

Proof of pre-war yeshivas is not a mekor, Because it's known that between the two wars the matzav of yiddishkeit in Lita and Poland was very very shvach, i heard from a yid from Vilna that before WWII there wasn't even one normal cheder for children, in Poland the father made kiddush and the daughter made homework! actually the downfall started since the founding of the reform movement.
The wording "proud litvak" i didn't mean the yichus part but where I'm coming from, and yes we have pictures of great great grandfathers with LONG peyos and shtreimel and one of them was a famous baal mussar.
KSIVA VACHASIMA TOVA

34

 Aug 29, 2013 at 09:44 PM MelvinW Says:

The Gedolim I am referring to lived in the 1800's . The Holocaust happened on the 1930's. Please get your dates straight.
Most importantly your mockery of the Gedolim of Europe shows you are a true Breslover who scorn Talmidie Chachamim and hold there are no more true Tzadikim, a notion that is total Apikorsis. It was a known takana that no Breslov Sefarim were allowed in Chassidishe Batie Medrashim. Breslov doesn't fall under the category of "Elu V'Elu...".

35

 Aug 29, 2013 at 10:03 PM md2205 Says:

Caleb went to Hebron before he spied on Canaan. The Gemara (Sotah 34b) says to daven at the Maaras Hamachpela. He prayed there for mercy on his soul and he was saved from the fateful decision of the other spies. Why doesn't asking any tzaddik, living or dead, to intercede on our behalf constitute making an intermediate between ourselves and G‑d? The Maharam Schick says in the name of the Chasam Sofer: It is permissible for a Jew to ask another Jew to be an intermediary between him and G‑d. When one Jew approaches another and tells of the pain he is suffering, the other Jew feels it just as he does. Now they are both in need of prayer. The Jew does not feel he is praying for an "other"--he is praying for himself.

36

 Aug 29, 2013 at 10:06 PM md2205 Says:

To continue: All Jews can be considered as one body. If the toe hurts, it needs the head and the heart to help it. One who is in need can call upon all other Jews--and especially those who are the head and the heart of our people--to pray for him. Because if one Jew is hurting, we are all hurting.

According to Gemara and Zohar, tzaddikim who passed away are still very much in touch with their students and family and care for them and their problems. We petition them to pray on our behalf. They do, and often their prayers are more effective than our own. We often don't fathom the seriousness of these problems from our limited perspective as much as they might from their lofty view.

37

 Aug 29, 2013 at 10:09 PM md2205 Says:

Praying at a gravesite does not mean you are beseeching this dead person to rise from the grave and appear before you. That is an abomination. Neither are you, G‑d forbid, praying to the dead—a practice that is most certainly forbidden. But you are able to connect with these souls, since, when it comes to the soul, all of us are truly one.

You are simply expressing your faith that the righteous never really die, truth is never truly lost and even the grave cannot prevent you from connecting to this great teacher and righteous soul. Just as this tzaddik took care of others during his lifetime--not as "others" but as he cared for his own soul--so too now, nothing has changed and he still can feel your pain and pray with you.

The Zohar states that the tzaddik is with us after his passing even more than before. During his lifetime, the tzaddik was limited within a physical body. Now he has transcended those limitations. But he never transcends his sympathy for the plight of another soul--no matter where that soul may be found. Just as during his lifetime, he ignored the boundaries of "I and you," so now he can ignore the boundaries of life and afterlife.

38

 Aug 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM md2205 Says:

To continue:
That is the fundamental reasoning behind beseeching those in the grave to intercede on our behalf. And this has been the common practice in Jewish communities around the world.

39

 Aug 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM Levi Says:

Q: When a man leaves his home on Yom Tov to visit his Rebbe, the home lacks the holiday spirit, why should a Chassid leave his home to visit his Rebbe?

