Rosh Chodesh Nissan and the Birthday of Rebbe Nachman

From the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Rosh Chodesh Nissan and the Birthday of Rebbe Nachman
March 22, 2017 Ron Caras

Happy Birthday!

It was on my first date with my husband, about 20 minutes after I had met him that I dropped the question- “So… do you feel connected to Rebbe Nachman?” My husband replied that yes, he had been to Uman for the first time just a few months earlier and now he was sold- forever bound to this powerful soul. “Excellent,” I thought, as I checked that major criteria off of my proverbial list of must-haves.
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Why was it so important to me that my future husband be connected to Rebbe Nachman? Well, the Tzaddik, having achieved the logically impossible- a living relationship with the Creator of the World, waters those connected to him, cultivating within them the motivation to constantly rediscover their unique relationship with Hashem anew. I didn’t want to marry someone who was going to get comfortable and stuck in his religious habits. I wanted someone who was constantly drinking the living waters of spiritual growth- the waters of Rebbe Nachman.
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This Tuesday night, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, is Rebbe Nachman’s birthday. On this day, the question always arises within me- what does my connection to the Rebbe do to me? How does this man who lived 300 years ago have such a powerful affect on my life?
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Let me share with you, without my connection to the Rebbe, I’m lost. I get stuck in basic questions: Is G-d for real? I do so many small things trying to connect with the Creator… do they really make a difference? Can someone like me, coming from where I’ve come from really experience the hidden light of creation? That’s where the Rebbe comes in. “The great Tzaddikim work to elevate the totally lost souls, and through the wellsprings of their wisdom they are able to water those who are totally on the outside.”
“The great Tzaddikim work to elevate the totally lost souls, and through the wellsprings of their wisdom they are able to water those who are totally on the outside.”
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You see, sometimes my mind and my heart get all dried up. I thirst for the refreshing feelings of joy, hope and creativity, but find myself groping in a barren dessert of mundanity and routine. I reach out, grab one of the Rebbe’s books, open and… perfect! Exactly the words I needed to hear. His uniquely tailored wisdom and advice seep down into my brokenness. The dry, scathed and cracked earth of my consciousness thirstily soaks up his life-giving waters. Good thoughts and beautiful actions begin to take root. Never give up hope, he whispers through his flowing waters.
Ah, I’m alive.
The dry, scathed and cracked earth of my consciousness thirstily soaks up his life-giving waters.
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So, what is the significance of Rebbe Nachman being born on Rosh Chodesh Nissan? Well, there are four different New Year’s in the Jewish calendar, and Rosh Chodesh Nissan is one of them. (2) (3)Rosh Chodesh Nissan is the official beginning of spring, when, nature, which has been laying dormant looking dead, begins to awaken and blossom into potential. It is born again.
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Would you agree with me, that it is easier to start something new, then to pick up an old poem, painting or project and keep going? Rebbe Nachman testified about himself that he would start again many times a day- a brand new beginning. And that is what the Rebbe works to inspire in us. He sends out his life-giving wisdom, and infuses us with the courage and the energy to just begin to discover our infinite potential and vital mission in this world.(4)
He sends out his life-giving wisdom, and infuses us with the courage and the energy to just begin to discover our infinite potential and vital mission in this world.
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Furthermore, get this: Exactly six months after Rebbe Nachman’s birthday, is the better known New Year, Rosh Hashana, when approximately 65,000 Jews pilgrimage to his grave site in Uman, in the Ukraine. Did you know that during Rebbe Nachman’s lifetime he did not have more than a few hundred followers? And today, he is like a spiritual magnet, attracting tens of thousands of spiritually thirsty people, spanning all cultures, ages and religiosity. Why? When someone is dying of thirst, he runs to the water. These tens of thousands board planes from all over the world to drink of the waters of the Tzaddik, the flowing stream of wisdom.(5) Reb Nosson, Rebbe Nachman’s main pupil, says it best: “The main thing [that the Tzaddik does] is to send them water to enliven and reconnect their souls.” (6)
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The Tzaddik’s power in the world is real. He has even more influence now than he did during his lifetime to provide for the people who are connected to him. He is a flowing source of comfort, wisdom and guidance. He holds the hidden light of creation in his hand, as it were, which grants him laser vision to see the big picture. He uses his influence to awaken the hearts of those connected to him, returning them to their essence, as conduits for their own Infinite power within.(7)
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So, this Tuesday night/ Wednesday, light a candle (a ner neshama), and wish a Happy Birthday to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, our ever-fresh-flowing stream of wisdom.(3)
When someone is dying of thirst, he runs to the water
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1. Hilchos Rosh Chodesh 5, subsection 50
2. It is the New Year for the counting of months.
3. The Gemara discusses a difference of opinion as to when Adam, the first man was created- the first of Tishrei (Rosh Hashana) or the first of Nissan (this Rosh Chodesh). The commentary says that in Tishrei, Man was created in potential-in thought, and in Nissan, Man was created physically.
4. How amazing is it, that on another new year, Rosh Hashana, the first of Tishrei, almost 70,000 people go to visit Rebbe Nachman’s grave in the Ukraine, and that exactly six months later on the first of Nissan, is Rebbe Nachman’s birthday. It is the Rebbe’s power of newness and strength to start again and again, rediscovering the freshness of G-d in this moment, that gushes life-giving waters to those tens of thousands who flock to his grave.
5. Rebbe Nachman divulged that his name is an acronym for the words in the Pasuk נחל נובע מקור חכמה, flowing river, source of wisdom.
6. Hilchos Rosh Chodesh 5, subsection 50
7. Likutei Mohoran, 32
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Please note: We spent much time and effort to bring the inspirational teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov as accurately as possible in this article. If you find any mistakes in translation or have trouble understanding the article, please let us know! Feel free to comment below.
We bless the viewers to be connected to Rebbe Nachman and to his teachings, and to always be happy and inspired…

Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me’Uman 🙂

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