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Ani Yehudi Posted - 10 December 2001 20:22

I've heard that some Yeshivos don't allow their students to learn Breslover Seforim. What is the reason for this?

MODERATOR Posted - 10 December 2001 21:58

Because they were designed for the very specific needs of the very specific Neshomas of Rav Nachman's followers. It’s like prescription medicine - taking what’s good for someone else may hurt you.

However, there are many things in Rav Nachman's works that are more generic and apply to us also. But the average Yeshiva kid won’t know which is which.

Ani Yehudi Posted - 12 December 2001 15:47

so should I actively discourage someone who I know has become involved in reading R' Nachman's Sefarim, or just leave him alone. Also could I have a more concrete explanation

Beautman Posted - 12 December 2001 15:47

What was different about the Breslover's neshamas from others?

Cal Posted - 12 December 2001 15:47

In that case how does a Breslover Chosid know that what he is doing is the right, maybe it is not best for his Neshama to be a Breslover Chosid? This puts all of the Breslover Chassidim into question, perhaps it is not right for them to be a Breslover Chosid! And the same could be asked of any Jew who following a specific Derech in Avodas Hashem.

MODERATOR Posted - 17 December 2001 16:06

The way it used to be was, a person chose his Rebbe based on what he needed spiritually. Every Rebbe had a particular approach that was best for his individual Chasidim. Nowadays a person usually doesn’t choose his Rebbe based on his needs, but Chasidus has become more Minhagim-based Kehillos rather than an individually tailored spiritual approach, so it doesn’t matter much.

So the answer is, before you become a Breslover Chosid you should see if the Breslover teachings are what you need spiritually. Of course, this is one big disadvantage that Breslov has no live Rebbe -- who's gonna tell you what’s good for you? That’s what one of the main roles the Rebbe played in the life of his Chasidim!

So honestly, being a Breslover Chosid is not what it really was meant to be (even though, as you surely know, Rav Nachman never wanted to be referred to as a Rebbe, and to this day nobody calls his the "Breslover Rebbe"). Rav Nachman's followers used to follow the teachings he taught them. Today you are following the teachings he taught others. That’s not really what Chasidus was meant to be.

So I would suggest if you want to be a Breslover Chosid (so to speak) that besides the teachings of Rav Nachman, you get a hold of a real live Rebbe or Rebbi that knows both you and those teachings very well, and also understands what Chasidus was meant to be, to guide you on your own individual path.

It’s not so much a question of whether you know you are doing the "right" thing, as opposed to "wrong", but rather if you’re doing what’s best for you. The answer is, you have to know yourself first, maybe with the help of a Rebbe, and then decide what path is best for you. But if you just choose a path because it seems nice, or your father chose it, or whatever, you indeed don’t know if that decision was the best for you.

In short, you have to follow the advice of Chazal: "Aseh lechah Rav" - Get a Rebbi for yourself.

MODERATOR Posted - 17 December 2001 16:17


Breslover's Neshomas are no different that anyone else's. But everyone is an individual. Everyone’s Neshomoh - or more specifically, the "roots" of their Neshomah - is unique. And all Chasidishe Rebbes tuned in to the specific needs of the souls of their Chasidim and guided them accordingly. The teachings are all Torah of course, and as such are infinitely valuable. But which one of the approaches to use to guide your life depends on who you are.

IkeHolmes Posted - 03 January 2002 19:08

Can you list some things which are more general. (I'm familiar with the teachings so
I'm curious which are the general ones)

MODERATOR Posted - 03 January 2002 20:19

What is general are the things that do not relate to your specific growth, which is obviously too much to enumerate. What is person-specific are the things that instruct you how to grow, like the hisbodedus etc. that may or may not be the best derech for you.

Beautman Posted - 18 January 2002 16:49

Okay, I appreciate the reply and, I must add, all of your replies.

Here's a questions on different but related topic. I recently picked up a card in shul publicizing a raffle by Ezras Cholim D'Satmar. On the card, they talk about their projects. One is:

"Blood Drives. Our screened volunteers are available to all blood types which are processed and delivered to any requested hospital. This project is crucial to protect our community from impure blood."

Any idea what this is about?

Ani Yehudi Posted - 18 January 2002 16:49

But it seems Breslov is discouraged *more so* than other branches of Chasididus, and that's what I'm trying to ask about.

MODERATOR Posted - 22 January 2002 20:23


Sounds like it means blood that is free of diseases, like AIDS.


Because Breslov encourages things that are more radical than other Chasidic seforim, such as their emphasis on Hisbodedus, or the idea of wailing to Hashem incoherently. These are things which work only if you are the right person, with the right mindset, in the right lifestyle. They’re not for everybody. Other Chassidishe Seforim although meant for the specific talmidim of the specific rebbes, are much more "centric" and don’t suggest, and certainly do not emphasize, such unusual practices.

DORTY Posted - 05 September 2002 19:51

Moderator, I just read this post and was wondering about your opinion regarding what should be done if someone is "red" a Breslover for a shidduch. What questions should be asked to be sure that one isn't getting involved with a "wacko na nacher who uses E on occasion"??

MODERATOR Posted - 05 September 2002 20:26

Just ask if he is a na-na-nacher, and - this is important - what he thinks of them, even if he is not.

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