A: if it is satisfactory for a woman to permit her husband to leave the home for 6 or 7 hours to attend his business in order to earn a living and support his family with its physical needs, I can't see why should the spiritual life be different. Furthermore, the spiritual life is the main reason of creation. When a Chossid goes to his Rebbe, his reason of going is to receive his spiritual life and spiritual strength. This he also brings back home and thus betters the spiritual life of his wife and children. Therefore, if a man can attend to his business every day to receive his material strength, it should be satisfactory to receive his spiritual strength once a month etc. That is the basis of Chassidic custom to visit the Rebbe on Yom Tov which is the most proper time to receive the necessary needs and strength to carry on his spiritual life.
(from questions presented to the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1952 and his fascinating answers)

40

 Aug 30, 2013 at 12:09 AM MelvinW Says:

Reply to #39  
Levi Says:

Q: When a man leaves his home on Yom Tov to visit his Rebbe, the home lacks the holiday spirit, why should a Chassid leave his home to visit his Rebbe?

A: if it is satisfactory for a woman to permit her husband to leave the home for 6 or 7 hours to attend his business in order to earn a living and support his family with its physical needs, I can't see why should the spiritual life be different. Furthermore, the spiritual life is the main reason of creation. When a Chossid goes to his Rebbe, his reason of going is to receive his spiritual life and spiritual strength. This he also brings back home and thus betters the spiritual life of his wife and children. Therefore, if a man can attend to his business every day to receive his material strength, it should be satisfactory to receive his spiritual strength once a month etc. That is the basis of Chassidic custom to visit the Rebbe on Yom Tov which is the most proper time to receive the necessary needs and strength to carry on his spiritual life.
(from questions presented to the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1952 and his fascinating answers)

Here is your mistake- Kivrei Tzadikim is important. A chosid going to visit his Rebbe is important, even if it means leaving his family.
BUT RAV NACHMAN IS NOT YOUR REBBE !! You never meet him.He never met you. He has been dead for almost 200 years. The notion that people are leaving their families to spend Yom Tov by the kever of someone they imagine to be their Rebbe is nothing short of mass delusion. The very fact that this delusion is even a discussion is insane.
This is besides the fact that Uman on R'H is a hefker circus/Woodstock. This is besides the fact that it is osser to go to a Bais HaChaim on Yom Tov . Even if it would resemble a Yom Tov whole concept is lunacy.

42

 Aug 30, 2013 at 06:56 AM CSLMoish Says:

Reply to #39  
Levi Says:

Q: When a man leaves his home on Yom Tov to visit his Rebbe, the home lacks the holiday spirit, why should a Chassid leave his home to visit his Rebbe?

A: if it is satisfactory for a woman to permit her husband to leave the home for 6 or 7 hours to attend his business in order to earn a living and support his family with its physical needs, I can't see why should the spiritual life be different. Furthermore, the spiritual life is the main reason of creation. When a Chossid goes to his Rebbe, his reason of going is to receive his spiritual life and spiritual strength. This he also brings back home and thus betters the spiritual life of his wife and children. Therefore, if a man can attend to his business every day to receive his material strength, it should be satisfactory to receive his spiritual strength once a month etc. That is the basis of Chassidic custom to visit the Rebbe on Yom Tov which is the most proper time to receive the necessary needs and strength to carry on his spiritual life.
(from questions presented to the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1952 and his fascinating answers)

The Lubavitcher Rebbi in a video tells a Uman goer that next year Moshiach should come and he won't have to travel to Uman anymore. His words were hinting at his position against traveling. He was seemingly not too impressed.

43

 Aug 30, 2013 at 08:35 AM MelvinW Says:

Reply to #40  
MelvinW Says:

Here is your mistake- Kivrei Tzadikim is important. A chosid going to visit his Rebbe is important, even if it means leaving his family.
BUT RAV NACHMAN IS NOT YOUR REBBE !! You never meet him.He never met you. He has been dead for almost 200 years. The notion that people are leaving their families to spend Yom Tov by the kever of someone they imagine to be their Rebbe is nothing short of mass delusion. The very fact that this delusion is even a discussion is insane.
This is besides the fact that Uman on R'H is a hefker circus/Woodstock. This is besides the fact that it is osser to go to a Bais HaChaim on Yom Tov . Even if it would resemble a Yom Tov whole concept is lunacy.

