Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tishrei Must Be Fast Approaching

My good friend Ilán in Buenos Aires sent me an e-mail last Monday inquiring whether he will get a chance to meet me in Uman for Rosh Hashanah. Just a few days before, Chabakuk Elisha told me that he was planning to take his sons along with him to Uman as well.

I replied to both Ilán and Chabakuk Elisha that unfortunately I would not be going this year since I could not leave my wife behind with our new baby and two small children. I realize that this is precisely what everyone else does when they go; they overcome obstacles. Quite honestly, however, I believe that my going to Uman at this stage in my life would display a bit of spiritual selfishness.

G-d willing, one day, I will be able to go with my son. From the pictures I have seen and all the accounts that I have read, I can only imagine what an amazing and uplifting experience it must be. It seems like an experience so powerful that you do not return the same person who left.

Uman calls out for me, and I am still longing to return.

For those of you who have been to Uman for Rosh Hashanah, do you now find it difficult to be anywhere else? Please leave a comment and tell me about your experiences there.

(Picture courtesy of AP)

UPDATE: Rabbi Dovid Sears replied:

I have had some very powerful experiences in Uman.

But I always try to tell people that Uman is not about "experiences" or spiritual highs, although they may happen. It is all about emunas chakhomim and tikkun ha-neshamos, and therefore transcends what we know and experience. My friend Dovid Steinberg once told someone "You won't even begin to know what happened to you in Uman for six months!"


At August 17, 2006 at 1:56:00 PM EDT, Blogger ilan said...

Thank you for the link!! You put the Accent to "Ilán" i'm very glad, really, thks =).

Im living some difficults to travel to uman this year (one year ago i have difficults, too).
I have to do more hitbodedut, later i'll tell you the news (im a bit busy).
Anyway i HOPE meet whit you at Uman.

Thnk again & bracha for you and your family.

At August 17, 2006 at 2:02:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Ilán: My pleasure. I look forward to read your account upon your return from Uman. Is this the first time you are going?

At August 17, 2006 at 2:29:00 PM EDT, Blogger ilan said...

But, like the past year, i have to overcome obstacles who i dont overcome yet. It's something amazing, when some obstacle left, other come!
You can't imagine SJ!
On Motzae Shabat Kodesh i met whit a friend, he said: "Nu? you was slipping?? Travel to Uman is not easy thing. RABENU HAKADOSH!"
Is not easy.

At August 17, 2006 at 3:09:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

May the Ribbono shel Olam help you be matzliach, my friend!

At August 17, 2006 at 3:29:00 PM EDT, Blogger torontopearl said...

Apparently, my brother-in-law is supposed to be going to Uman this year for the first time. I can only begin to imagine the energy that emanates from the thousands gathered there. A sight/sound to behold. I hope you do get your chance in the future to experience it over the chagim.

At August 17, 2006 at 3:35:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Pearl: Is your brother-in-law a Breslover?

At August 17, 2006 at 11:34:00 PM EDT, Blogger torontopearl said...

Not. At. All.
I guess he's just had friends go, friends who aren't even Breslovers, who told him so much about the experience. He wants to be caught up in it.
Both I and my husband have been told on more than one occasion: "You should go to Uman." I know several men who go, then later in the year several women who go. It's not on my list of things to least not in my immediate future. But I am very happy to hear others' stories about the experience.

At August 18, 2006 at 12:00:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

torontopearl: Is he at least a chosid? :)

At August 18, 2006 at 12:04:00 AM EDT, Blogger Fedora Black said...

I can understand how you feel, ASJ. When I start dreaming out loud about going to Uman, my wife’s response is “Ok, but what am I doing for Rosh Hashanah then?” It is interesting to note that our economic situation isn’t great this year (ok, it’s never good, but this year it’s been quite bad), and I wonder if her thoughts on the issue would be different if we had the funds for such a trip readily available, as well as a local community of other “Uman widows” she could spend the Yom Tov with. However, I think that I will begin to make plans to go next year, or even for Rosh Chodesh Nissan. That way I’ll have some time to prepare my wife for things.

So any ideas for us, who are staying home? Should we go to the nearest Breslov Shul? Go to the local Chabad? Obiously, going to a minyan or shul associated with Rebbe Nachman’s name would be best. However, last year I had a fantastic Rosh Hashana at a yeshivish/litvish kollel. They were wonderful, and made no issue at all about me using Nusach HaAri.

At August 18, 2006 at 12:20:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Fedora Black:

Where do you live? There not that many Breslover shuls around.

At August 18, 2006 at 12:23:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Fedora Black: A common joke about it.
ELUL = Ani LeUman Veishti Levado...

At August 18, 2006 at 1:41:00 AM EDT, Blogger Fedora Black said...

a yid:

Mentioning "the nearest Breslov shul" was a bit of a joke, as getting to one in the US is almost as costly and difficult as going to Uman or Meron!

I live in Northern California, and there is certainly no Breslov shul or minyan anywhere here that I am aware of, although Berkeley and SF might have some people that feel close to Breslov, who would likely go to the Berkeley Beit Midrash, aka Rabbi Chanan Feld's shul.

The only dedicated Breslov minyan that I know of in California (possibly even the whole West Coast) in the The Hochmat HaNachal minyan in LA. I have unfortunately never had the pleasure of attending, but hope to next time I am in LA (which is not very often).

Good joke about Elul, by the way.

At August 18, 2006 at 7:45:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Fedora Black: Our wives sound identical. I also liked term "Uman widows" ;)

A Yid: A great Elul joke! :)

At August 18, 2006 at 10:39:00 AM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

Hey - the wives can all come over and keep my my wife and mother company!

At August 22, 2006 at 8:46:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can't women travel, too?

At August 22, 2006 at 8:47:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, better yet, why don't you come up with another holiday where all the women go somewhere and the men stay home and take care of the kids and meals?

At August 22, 2006 at 3:19:00 PM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

Some women do travel too. Go ahead!

As to the new holiday, go for that too!


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