The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

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Volume V, Issue 39

Korach 5761 June 2001

Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright 2001 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (

* The Society for Positive Mindfulness (Part V): [Exercising Our Mindfulness]
-- By Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman (The Pieszesner Rebbe)

* The Youth of Rabbi Nosson of Nemirov (Part Vi): ["Now I Am No Longer Alone"]
--By Rabbi Avraham Tultshiner

* Great Study
--By Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neriah

* This Present That I Give to You
--By Yaacov Dovid Shulman

by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman (the Pieszesner Rebbe)

[Exercising Our Mindfulness]

But really, why isn't our mindfulness strong? After all, mindfulness is not intellect; [a person may] lack a bright and keen intellect, [but this has nothing to do with mindfulness]. Nor is mindfulness intellectual gymnastics and analysis. To the contrary, we are only seeking simple faithfulness to God, and that this faithfulness not be hidden within us, but on the level of the verse, "he believed in Hashem, and He considered it." Let us read this verse, "he believed in Hashem, and he himself considered" and meditated upon that belief. We wish to meditate upon our faithfulness with a breadth of thought that will fill our entire body (as we will later discuss, God willing).

And since every Jew is a descendant of prophets, why should any of us lack this type of imagination and mindfulness? The answer is simply that we have not properly used and exercised [our mindfulness]. This can be compared to a physical ability: if you do not use it and exercise it, it grows weak. And more than that, since we are engaged in using our body and our senses to take care of our needs and we do not employ our spiritual mindfulness that transcends the imaginings of our body, our physical endeavors overwhelm our mindfulness.

When a person has a nervous condition because his thought has been damaged and spoiled, physicians advise him only to engage in physical activities, without thought, in order to quiet his nerves. Then even his thoughts of physical things shrink and lose their sensitivity.

And so, when we wish to take this great step from the lowliness of the body to the work of mindfulness, we simply need to bring out and reveal within ourselves a new and strong mindfulness, and to exercise it--just as we bring forth a child's ability to walk by practice.

Then we gain a double reward. Not only will a supernal mindfulness that we had never before sensed be revealed within us, but in addition, since we are working on mindfulness and strengthening it, the poisons of the bodily senses will be weakened, just as physical work weakens thought (as mentioned above). And these physical senses will themselves be transformed into the senses of the mind.

Bnei Machshavah Tovah

by Rabbi Avraham Tultshiner

["Now I am No Longer Alone"]

R. Nachman came to Breslov on a Tuesday, which was a market day. People [came to Nemirov and] began talking about the type of man R. Nachman is. They said that he disparages the practices of the well-known [Hasidic] leaders--meaning, the fact that they have made gatherings of eating and drinking the essence of serving God. (Once, R. Nachman said, "Ich kan shoyn nit oys shtein zeire fraznikes--I can no longer bear their feasts.") People furthermore said that R. Nachman speaks of nothing but Torah and prayer, and that he tells people to confess before him.

Someone--his name was Valtshi Nasaneils--disparagingly joked about one of R. Nachman's Hasidim, "I saw a viduinik--a confessor." When R. Naftali heard this, he insulted Valtshi Nasaneils. He cursed him by his father and said, "Is this what you insult? This is exactly what I want!"

R. Lipe went to R. Nachman for the Sabbath. That year, selichos, the penitential prayers before Rosh Hashanah, went on for many days. R. Lipe returned home, and that Saturday night, he stood beneath the ribe [?] and recited selichos and aneinu with great feeling, in a strong voice. Hearing him, R. Nosson and R. Naftali were very impressed. Although R. Naftali was already an experienced Hasid, he was inspired. "This," he said, "is something new!"

And so R. Nosson and R. Naftali immediately went to the marketplace to hire a wagon to take them to Breslov. They met R. Leibush, who wanted to go someplace by way of Breslov, and he told them that he would accompany them to R. Nachman. They traveled together and on the way came to the home of R. Beryl Duvrishis, who told them stories and described the wonders of R. Nachman. R. Nosson later said, "Hab ich gezen az di shtub iz shoyn full mit dem rebn. I saw that the room was already filled with the rebbe."

