Guest Posting From A Yid: Learning Likutey Moharan - How Well Do We Understand What Hisboydedus Is?
After we had some discussions about hisboydedus and learning Likutey Moharan, I figured out that some consider this issue pretty clear and easy to understand, while others (like myself) find it hard and complex and not obvious from written words themselves.
So I decided to refresh for myself the issue of how to approach learning Chasidus in general, and Likutey Moharan in particular.
Before speaking about it, it worth to look at one piece from hakdomo to "Likutey Amorim" of Mezheritcher Maggid zy"o written by his close talmid – Rabbi Shloyme Lutzker zy"o. You'll see how it is relevant a bit later.
In the beginning, Rabbi Shloyme Lutzker zy"o describes the chain of hidden mesoyro (of Kabolo and Toyras hasoyd) how it came from Moyshe Rabeyny o"h up to Rash"bi and other early mekubolim, until it reached the Rama"k and Ariza"l and then to Baal Shem Tov and his talmidim zy"o. And regarding the Ari haKodoysh he says:
However, Rav haKodoysh hoAri za"l being required to extend his explanations on his every word in details of details, every world by itself, and entities called partzufim, which are plesent but very long drushim, which consume [a lot of] time (as explained in introduction to seyfer hakodoysh Eytz Chaim, that them (Ariza"l's drushim) are just roshey perokim (gists), as one who "gazes through a crack", and [they are] revealing "tefach" and concealing thousands of "amoys"), he wasn't able to extend his speach more, in separating gashmius from Him, Yisborach, but also he didn't need it, because he revealed [all this] to his talmidim hakdoyshim, who were already fulled with wisdom and extra understanding and learned Daas from sforim hakoyshim of Eloyki Moreynu hoRama"k za"l...
Just note a chasidic view, that in order to understand Ariza"l throughly one has to know Rama"k very well, and that Ariza"l spoke revealing a tefach, and concealing thousand of amoys (a very colorful metaphor if you think about it).
Now let's look closely to introduction to Likutey Moharan written by Reb Noson zy"o. Here some pieces from it:
Both (qualites) are found in this holy work as one, because it reveals and conceals <...> and even though these words are revealed, and can be understood a bit according to their simple meaning, nevertheless there is more inside... because there is still an inner aspects (pnimius) of the words, concealed from everyone's eyes... because concealment is a revelation as explained in Kisvey Ariza"l...
And one who will desire to look at this [seyfer] with true eye will see himself "until where these words reach". And one whose heart is "flat" and who doesn't desire the understanding of kdusho of this seyfer, these words wouldn't help him...
And one who desires to taste the honey nectar of these pleasant words, has to contemplate deeply with true eye with deep penetration and thorough "grinding" to understand the words according to their [true] meaning, to the best ability of his mind....
...Hidden and concealed and enclosed in it are very lofty things, that aren't even mentioned inside openly, but only in a way of remez and soyd. And all Kisvey hoAriza"l, and maymorim of Zoyhar haKodoysh, and Tikunim and all ways of Kabolo hakdoysho, all as one are included in the words of this seyfer hakodoysh.
Reb Noson's introduction gives a very good explanation on the way Liktey Moharan is composed. It is megale and mechase at the same time. And it includes all ways of Kabolo. And we have to note that it includes the ways of Baal Shem Tov and his talmidim in particular! Compare what Reb Noson says, to the words of Reb Shloyme Lutzker above. Rebbe himself also said, that he brought his words to this world to the best of his ability (as we saw about Ariza"l as well). And you shouldn't go too far to understand, that Rebbe didn't have to explain to his talmidim every small detail of Chasidus, because they were very well versed in sfroim of Baal Shem Tov's talmidim (and those of the talmidey hoMaggid available at that time), as Ariza"l's talmidim were well versed in the sforim of the Rama"k.
This might differ Breslov from Chabad for example. While Chabad tends to be a self sufficient system to some degree, Breslov requires you to know a lot, to understand Likutey Moharan, and especially of Baal Shem Tov's teachings and Kabolo. That's how the Rebbe presented his teachings. We see it all the more from the Tcheriner Rov ztz"l who according to Breslover mesoyro composed "Derech Chasidim" and "Loshn Chasidim", for the sake of strengthening the learning of talmidey Baal Shem Tov and talmidey hoMaggid amongst Breslover chasidim, so these Toyroys woulnd't fall out of the focus, and really because they are more than relevant to understanding Likutey Moharan itself.
From here you can see well few important points:
1. The Rebbe speaks in a half hidden way (you can assume that hidden part is qualitively much more than revealed as in Ariza"l's case).
2. Reb Noson says, that one should learn Rebbe's words to the best of his ability, and not to be contended with superficial level.
3. In order to understand Likutey Moharan seriously one should know really a lot, and in teachings of Baal Shem Tov and his talmidim in particular.
After all this, you can see, that regarding hisboydedus all this can be applied as well. And this issue (even though it of course has a simple practical implications as well as Reb Noson says) is serious and deep, and one should really work hard to understand it to the best of his ability.