Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Breslov V - R' Nachman's self-glorification/Significance?

I had previously posted some quotes from Rebbe Nachman posted on a Breslov website in which he describes his greatness. I received a notification of a posting by Rabbi Dovid Sears Director of the Breslov Center for Spirituality and Inner Growth, which addresses the startling self-praise. The posting is on the A Simple Jew blog

Rabbi Dovid Sears wrote:
Rabbi Nachman's "Self-Praise"


In Chayei Moharan 241-290, Rabbi Nachman indicates that he reached a level above that of the Tannaim, and speaks about his uniqueness as being beyond compare. How does this relate to the concept of "yeridas ha-doros?" To say that he was the greatest tzaddik of his generation (or since) doesn't bother me so much. I simply don't understand how this could be, or how one could surpass the Tannaim. What was the Rebbe's true intention in saying such things, and how is this understood, by knowledgeable Breslover Hasidim?

He also mentions that there were four unique figures: Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the ARI HaKadosh, the Baal Shem Tov, and himself. But that seems to leave out quite a few. What about Moshe Rabbeinu? What about the Patriarchs? There seem to be many others, too, who brought major chiddushim to the world.

I would like to understand how to understand these things in terms of hashkafah, and also to understand the Rebbe's intention in making these statements. Rabbi Chaim Kramer told me the answer in passing: "So we would know what we're dealing with!" I hear that answer, but still feel the need to understand a little more. The advice and derech of the Rebbe have been very healing in my life, and his teachings speak to me in a very profound way. From his Torah, my sense of wonder in life and in the Torah has been restored. I want to go forward, and have actually made some progress. (I have really wrestled greatly with these kinds of things, internal battles about Breslov's legitimacy, etc.). Thank G-d, I have been able to come closer. But I want to be sure that I know why I am doing what I am doing -- "what to answer the apikorus (within me)" -- and that is why I ask these questions.

Answer:[Go to A Simple Jew for the rest of the posting]

1 comment :

  1. This is no big deal. The answer is as followed. Moshe Rabbeinu brought the torah into this world. Before that Hakadosh Baruchu was in charge of the otiot. Even the Avot who learned torah did so in another form. They had learn it in shamayim whatever that means. It was the zchus of Moshe that brought the torah down to quantifyable and spellable halachot. Now we are in charge of the otiot.

    Then it is said that the Rashbi brought down a chiddush. The Zohar with its perush on the torah from the perspective of other olamot and the decriptions thereof. I once heard the question with its answer of how is it that the Rashbi was able to bring down the Zohar? Rabbi Akiva his master who alone was able to enter the pardes and return intact did not merit this. The answer that I heard was that he was sitting on the shoulders of a giant. This giant was Rabbi Akiva. This may or may not answer the yoridos hadoros question.

    Then you have the Ari and the Baal Shem Tov with their new dimension revalations. So Breslov claims that Rav Nachmans torah is also on the level of chiddush.

    This does not mean that there were not other tzaddikim of previous generations who had reached these hasagas or even greater. It just means that they were the first to bring them down for other people to comprehend.

    Some Sulamnicks say that Rav Ashlag was a chiddush. No big deal.


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