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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Nachman’

Visiting the Masters in Ukraine

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

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Yishai broadcasts while in the Ukraine, on the road between Uman and Medzibuzh. Feel the environment of being in the Ukraine – between the pain and the tragedy of the massacres that took place there and the Holiness of visiting the resting places of Chassidic Sages including the Baal Shem Tov in Mezibouzh and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in Uman.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Breslov Jews Robbed of $50,000 in Uman

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Unknown assailants robbed $50,000 from Haredi Jews last week at the Uman headquarters of a nonprofit group that works to accommodate the tens of thousands of followers of the Breslover rebbe who will pour into the city for the High Holidays in September, Ukrainian authorities said.

The Ukrainian newspaper Segodnia reported that the money was meant to create better infrastructure for the pilgrims.

Natalia Taran, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s spokeswoman for the Cherkasy region in central Ukraine, was quoted as saying the assailants physically attacked at least one worker of the group helping the pilgrims.

The robbers took a safe containing the money after beating a local security guard.

Last week, the mayor of Uman ordered a halt to earthwork near the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman following protests by Haredim who feared that new earth brought in by contractors may contain human bones that would render the gravesite impure according to the Orthodox Jewish view.

Local Jews arranged for earth free of bone fragments to be delivered instead, according to the website.

The Power Of Joy In Bikur Cholim

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The man woke from his sleep at the sounds of movement around him. I’ll call him Louis. In a moment, he realized he was in a hospital bed and he remembered his wife’s unexpected call for an ambulance the night before. A nurse’s assistant introduced himself and then took Louis’s blood pressure.

 

Louis asked when his doctor would be coming in to see him. The man replied, “That will cost you $50 for me to answer.” He smiled and the both of them shared a laugh. He was joking with him and it worked – the tension for Louis of being in a strange bed and being prodded and poked was considerably lifted with this note of levity. Later, when Louis asked for a pitcher of water, the nurse’s assistant got it for him. ”Isn’t that going to cost me $50?” Louis asked. ”No,” he replied. ”For basic needs it’s free.”

 

The power of humor and joy can go a long way in helping an ill person feel better and making a real contribution to the cure. Literature for an upcoming conference in Manhattan called “The Joyful Heart – Bikur Cholim Tools to Uplift the Spirit” states that “Jewish wisdom teaches us that there are many pathways to healing that can have a profound impact on those we visit. Among these pathways is joy.”

 

The conference, sponsored by the Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services (JBFCS), will explore the role of humor and joy in coping with adversity, along with how-to applications and information on how these tools offer healing for both the visitor and the one being visited.

 

             Two powerful advocates for this approach are Maimonides and Rabbi Nachman of Breslev.

 

“One should strengthen the patient’s physical vitality with nourishing food,” wrote Maimonides, “and spiritual powers with fragrant scents, music, by telling happy stories that expand the heart, and by distracting the mind with things that cause them and their friends to laugh.”

 

Rabbi Nachman said, “The mitzvah of visiting the sick is to show the patient a (smiling) face of radiant kindness. Rather than staying buried in our own homes and hiding our faces, we must visit, attend to their needs and speak to their heart.”

 

One way of speaking to the heart of ill individuals is to make a connection with them where they are willing to put aside thinking of their illness and instead focus on the happy and interesting stories and conversation you are providing, along with well-placed humor. I will be giving a talk at the conference on “Filling in the Gaps – Visiting with Seniors,” in which I will discuss meaningful interactions with people suffering from dementia and age-related memory loss.

 

I use anecdotes, role-playing and readings from my plays to help people identify better strategies in working and connecting with people who seem hard to reach. I will attempt – when reading and discussing excerpts from my play “Where Am I?” – to show how a 90-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s and a young caregiver end up, through empathetic listening, helping each other.

 

Other workshops at the conference include ”Constructing an Effective Synagogue Visiting Program,” “Basics of Mitzvah Clowning,” “Shame and Illness – How does the Visitor Respond?” and “Using the Telephone for Visiting.” Morning and afternoon speakers are Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard, a leader in the Jewish healing movement, and Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, author of Up, Up and Oy Vey.

