Is there a dress code in breslov?
No. There are many customs that those connected to breslov choose to take on, including a white kippa with a ponpon, and tzitzit with techelet (blue string). But these things alone do not make a person more or less of a breslover. Each individual must find where and how they connect most to their personal truth. Rebbe Nachman says that we must stay within the specific guide lines of halacha, but outside of that we must pave our own path towards drawing close to Hashem and our purpose in this world.
Is there a difference between Hitbodedut for men and women?
Hitbodedut is for everyone, men women and children. Of course each persons hitbodedut will look different because we are all unique individuals with our own personal experiences. But hitbodedut is equally important for men and women to practice regularly!
Am I having a one way conversation or is Hashem responding?
Hitbodedut is all about connection and a true relationship. No word that we speak to God gets lost. So how do we know he’s listening and responding? Many times you will be speaking and come to a conclusion about something, or begin to see something your going through with new clarity. This is Hashem sending you answers. Many times its a thought that suddenly enters your head, or a friend that speaks to you about the exact thing you were speaking about. There are many ways that Hashem responds to us, We just need to be apart of the conversation and be open to receiving!
Can I do hitbodedut whenever I want?
Is Hitbodedut considered Jewish meditation?
Meditation is a technique used to connect to the deeper aspects of our soul, by removing ourselves from all the distractions and hustle and bustle of the world. Many use meditation as a means to lift themselves up to a more spiritual existence, and to be and feel more connected. In that sense Hitbodedut can certainly be referred to as Jewish meditation.
Did Rebbe Nachman invent this technique of speaking to Hashem?
No. Hitbodedut is a Jewish tradition dating back to the beginning of our people. Long before we had the written prayers we are all so familiar with today, any person who wished to connect with Hashem did so through secluding himself with God in conversation. The written prayer was added on as an addition to this way, not as a replacement. Hitbodedut is imperative for those that want to have a living relationship with God. This is why Rebbe Nachman refers to hitbodedut as “the new old way”. Because he is reintroducing us to a path of spiritual connection that all holy people since the creation of the world once used to connect to Hashem.
What should I do if I have nothing to say?
This can happen to you many times. You can speak to Hashem about the fact that you have nothing to say, and to ask that he gives you something to speak about. You can speak anyway, even if you don’t feel connected. There are many different things you can do to try and open yourself up to speak, but the most important thing is to not give up! Even if after a whole hour you still feel like you have nothing to say, the main thing is that your there, and that you want it.
Can I sing when I go to hitbodedut?
Its not only that you CAN sing, its recommended that you do! To sing a niggun that helps you to open your heart, or even to “speak” your words in song is a great way to open your flow of thoughts and words; you may be surprised what comes pouring out!
What should I speak about in hitbodedut?
You can speak about everything! Anything that is on your mind or in your heart. You can ask for things you need, speak about your day, your week, your dreams & fears. Anything that is confusing and you feel you need clarity on. The most important thing is to speak from a place of truth. Whatever your truth is at that given time.
You may come to speak to Hashem and find that your heart is closed and you have nothing to say. Rebbe Nachman advises to speak anyway. Even if you repeat the same sentence over and over. Or even say to Hashem that you feel closed and have nothing to say. The most important thing is to be there and ready to speak. Rebbe Nachman says even if in the entire time you go to hitboded you don’t say anything at all, it is still a very great thing to show that you want it. You never know when your heart will be opened and you’ll have loads to say again.
Where is it recommended to do hitbodedut?
It is best to hitboded in nature, in a place without other people. But if that is not possible then any secluded place you can find, away from other people and distractions. This can be a room inside your home, inside your car, or even under your tallit if the inspiration to speak hits You can speak to Hashem in any place and at any time!
What if I only feel I can keep some of the Mitzvot but many others are still too hard for me to keep? Is it a contradiction to only keep some?
Absolutely not! It is so important to take things on according to the pace that you can handle. Rebbe Nachman says that “even a little bit is good”. This is true when taking new things upon ourselves, and also about the traditions we are already accustomed to keeping. Judaism is never all or nothing. It is a personal journey that each one of us is constantly climbing on. It is important to want and try to constantly learn and grow, and at the same time to remember that each and every action we put forth in our reach for spirituality, connection, and truth, is so precious to Hashem.
Why can’t I connect to Hashem directly? What do I need the tzaddik for?
You can and should connect to Hashem directly! All our life is clarifying and deepening our connection to God and truth. The Tzaddik does not replace our need to constantly work on our relationship, he is already apart of it, and by consciously connecting to him, we can deepen and strengthen our rlationship to Hashem.
When we received the Torah on Mt. Sinai, Hashem chose to give it to us through Moshe. He could have chosen any way to hand us the Torah, but he built the role of the tzaddik Moshe Rabeinu into the system. This role has always existed and continues to exist.
Rebbe Nachman said about himself that his “fire will burn until the coming of Moshiach”. Meaning that from his lifetime forward he is the Tzaddik that can bring us the deepest Torot, and help us constantly become closer to Hashem. By connecting to the Tzaddik through his Torot and by going to him in Uman, we open up a deeper channel of connectivity for ourselves.
There is so much more to say about this topic. To learn more about the Tzaddik and the importance of our connection to him look in Likutey Maharan or contact us with any questions you have.
Is there WIFI in Uman?
It depends what time of year you are there. For Rosh Hashana there is free WIFI, and during the rest of the year you can buy a sim card.
Are there hotels in Uman?
Yes there are hotels, even Jewish run hotels with kosher food.
Do people only travel to Uman for Rosh Hashana?
You can travel to Uman all year around. Rebbe Nachman made a promise that any person who comes to him in Uman, gives money to tzedakkah and reads the tikkun haklali, he will personally beseech on his behalf in the upper realms, and help him in this lifetime.
There are three specific times a year besides Rosh Hashana that you will find a large amount of people gathered there (of course incomparable in numbers to that of Rosh Hashana) . They are; Shabbat Chanukkah, Shavuot, and The first of Nissan. All of these times were mentioned by Rebbe Nachman as high times to travel to the Tzaddik. But all year around you can find groups and individuals traveling to Uman to connect to Rebbe Nachman and get inspired.