Afterwards, they came to R. Nachman. He described each one of them by his family background on his father's side. R. Naftali was of a good family, the grandson of the rabbi of Skahal. R. Leibush was also of a good family. R. Nachman said, "Gale--gute yudn." [?]

R. Nosson commented that he was slightly related to R. Nachman through R. Nachman of Horodenke. [translator's note: I was unclear about the exact relationship]

R. Nachman replied, "Atzind bin ich shoyn nit alnt. Now I am no longer alone." And he also said, "Mir kanen zich shoyn fun lang, nar mir habn zich shoyn a tzeit nit gezen. We already know each other a long time, but we have not seen each other for a while."

And then R. Nachman told three stories.

The first story was about R. Mordechai of Neskhiz. Once, one of his Hasidim came to him and complained about his meager income, his rent, and so forth. R. Mordechai told him, "I want you to own the entire house you live in." This man lived in a large apartment house with many residents, which also had an inn.

This man returned home. Some time later, the owner died, and it passed on to the inheritors.

But the house was no longer successful, because im hat zich arein gekhapt di nit gite--the devil had entered it. There were spirits there, and so forth. The house was sold, but whoever bought it died. The house acquired a bad name, and travelers stopped using the inn. The residents set out a notice of its sale, but there were no buyers. They constantly lowered the price until it cost very little. Then the words of R. Mordechai of Neskhiz entered this man's heart. He went and bought the house. And from then on, the house began to regain its success. Many travelers again began to lodge there. And the man grew rich.

After this he traveled to R. Mordechai. When he went to take leave of R. Mordechai, he understood from R. Mordechai's motions that R. Mordechai was not giving him a whole-hearted permission, as he had in the past. The man was afraid to go. And this happened every time he wanted to take his leave.

by Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neriah

As a result of Rav Kook's connection to the teachings of Breslov and his close relations with Breslovers, when his only son, R. Tzvi Yehudah, went to learn from R. Epstein in Yeshivas Toras Chaim in Jerusalem, the Breslover Hasidim of Jerusalem befriended him and tried to draw him into their circle and way of service (hisbodedus meditation, midnight tikun chatzos, immersion in the mikveh, and so forth). R. Tzvi Yehudah decided to ask his father for guidance, and his father's response was not long in coming. This response contained a certain measure of reserve (for that which is fit for adults is not appropriate for youngsters who are still maturing). And here is part of his reply.

"The inner quality of this man, [R. Nachman,] requires great study. For this, however, one needs a healthy heart and a healthy spirit, a path of good hygiene (both psychological and physical) and a fitting and straight connection to other studies--both those that support and those that disagree with [Breslov's] points of view. In that way, matters will be properly illuminated."

Despite this expression of reserve and the [expressed] need for an appropriate critical approach, Rav Kook had great appreciation for R. Nachman's person and the teachings of Breslov.

When Yeshiva Chasidei Breslov was founded in Jerusalem, Rav Kook sent a letter (dated Thursday, Adar I 5692) of congratulations to the rabbis "who founded a yeshiva in which will be learned, together with other topics of Torah and piety, the wondrous works of the rabbi, the holy gaon, unique in his uplifted thoughts, Moharan of Breslov."

Chayei Harayah, pp. 171-72

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

This present that I give to
You, spawned of weariness and dry
Flat summer sheen, of desiccated blades of
Grass, dull, dry petals bleached beneath an aging sun, this

Flaccid beating of a once-
Red heart, this tired breathing of
A voice that, wrapped in sky and darkness, rose to
Meet the melting pearls slowly dropping in the star-glazed

Air, this bronze-creased hand: hold them,
And I will speak to you through lips
Of another soul. You will see, we are one
Soul, one tree, one globe, one interstice of nodes. This light

I gain from you today was
Mine; and here, see this holy
Figure's flight. We are the shadow in its folds.
We are its hidden heart that glows like green-gold fireflies.

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