Friday, April 29, 2005

Thoughts On Learning Likutey Moharan

Likutey Moharan is unlike any sefer I have ever learned before. Without the Breslov Research Institute's commentary and Rabbi Nasan Maimon's shiurim that I listen to on my MP3 player this sefer would be extremely difficult to understand. My understanding is still at a very superficial level yet I still find this sefer to be incredibly profound. Written almost 200 years ago, it provides advice and guidance which is incredibly relevant for life today. It is as if it were written for me.

In his book "The Tree That Stands Beyond Space", Rabbi David Sears states that "the study of Likutey Moharan is not merely an intellectual process, but a means of spiritual transformation." He also notes that through learning this sefer "the world we experience seems to become a commentary on the Torah discourses and not the other way around."

Learning Likutey Moharan also helps me understand the sefer that is closest to my heart, Degel Machaneh Ephraim. The sefer Degel Machaneh Ephraim contains teachings heard directly from the Baal Shem Tov. It was written by the Rebbe of the shtetl where my family comes from in Ukraine. I quickly discovered that the language and concepts found in Degel Machaneh Ephraim are mirrored and expounded upon in Likutey Moharan. The connection between these two seforim is not surprising considering that the Degel Machaneh Ephraim was the uncle of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Shivchei HaRan #3 also notes that the Degel Machaneh Ephraim gave Rebbe Nachman a special brocha at his bar mitzvah.

It is clear to me now that learning Likutey Moharan will help draw me closer to the path of my ancestors.


At May 2, 2005 at 4:28:00 AM EDT, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Likutey Moharan is a phenomenal work and needs to be better taught and more widely distributed. I recommend Aryeh Kaplan's version.


At October 9, 2005 at 12:29:00 PM EDT, Blogger Barry Freedman said...

Some of the greatest experiences in learning Likutey Moharan are found in the parts that we can't seem to understand. Instead of looking for commentary to explain, try praying deeply for understanding and see how that works for you.

Best wishes and much success.

At October 9, 2005 at 1:03:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Barry :)

At October 10, 2005 at 2:23:00 AM EDT, Blogger Barry Freedman said...

Glad it speaks to you, SJ, G'mar Chatima Tova :)

At April 9, 2008 at 11:56:00 AM EDT, Anonymous kobi levi said...

thanks asj,

it's remarkable to think of the degel giving rebbe nachman a brocha at his bar-mitzvah, wow!

i find likutey moharan to be an amazing sefer. simply opening it and reading a little...there is a very strong light and energy. one can read it as profound poetry...a line or two and the footnotes are enough to keep one meditating on the content for some time.

bH for likutey moharan and rebbe nachman!!!

At April 9, 2008 at 11:58:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, has a very fine discussion of likutey moharan

At April 9, 2008 at 12:11:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks for your comment, Kobi :)


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