Name calling results when you are unable to counter an argument. Feel free to refute anything I said but please leave the name calling out. There is nothing angry about stating the obvious.

45

 Aug 30, 2013 at 09:44 AM Raphael_Kaufman Says:

Whatever the metaphysical benefits of going to Uman are, and how long someone's payos are really isn't my issue. The problem is that a significant number of pilgrims act like chazeirim. They trash the community, get drunk, insult the locals and are generally offensive. Come to think of it, they act pretty much like college students on spring break in Daytona Beach. What their behavior has to do with being mevakeish rachmei Shamayim is completely lost on me.

46

 Aug 30, 2013 at 03:29 PM my4amos Says:

"superficially charming"

Great choice of word. Concise and poignant, very much to the point. Thanks.

47

 Aug 30, 2013 at 05:46 PM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #40  
MelvinW Says:

Here is your mistake- Kivrei Tzadikim is important. A chosid going to visit his Rebbe is important, even if it means leaving his family.
BUT RAV NACHMAN IS NOT YOUR REBBE !! You never meet him.He never met you. He has been dead for almost 200 years. The notion that people are leaving their families to spend Yom Tov by the kever of someone they imagine to be their Rebbe is nothing short of mass delusion. The very fact that this delusion is even a discussion is insane.
This is besides the fact that Uman on R'H is a hefker circus/Woodstock. This is besides the fact that it is osser to go to a Bais HaChaim on Yom Tov . Even if it would resemble a Yom Tov whole concept is lunacy.

a We say MOSHE RABEINU We never met him either, anyone learning the sefer of any previous godol and following his teachings is a talmid of that godol! A REBBE doesn't mean someone talking to you in person

48

 Aug 31, 2013 at 10:03 PM MelvinW Says:

Reply to #47  
rebbe123 Says:

a We say MOSHE RABEINU We never met him either, anyone learning the sefer of any previous godol and following his teachings is a talmid of that godol! A REBBE doesn't mean someone talking to you in person

I am glad you brought this point up. The ONLY person to be refered to as Rabenu is Moshe. However, every time, throughout Chazel, a person is referred to as Rabo, it is ONLY used when the Rebbe and Talmid were alive at the same time.
In fact, often when the Rishonim discuss if a Tanna or Amora was a Talmid of someone they will prove that he wasn't if they didn't live at the same time.
Furthermore Torahs HaBal Shem places emphasis on being a Chosid of a living Tzaddik. For more than 200 years whenever a Chassidishe Rebbe died everyone decided to be a Chosid of one of his sons or of another Rebbe. Not ONCE in the history of Chassidos ( we are talking about millions of people literally) was there a thought to be a Chosid of someone who is dead.
So the notion of being a Chosid of a dead Rebbe is contrary to the essence of Chassidus and the "minhag" of referring to R' Nachman a Rabbenu is nothing but a very sad mockery of Torah in general and Chassidus in specific.

49

 Sep 01, 2013 at 01:03 AM rebbe123 Says:

Reply to #48  
MelvinW Says:

I am glad you brought this point up. The ONLY person to be refered to as Rabenu is Moshe. However, every time, throughout Chazel, a person is referred to as Rabo, it is ONLY used when the Rebbe and Talmid were alive at the same time.
In fact, often when the Rishonim discuss if a Tanna or Amora was a Talmid of someone they will prove that he wasn't if they didn't live at the same time.
Furthermore Torahs HaBal Shem places emphasis on being a Chosid of a living Tzaddik. For more than 200 years whenever a Chassidishe Rebbe died everyone decided to be a Chosid of one of his sons or of another Rebbe. Not ONCE in the history of Chassidos ( we are talking about millions of people literally) was there a thought to be a Chosid of someone who is dead.
So the notion of being a Chosid of a dead Rebbe is contrary to the essence of Chassidus and the "minhag" of referring to R' Nachman a Rabbenu is nothing but a very sad mockery of Torah in general and Chassidus in specific.

