Monday, August 20, 2007

Question & Answer With Rabbi Nasan Maimon - V'Sartem


A Simple Jew asks:

In Degel Machaneh Ephraim, Parshas Kedoshim, the Degel teaches in the name of his grandfather, the Baal Shem Tov, that immediately when a person turns away from his state of deveykus and his consciousness of Hashem it is considered as if he is serving other gods.

What advice does Rebbe Nachman of Breslov provide to the simple Jew on how to attain and constantly retain such consciousness?

Rabbi Nasan Maimon responds:

The Baal Shem Tov put great emphasis on "Bechol Derochecha Da’ai’hu, In all your ways know (be conscious of) Hashem."

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov put his greatest emphasis on Hisbodedus, personal, private communication with Hashem in your own words and language on a daily basis at a fixed time and place. This applies to all Jews on every level.

I once saw in a sefer (I believe it was written by the Chida Zal) that a person who has "hisbodedus" regularly will always be conscious of Hashem.

This can be seen in that the first letters of "Bechol Derochecha Da’ai’hu" spell the word "Badad" which is the root of the word "hisbodedus".

23 Comments:

At August 20, 2007 at 8:04:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

I think you should advise people that a printout of the above would contain Shaimos.

 
At August 20, 2007 at 8:05:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Looks like you just did, Bob ;)

 
At August 20, 2007 at 9:03:00 AM EDT, Blogger DixieYid said...

The quote from Rebbe Nachman below that you found is really mat'im to Rav Maimon's answer.

-Dixie Yid

 
At August 20, 2007 at 12:11:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

The Baal Shem Tov put great emphasis on "Bechol Derochecha Da’ai’hu, In all your ways know (be conscious of) Hashem."

The Rebe speaks about it right in the beginning of Likutey Moharan - (in Likutey Moharan 1). Where he says, that one has to contemplace the divine wisdom (chochmo and seykhel) in everything. Such histaklus (contemplation of G-dliness in everything) is exactly the issue of "Bechol Derochecha Da’ai’hu".

This is one of the "foundation stones" of Chasidus, and it is not accidentally placed as the first maymor in Likutey Moharan. Compare it for example with the very first maymor in "Meoyr Eynaim" and you'll see startling parallels, because obviously this is a very important issue in Chasidus and it is very appropriate to begin with.

 
At August 20, 2007 at 12:29:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

To say "just use hisboydedus" - is a very general advice which is far from enough. This requires more detailed explanation and iyun into this subject, with practical examples.

Reb Noson in Likutey Halochoys gives some very insightful examples for this issue. Also, there are nice samples of how to practically progress in Bechol Derochecha Da’ai’hu in Pyasetchner Rebe's "Bney Machsovo Toyvo".

But this subject as usually, is discussed mostly briefly here and there. It is pretty hard to get a systematical presentation for it, and also as usuall there is more that's not written, then the written part.

 
At August 20, 2007 at 3:28:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reb Yid!

The book "Where Earth and Heaven Kiss" (advertised on the right hand side of this page) is a practical guide to hisbodedus -- with examples.

 
At August 20, 2007 at 5:06:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Anonymous: It is well done, but still far from sufficient. It just gives you an idea that it's not as simple as it might seem. It is a vast subject in truth.

 
At August 20, 2007 at 6:52:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yid-

the "simple" talking to Hashem is still a great thing. When Reb Nachmans grandson said "Hashem please heal my zeide" Reb Nachman praised that. Reb Nachmans teachings are accessible to everyone on their own level.

 
At August 20, 2007 at 9:36:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Anon: Surely. I didn't say they are relevant only for those with advanced level of avoydo. What I mean, that one shouldn't think that "simple" means superficial and everything here is causally "self-obvious".

 
At August 21, 2007 at 7:11:00 AM EDT, Anonymous mo said...

anon and a yid: I find that the one big problem with oversimplifying hisbodedus is that one ends up doing what comes naturally - talking to ONESELF - and calling it hisbodedus! Yes, hisbodedus can and should be utterly simple, but it has to be talking to Hashem and not to oneself! Most people fall into whatever comes naturally to them, and call it hisbodedus... So we have to first learn how to access Hashem, the one we want to speak to... And that's not easy at all...

 
At August 21, 2007 at 7:24:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Chochom & The Tam"

 
At August 21, 2007 at 7:28:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Anonymous: I would imagine that the Chochmom thinks too much about how to do hisbodedus while the Tam simply speaks to Hashem in his own words; the Chochom is in his room doing an analysis while the Tam is in the fields under the clouds deep in hisbodedus...

 
At August 21, 2007 at 10:08:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple Jew: I could not have said it better...

 
At August 21, 2007 at 11:45:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Every discipline has an entry level and higher levels. You don't disparage the entry level because something greater lies beyond it. You don't try to skip over it; it's a necessary step.

A Yid said above about R. Bergman's book,
"It is well done, but still far from sufficient". It depends on the audience. If A Yid believes something more is needed for levels above entry level, he should seriously think about writing it himself. A list of references is also not enough.

 
At August 21, 2007 at 11:52:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Bob Miller: See answer for August 20, 2007 9:36:00 PM EDT.

"Entry level" as you call it is not necessarily self obvious.

 
At August 21, 2007 at 11:58:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Mo: Well said. The point of hisboydedus is dveykus to Hashem, whether it is done in speach or in thought. The misboyded must be aware of it. Thus for him the hisboydedus will be the mystical experience per se. Otherwise it is missing the point.

Anon: Chochom veTam is a good example here, which is commonly misunderstood. "Tmimus" isn't foolishness or dumness, and "pshitus" isn't superficiality. Read the mayse again, to see it clearly.

Also carefully look in Bney Machshovo Toyvo 15-16.

This should be probably the proposed subject for future discussions.

Something like: "Phsitus vetmimus / vs Chochmes. How does it work?"

 
At August 21, 2007 at 12:19:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

A Yid said,

"'Entry level' as you call it is not necessarily self obvious."

Of course I agree, which was my point in favor of using R. Bergman's book as an introduction, as opposed to trying to intuit or guess at a methodology.

I still urge you to write your own book that embodies your understanding of hisbodedus.

 
At August 21, 2007 at 8:21:00 PM EDT, Anonymous josh said...

what do i know about these things?

1)reb nachman said to ask H' for help with every little thing.

2)when i can't "pray" or read/say tefilot i simply try to remember to say "thank you" for something.

it does me a world of good.

 
At August 21, 2007 at 8:22:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know how ok. it is to print the actual shem H' on the computer...but it was quite an experience to simply look at thoughtfully, meditatively.

thank you.

 
At August 22, 2007 at 12:15:00 PM EDT, Blogger Adam said...

I think that Reb a yid should write books on all the issues he takes up on this blog. I am sure the likes of Nissen Maimon and Chaim Kramer could learn a lot from him... ;)

 
At August 23, 2007 at 2:10:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Adam: I'm not up to writing books :) But I din't say anything not generally known. Those who are seriously interested in hisboydedus come across discussions of this issues often in sifrey Chasidus (early ones mostly).

 
At August 23, 2007 at 2:32:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Are you saying we need to go to primary sources and anything less won't do?

 
At August 24, 2007 at 12:18:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Shurely works explaining primary sources are needed a lot. But primary sources are the must so to say, to get into the subject.

 

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