With Rosh Hashana around the corner, of course, I’ve been thinking a lot about the annual kibbutz to Uman. I was recently reminiscing of my first trip to the Rebbe in 2016. I remember feeling blown away by the aura of unity and joy; It was unearthly. The experience touched me so deeply that my desire to prolong the feeling led me to learn what it’s all about. Thank God, when I returned to Israel, I still felt the longing and I started the never-ending journey of learning Rebbe Nachman‘s lessons straight from the source.
In retrospect, I’m very pleased that my interest in Uman led me to delve into the Rebbe’s books. I could have easily chosen a more cosmetic path, which I’m not certain would have had the same profound effect on me.
But I had another thought recently too. Maybe I’m wrong, (and if so I apologize), but I’d bet that at least half of the chevra the yearly pilgrimage to Uman on Rosh Hashana aren’t well-versed in the books of Breslov. So why did I think that by learning Rebbe Nachman’s teachings, I would uncover the mystery of Uman Rosh Hashana? Maybe the special feeling wasn’t sourced in his holy lessons, but rather in something else?
My friends, I tell you plainly, nearly three years after that first trip, that the amazingness of the Uman experience is solely a product of the most magnificent and awe-inspiring Torah lessons taught by Rebbe Nachman, and his admiring pupil Reb Nosson. The only thing that matches the glory of Uman is the brilliance of Toras Breslov. It’s nothing short of bewildering how his lessons can speak to the most simple unlearned people and simultaneously uncover for the greatest scholars the deepest secrets of Kabbalah. This was Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. A unique lover of all Jews – every single one – no matter where that person was holding, and an extraordinary desire to relate to that Jew and inspire him to desire a relationship with God in his every day life.