You are wrong, because the real kesher to a tzaddik is not looking at him like a donkey, in the sifrei cassidus it's written clearly that by learning the Torah of the tzaddik that's the real kesher and it's more even than going to his kever!
And you must be kidding to compare those Administrators of today who are calling themselves rebbes only because they're a descendant, Unfortunately there's NO rebbes and NO derech habesht

50

 Sep 01, 2013 at 04:39 PM TzVi Says:

Reply to #21  
Upset Says:

Isn't it strange that this so-called rabbi who wants to permit the eating of kitnios on Pesach for Ashkenazim, wants to abridge the Rosh Hashana davening, and use a Lulov on Shabbos all against the edicts of earlier giant rabbis. Look who is calling the kettle black? This man, is called a reform rabbi in my book and has no credibility in orthodox circles and his opinion has been rendered worthless by the mere fact he has no faith in any rabbi, especially the great rabbis of the past. No wonder he condemns the Breslovers who believe in the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, Rebbe Nachman. It seems he is a law unto himself and he doesn't believe in any rabbi let alone Rebbe Nachman as his statements indicate. The Breslovers do believe in the entire Torah and the rabbis which he is guilty of not doing. He is doing much worse than what he is accusing the Breslovers of doing. He has no right to say anything about Judaism when he has no regard for any rabbi. Just as he condemns the rabbis so I condemn him and say he is a heretic who has no place to give his opinion about Judaism in the first place.

Learn how to learn and spot being an am-haaress. How about you go check his sources for the positions as brought in his shiurim and then make a comment if you agree or not. and if you have any substantial rebuttle. If not please just shut up you obviously don't know how to learn.

51

 Sep 01, 2013 at 06:48 PM Yehudah B. Says:

HaRav David Bar-Hayim shlit"a is a talmid hakham of gigantic proportions. In fact, anyone who has done more than read a slanted, second-hand article in order to form their opinions about a fellow [religious] Jew knows full well. I have personally spent many hours in discussion and conversation with the Rav and I can tell you that he is highly knowledgeable, a baal middot tovot, and can always give you sources in Shas, Geonim, Rishonim, and/or posqim for every word of halakhah that he speaks. Regarding the statement that the Rav prefers to called a "Halakhic Jew" rather than an "Orthodox Jew," first let me say that to write such a thing in an article without explanation is placing a mikhshol lifnei iver and HaShem will judge the writers who pen such statements. Second, the distinction between "Halakhic Jew" and "Orthodox Jew" is not one of observance of or allegiance to the Torah, but rather the desire to shed a term which did not exist until it came into use in Europe in response to the kefirah of the Reforimists. The intention is to remove the artificial political labels of the Galut and return to the true religious politic and heartbeat of the Jewish Nation - the Halakhah.

52

 Sep 01, 2013 at 07:24 PM Yehudah B. Says:

And as regards the Rav's desire to revive the minhagim and nusach of Eretz Yisrael, he certainly does have a logical basis for his positions, based on Torah sources. Rav Saadia Gaon mentions that when we return to the Land, we will change our nusach tefillah out of logical necessity. The Gra favored reviving older source-based halakhot both in and out of EY - many times contradiction to popular and established sentiment and "developed" "as is" halakhic practice. And Rav Kook also wrote extensively about the return to EY signaling the need to revive and restore the centrality of the Talmud Yerushalmi in Israeli Jewish life. Maintaining the "status quo" of Galut-Mode Judaism has strange practical consequences indeed, such as refusing to make the berakhah on rainfall in EY which is explicit in the halakhah, or the wearing of furs in a middle-eastern climate because that is way many Jews dressed in Europe, or the continuing custom to recite prayers in shul for the Torah centers of Bavel which no longer exist . One might not agree with the perspectives of the Rav, but throwing mud instead of honestly examining a position is contrary to halakhah and damaging. Gemar Be-Hatimah Tovah.