 

Two humor resources people can use in making bikur cholim visits or phone calls are the books Jewish Humor: What the Best Jewish Jokes Say About the Jews by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and The Encyclopedia of Jewish Humor – From Biblical Times to the Modern Age by Henry D. Spalding.

 

For more information on JBFCS’s 23rd Annual Conference on Visiting the Sick, which will be held Sunday, November 14 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at UJA-Federation of New York, 130 E. 59th St., New York, contact Rechel Schoenfeld at 212-632-4730 or rschoenfeld@jbfcs.org. The cost is $36 with some reductions offered. Breakfast and lunch (OU certification) will be served. My workshop is from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. I can be contacted at pr2@aol.com.

 

Bikur Cholim of Boro Park offers an ongoing free leisure program that deals with the specific needs of men who are Holocaust survivors. “The Afternoon Chevra” is for retired men and meets on Monday afternoons at 1:30 at Sara Schenirer Hall, 4622 14th Avenue. It is wheelchair accessible. One of the goals of the program is to get to know the people of the community and offer assistance in other aspects of their lives. For more information, contact Rabbi Baruch Krupnik at 718-249-3415. 

 

A Daf Yomi shiur open to the community is given by Rabbi Chaskel Scharf at Scharf’s Ateret Avot Senior Residence, 1410 E. 10th Street, Midwood, Brooklyn. It meets at 2:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 11:15 a.m. on Friday. Call 718-998-5400 for more information. 

 

             There is a Mah-jongg class that meets at the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, 78-02 Bay Parkway, on Thursdays from noon to 2:45 p.m. For more information on this free group for people 60 or over, call Diane or Lisa at 718-943-6311. A Tai-Chi, stress releasing stretching class, is also offered on Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. (Free; call before coming.)

Title: The Lost Princess and Other Kabbalistic Tales of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

Title: The Lost Princess and Other Kabbalistic Tales of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
Translation by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
Preface by Rabbi Chaim Kramer
Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, Vermont

 

Storytelling conveys profound lessons about Hashem and our relationships with other people, and today’s students and teachers continue to be inspired by these stories. Among the favorites are those of the Chassidic master, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), whose engrossing and entertaining tales are fast-moving, brilliantly structured, and replete with mystical, penetrating insights.

Rabbi Nachman was a Kabbalist and a mystic, yet also practical and down-to-earth. His tales are populated with princes and princesses, beggars and kings, demons and saints, through which he encouraged people to live their lives with faith, honesty, simplicity and holiness.

Says Stuart Matlin, publisher of “Jewish Lights” – “We can learn much about ourselves and the world from Rabbi Nachman. Rabbi Kaplan’s translations, together with the preface by Rabbi Chaim Kramer of the Breslov Research Institute, bring further clarity to these timeless, necessary stories.”

According to Rabbi Kramer, “Rabbi Nachman first started telling his stories… because in generations so far from God, the only remedy was to present the secrets of the Torah – including the greatest of them – in the form of stories.”

The Lost Princess and Other Kabbalistic Tales of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov includes 12 of his renowned stories, each of which delivers a metaphoric message in fable form based on Kabbalistic thought. Rabbi Kaplan’s translation includes voluminous footnotes explaining the more esoteric meanings underlying the simple narrative.

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was a multi-faceted, uniquely creative and talented author who passed away at the age of 48 in 1983. In the course of a writing career spanning only 12 years, he became famous for such masterpieces as “The Light Beyond,” “The Living Torah, “Jewish Meditation,” “Kabbalah and Meditation” and many more works which influenced thousands to return to Judaism. In bringing Torah to the masses, Rabbi Kaplan revealed much of which was previously hidden.

Rabbi Chaim Kramer is the founder and director of the Breslov Research Institute in Jerusalem which is dedicated to the translation and dissemination of the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

Other “Jewish Lights” books by the Breslov Research Institute include: The Empty Chair: Finding Hope and Joy – Timeless Wisdom from A Chassidic Master, The Gentle Weapon, and other titles from the prolific pen of Rebbe Nachman. A forthcoming title will be The Seven Beggars & Other Kabbalistic Tales of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (Spring 2005).

For more information see www.jewishlights.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-the-lost-princess-and-other-kabbalistic-tales-of-rebbe-nachman-of-breslov/2005/02/02/

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