Thursday, August 23, 2007

Continuing The Discussion - Hisbodedus vs. Hisbonenus

A field in Sudilkov

After reviewing our discussion on "Reasons For Not Jumping Straight Into Hisbodedus":

Rabbi Lazer Brody commented,

"Rabbenu Nachman told us to do 60 minutes of hisbodedus a day. The highest level is bitul, when I nullify my own sechel and subjugate myself to the tzaddik, and do what he tells me. That's what hiskashrus is all about."

Rabbi Ozer Bergman commented,

"Rebbe Nachman teaches (Likutey Moharan I, 29) that dibbur without daas isn't dibbur. Just to say words without thinking about what one is saying (the way most people daven?) is no way to have hisbodedus or even a conversation with a fellow human being!

In hisbodedus, some words need to be thought about before one can decide whether or not he really means them ("Is that what I want?" "Can I really promise this to Hashem?" "Do I truly feel this way?")

Some words are true, but need "fire." One has to "get himself into the zone" to speak them with earnest, honest passion.

Some words are so true they come straight from the gut -- thinking only gets in the way."

Rabbi Dovid Sears commented:

"I once asked Rav Kenig of Tzefat about the role of contemplation in hisbodedus, and he referred me to Torah 10 in the second part of Likkutei Moharan. This lesson discusses "yishuv ha-daas," gained through contemplation of the meaning of life and the futility of pursuing mundane desires. It also stresses the importance of simchah, in the sense of cultivating a positive frame of mind. Rav Kenig said that all this is part of hisbodedus, too."


At August 23, 2007 at 5:08:00 AM EDT, Blogger DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Gevaldig! This is the beginning of an understanding of a synthesis between what I'm seeing in the Bilvavi seforim and the Hisbodedus ideas that I'm more used to. Just so you know: Just as R' Brody made somewhat of a balance in the idea of Hisbodedus/Hisbonenus issue, the Bilvavi author did the same thing here in the following passage, which appeared right after the one I quoted that ASJ posted yesterday:

"There are times when a person is in pain, and his whole being begins to scream, and he pours his heart out before Hashem. This is not a negative occurrence, but you must know what the true process is, and what the exception to the rule is."

He also says something which indicates to me that the heavy stage of avoda of hisbonenus preceeding hisbodedus is not something that lasts forever. When one has strengthened his Daas in preperation for knowing what he's talking about when he starts Hisbodedus, much less time is needed at the beginning of a regular 1 hour Hisbodedus session; perhaps only a few minutes. Here's the quote on that topic:

"One must not jump right away to the phase of speaking to Hashem. Even if one has already spent half a year working on an earlier phase, he must still spend the first few minutes each time going through this process. Certainly, this depends on the time, and the times vary, but in general, this is how the structure is formed."

Yasher koach on fleshing out this issue, ASJ!

-Dixie Yid

At August 23, 2007 at 5:45:00 AM EDT, Blogger Unknown said...


Shalom Y'all!

At the risk of sounding/being commercial, may I recommend reading "Where Earth and Heaven Kiss"?

You might find some of these issues addressed to your eternal satisfaction.

kol tuv.
Ozer Bergman

At August 23, 2007 at 8:35:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I highly recommend this book and have written about it in the past here

Rabbi Bergman has given me his kind permission to post some short excerpts from it next week and I am positive that everyone will inspired.

At August 23, 2007 at 9:08:00 AM EDT, Blogger DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

R' Bergman,

Thank you for the response. I will IY"H be getting the book. I didn't know the Rav spoke about the relationship of hisbonenus to hisbodedus there. IY"H, I'll have to see that.

I'm listening now to the shiurim from Bat Ayin that ASJ posted on Chassidus l'ma'aseh the other day and they are very helpful. I look forward to finishing them in the next couple of days!

-Dixie Yid

At August 23, 2007 at 11:19:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who could do hitbodedut out in a beautiful field thinking of heaven and earth (which if you move the "h" to the front says heart) kissing? gevalt!

in tehillim in says righteousness and peace shall kiss,nu?

who can talk in the middle of a kiss?

it also says by tehilim: of You, silence is praise...

so, even tho people say one must "speak" in know? perhaps there are different ways to do this....

At August 23, 2007 at 12:09:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: So you have a silent part of the tfilo (Shmoyne Esre) and the verbal part.

Hisboydedus as well includes verbal form, and non verbal (mental only). The first corresponds to the "Olyom hadibur", while the second to "Oylom hamachshovo".

"Oylom hamachshovo" is higher, that's why the level of dveykus in machshovo is potentially higher than the level of dveykus in the dibur. However, on the contrary, practically dveykus in the dibbur is harder to maintain (as sforim attest). However they both are necessary, and are combined in different forms of avoydo.

Exactly this issue (different phases of hisboydedus and how to combine them, on what to focus and etc.) requires much clarification and training (partially personally experimental though to some degree).

At August 23, 2007 at 3:00:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pardon me for being simple, i appreciate your comments...i wonder if it's helpful to simply have the kavannah, the intention to be connected...whatever helps to connect you in that moment...the field, a story, a song, a memory, a tefila...

At August 23, 2007 at 3:53:00 PM EDT, Blogger DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


Yes, you're right. That is most helpful. Remember the story of the chacham and the Tam...

-Dixie Yid

At August 23, 2007 at 4:22:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Surely. The kavono is der iker.
תפלה בלי כונה כגוף בלי נשמה

At August 23, 2007 at 5:18:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really wonder if our souls are constantly calling out to feel/experience this connection...that's why we are supposed to daven 3x/day and all the other tefilot...

but, for some of us, the traditional way is not always possible. should this stop us from trying to develop a kesher? of course not.

i am always grateful when i am encouraged to do that...and i am grateful for any awareness that there are a number of ways to access it. the besht himself said about stories that sometimes they go higher than prayers and accomplish what prayers can't; and, reb nachman said something about, i've taught you all this torah but it's not going in so now i will tell you stories.


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