53

 Sep 02, 2013 at 02:12 AM ysimm Says:

Reply to #18  
my4amos Says:

The first red flag came as "prefers to be known as a Halachic Jew instead of an Orthodox Jew." It's the well observed behavior of men who are ashamed of who they are: they want to change their name. Remember how few years ago modern orthodox became (admittedly not without reason) so ashamed of the moniker that they started calling themselves "centrist orthodox?" Didn't work, did it? Or liberals wanting to rebrand themselves as "progressives?"

Then came more red flags. The man, whose name strongly suggest that he is sephardi, paskened, just willy-nilly, "ALL Jews are permitted to eat kitniyos on Pesach." Then, of course, "Israeli Jews should use their lulavim when the first day of Succos falls out on Shabbos." And last but not by any means least: "abandon traditions of Eastern Europe and those established during the Babylonian exile." Yep, why not?

Not getting into this Uman issue, this worthless man has no credibility.

FYI -- Rav Bar-Hayim is a born Ashkenazi.

54

 Sep 02, 2013 at 03:05 AM jlemmother Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

the rabbi cut his peyos is he a lubavitcher practicing. מנהג אבותיו or either sefardic and ashkenazig both didn't allow to cut their peyoss! proably just a run off the mill typical zionist israeli rabbi. שהעמיד דבריהם על ד"ת.. when it suits them.

the rabbi had peyos when he was younger as his sons do. did it ever occur to anyone that when some men get older their hair thins out and so do their peyos until you can't see them. has anyone heard about the issur of rechilus and the chova of "dan leçhaf zechus"'?

55

 Sep 02, 2013 at 02:08 AM Shlissel_Holly Says:

Anyone ever see any real evidence that this is the grave of R' Nahman?

The most I can find is that the cemetery was thoroughly destroyed in the war, Stalin further razed the area and built a housing project on it, and later, some guy claimed to have found what looked like the remnants of 2 poles, and says that the Rebbe's grave had 2 poles to support a rail, so this must be it. Does it reason that those were the only 2 poles (or, what looked like remnants of poles) in a cemetery that held well over 20,000 graves.

Much more likely that the grave is no more than wishful thinking on the part of the faithful who had lost the means to perform the Rebbe's salvation ritual. If it hadn't been there, they would have found it elsewhere through other supposed proofs so they could be saved by the coin and the magic formula. When something is necessary for a salvation ritual, you can be sure it will turn up.

56

 Sep 02, 2013 at 10:38 AM winemaker Says:

i know rav barchayim and is an honest scholar and his honesty makes him ,i have to say sadly, naive up to not understanding that even the gaonim and yerushalmi and all the revered chaza"l as known to us are all part of the torat hagalut and so there is no way for us to move backwards, haolam is a narrow bridge, until some new ruach is going to blow from eretz israel and renew our days as before not new but new to us
shana tova to clall israel

57

 Sep 02, 2013 at 10:26 PM MelvinW Says:

Reply to #49  
rebbe123 Says:

You are wrong, because the real kesher to a tzaddik is not looking at him like a donkey, in the sifrei cassidus it's written clearly that by learning the Torah of the tzaddik that's the real kesher and it's more even than going to his kever!
And you must be kidding to compare those Administrators of today who are calling themselves rebbes only because they're a descendant, Unfortunately there's NO rebbes and NO derech habesht

The millions of Yidden who traveled by horse and wagon over the past two hundred years to be by their Rebbe where doing so to just to look at them like donkeys when really they could have stayed home and learnt the Sefarim ?!

58

 Sep 09, 2013 at 02:31 PM curlypeyos Says:

Reply to #57  
MelvinW Says:

The millions of Yidden who traveled by horse and wagon over the past two hundred years to be by their Rebbe where doing so to just to look at them like donkeys when really they could have stayed home and learnt the Sefarim ?!

