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Rebbe Nachman’s Rosh Hashana


Caution: If you aren’t Breslov, you might not like the following article. Consider yourself warned 🙂

Rebbe Nachman said, “My Rosh Hashana is the greatest thing there is. There is nothing greater…My whole ענין (approach) is Rosh Hashana”. He instructed his chassidim to make the following proclamation: “Anyone who wants to get close to me should come to me on Rosh Hashana. No one should be missing”. He said that “my Rosh Hashana is totally original and Hashem knows that I didn’t inherit this from my forefathers, but rather He gifted me with the knowledge of what Rosh Hashana is. Not only are you all dependent on my Rosh Hashana but the entire world is dependent on my Rosh Hashana” (חיי מוהר”ן סימן תג-תה).

I can certainly empathize with someone reading these words and being very turned off. But I don’t want to address that here. What I want to explain is why I think Rebbe Nachman’s essence is all about Rosh Hashana. I know there’s a lot of thought out there about this idea but here’s mine.

Rosh Hashana is called “the day of memory”. One of the three integral parts of the prayer service is recognizing how Hashem remembers everything. “There is no forgetfulness before Your Throne of Glory. Everything is revealed and known to You from the beginning of time to the end of time”.

Rebbe Nachman taught in Torah 65 that we need to unite all our words of prayer so deeply, so that we can actually remember the first word we prayed at the time the last word leaves our mouths. As he goes on to explain later, in essence, the whole prayer is one word, or better yet one letter. It’s united with the deepest unifications connecting the whole world from beginning of time until the end of time.

Rebbe Nosson wrote in Kitzur 65 that we can’t reach this level of prayer unification on our own. Only the greatest Tzaddik, like Rebbe Nachman, can do it for us. He can take our prayer, fix it up and deliver it to God in perfect oneness. This is what’s happening on Rosh Hashana. The Talmud says (Beitzah 16) that all our sustenance is pre-determined on Rosh Hashana. Many of the Holy books write how not only is our financial sustenance determined then, but the entire year exists somehow in those powerful two days. The Rebbe, in his exalted greatness, was the master of unification. He understood how to unify it all, how to pray with absolute mindfulness and how to see the beginning and the end at once. This is why he needed everyone to be with him on Rosh Hashana and why the whole world is dependent on his Rosh Hashana. Because he felt that only he understood the true meaning of one.

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