Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Breslov IV - Rav Ovadiah Yosef, shlita's opposition to going to Uman for Rosh HaShanna

Yeshiva World News reported and has video

Chacham Ovadia: Say’s No To Uman Rosh Hashanah

August 22, 2007

uman.jpgIn his weekly Motzei Shabbos Shiur, Hagoen Chacham Ovadia Yosef Shlita made his opinion very clear regarding the traveling to Rav Nachman M’Breslov’s Kever in Uman for Rosh Hashanah. Some quotes translated: “The Chassidim should be doing what they are doing. But the rest of the people going, are they Chassidim of Uman? On Rosh Hashanah everyone should be with their families, and not traveling to Kivrei Tzadikim…….Any person who is a Baar Daas, a Baar Sechel, should be Rosh Hashana night making Kiddush for his family. Families should be eating together, drinking together, and celebrate the Yom Tov together. This is what Yom Tov is all about. On Yom Tov what should we do? Go to a cemetery, or be with our families?”

Close to 22,000 people traveled to Uman last Rosh Hashanah.

Arutz Sheva reported August 2007:
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef against Masses to Uman

( Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, who also is the spiritual leader of the Shas party, has come out against the populist movement of visiting Uman for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. More than 20,000 Jews from all streams of Judaism flock to Uman every year to celebrate the holiday near the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Chassidic movement bearing his name.

"The Chassidim should be doing what they are doing, but the rest of the people going, are they Chassidim of Uman?" Rabbi Yosef said in his weekly lesson. "On Rosh HaShanah everyone should be with their families...who should be eating together, drinking together, and celebrate the [holiday] together."


  1. I am unclear with this article. From what I understand, he is saying that he only has a problem with married non-Breslovers who leave their families for the Yom Tov.

  2. It is interesting. There is a makor in Gemorah Yoma for visiting one's rebbe on Yom Tov. Chassidim have been travleing away from their families for hundreds of years to be with their rebbes. Granted that this is differant because the Rebbe in this case is niftar.

  3. He was Chozer after.

  4. Chacham Ovadiah is a wise man and very politically and sociologically canny.

    With all due respect to his status as a posek but his reaction is based on the reality that Breslov fervor has been building up in Israel for years and the movement is highly popular there with many hundreds if not thousands joining it each year devoutly and many of the new recruits are coming from that half of Israel which is Sefardic.

    The innate respect for mysticism, receptivity to magical thinking (or non-thinking that is), a willingness to worship at the graves of dead rabbis and little resistance to cult-like life and more factors add to this volatile mix when Israeli society is so high-strung and in with doomsday scenarios literally hanging over their heads.

    So as the Chacham reviews his domain and sees too many falling into the Breslov cult, he forbids one of the key aspects of Chasidism, worshipping at dead rebbe's graves as if they were the meoras hamachpelah and kotel combined (after all, isn't the kotel a place recollecting a destroyed two Batei Mikdash a kind of collective tommstone for millions of massacred Jews by Babylonians and Romans?)

    Interestingly, the venerable Chacham has not gone so far as to outright forbid Sephardim from becoming or joining with the Breslov Chasidus, as he did when he banned them from joining the false Kabbalah Centre cult, but just as he was not able to stop the Kabbalah Center people from recruiting from the masses of the aimless Sephardim in Israel and abroad (most of the Kabbalh Centre's best teachers are Israeli Sephardim by the way), it is very doubtful that in the age of religious fenzy and passion in the Middle East and a worldwide spiritual awakening he can stop Sephardim from joining in trips to Uman, especially if rich Americans will sponsor those trip and the food and lodgings in Uman.

    Why doesn't he speak out loud and clear against the hundreds of thousands of other Israelis who each year shamelessly vacation in Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Cypress, Italy, and even Thailand and Japan, where there is plenty of gillui arayos that goes on, and they eat all manner of treif, but he feels he needs to stop sincere seekers of Hasidic spirituality from visiting for a couple of days the grave of a genuine Jewish humble holy man whose remains are in the Ukraine?

    Will anyone remember or go to the grave of the Chacham (he should live ad mei'ah ve'esrim) as they go to Reb Nachman's grave two hundred years after his death as a mark of kavod and seeking of his intervention with the Divine?


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