והיו עייניך ראות את מוריך

59

 Sep 09, 2013 at 02:15 PM curlypeyos Says:

Reply to #15  
Facts1 Says:

"Saying that the notion that the only proper way to approach Hashem is by connecting with a “super-tzaddik” such as R’ Nachman, the Lubavitcher Rebbe or any other holy individual “smacks of Christianity”

No one said its "the only way"! On the contrary he is saying the only way is his way.

it says in the tikkuney zohar the theres a tzadik whos the aspect/ reincarnation of moshe rabbainu in every generation... vayaminu bHashem uvi moshe avdo az yashir moshe in the future meaning we havto belive in Hashem and the tzadik yesod olam who is the reincarnation of moshe... t

60

 Sep 09, 2013 at 02:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #48  
MelvinW Says:

I am glad you brought this point up. The ONLY person to be refered to as Rabenu is Moshe. However, every time, throughout Chazel, a person is referred to as Rabo, it is ONLY used when the Rebbe and Talmid were alive at the same time.
In fact, often when the Rishonim discuss if a Tanna or Amora was a Talmid of someone they will prove that he wasn't if they didn't live at the same time.
Furthermore Torahs HaBal Shem places emphasis on being a Chosid of a living Tzaddik. For more than 200 years whenever a Chassidishe Rebbe died everyone decided to be a Chosid of one of his sons or of another Rebbe. Not ONCE in the history of Chassidos ( we are talking about millions of people literally) was there a thought to be a Chosid of someone who is dead.
So the notion of being a Chosid of a dead Rebbe is contrary to the essence of Chassidus and the "minhag" of referring to R' Nachman a Rabbenu is nothing but a very sad mockery of Torah in general and Chassidus in specific.

a tzadik is called living after his death, and a rasha is called dead in his lifetime... thats probably why being by Rebbe Nachmans kever could bring the biggest sinner to tears of teshuva when theres many live people who cant even get a normal person to repent...צופה רשע לצדיק the rasha tries to hide the tzadik... הדובר על צדיק עתק בגאווא ובוז

61

 Sep 22, 2013 at 06:24 AM Naftulee Says:

Reply to #21  
Upset Says:

Isn't it strange that this so-called rabbi who wants to permit the eating of kitnios on Pesach for Ashkenazim, wants to abridge the Rosh Hashana davening, and use a Lulov on Shabbos all against the edicts of earlier giant rabbis. Look who is calling the kettle black? This man, is called a reform rabbi in my book and has no credibility in orthodox circles and his opinion has been rendered worthless by the mere fact he has no faith in any rabbi, especially the great rabbis of the past. No wonder he condemns the Breslovers who believe in the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, Rebbe Nachman. It seems he is a law unto himself and he doesn't believe in any rabbi let alone Rebbe Nachman as his statements indicate. The Breslovers do believe in the entire Torah and the rabbis which he is guilty of not doing. He is doing much worse than what he is accusing the Breslovers of doing. He has no right to say anything about Judaism when he has no regard for any rabbi. Just as he condemns the rabbis so I condemn him and say he is a heretic who has no place to give his opinion about Judaism in the first place.

This "so-called rabbi" is the real deal, a torah scholar who also sits on a beis din. a true posek , knows shas and many other sources. You can listen to his shiurim on his website regarding kitniyot if you so care to actually look into who this Rabbi is and his sources and ideas. Probably a better approach before you, like so many others, make assumptions. you call him reform, you know nothing this man, absolutely nothing, but you could if you took the time. Anyways his main point about kitniyot is specifically for jews in Eretz Israel. Dealing with the ideas of Minag HaMakom (which there is no minhag makom in israel to not eat kitniyot) as well as other real sources. The article makes the impression that he says all jews all over the world should eat kitniyot when the pasak is for Israel only . Also he was not alone in this ruling, it came thru a beis din, and was issued for Jews in Israel,not jews in Europe or anywhere else. Take the time to really listen and you might understand what a great deed he is doing for Israel and the jewish people.

62

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