Thursday, July 12, 2012

#148 - Name of the TZADIK

When it comes to Hebrew/Yiddish names of righteous people, one is hardly at a loss between the Bible, Talmud, and names of righteous people of more recent times. While many name their children after a beloved relative, others who don't have a whole lot of relatives or have brothers or sisters who already named their children after the deceased relatives of the family have a choice to name their children after a righteous person who has passed away (Note: There are some Sephardic Jews who name their children after a person who is presently living.) Kabbalistically, there is a spiritual bond between the child given the name and the one after whom the child is named.

With this said, one who is named after a righteous person can be influenced towards living a righteous way of life, though he or she still has free choice to do good or otherwise. For this reason, it is most important not to give one's child a name of an evil person, which means that even if the name itself has already been used as the name of righteous people in the past, it is not advisable to name someone after another who did not live a G-dly life.

To note, there are some who name their child after a righteous character of the weekly portion (Parsha) of the Torah. For example, as the name of this week's Parsha is Pinchas, there may be those who will name their boy who is born or has their Brit Mila (circumcision) during this week after Pinchas, who not only was the grandson of Aaron the Cohen Gadol (High Priest), but was given special awards upon his brave act of killing a leader of one of the Tribes of Israel who dared to defy Moses and sleep with a Midianite princess, despite the chance of being criticized or killed by others in revenge for daring to "murder a leader in the Jewish community". Personally, I named my daughter after Tamar - who mated with Judah which resulted in two righteous sons, bearing the descendants of King David and Moshiach - since my daughter was born during the week of Parshat Vayeishev, the ONLY Parsha of the Torah that mentions Tamar. In her own right, she risked her life to be burnt in execution for supposed harlotry to save Judah from being embarrassed following his one night stand with her by confronting him in an indirect manner; and luckily, Judah was man enough to admit his error by stating that she was correct that her children (they were twins) that she conceived was from him.

As it turns out, many who are followers of their Chasidic Rebbe or Rosh Yeshiva will name their children after their respective leader. It is not so uncommon for cousins of families who belong to the same Chasidic stream, let's say, who will bear the same name, which is quite obvious when they are at least two names. In fact, in a school belonging to a particular Chasidic sect, there could be two or more children in the same class bearing the same exact name, and as it happens occasionally where two cousins of the same last name and age who live near other attending the same school, alternate ways of identifying the particular, for example, "Nachman Friedman" or "Yaakov Yosef Rabinowitz" have to be creative to prevent mixing up two different test sheets or scoring grades for performance of their studies.

Today, I will be focusing on the name of one particular Tzadik (righteous person), though other Tzadikim (plural for Tzadik) will be mentioned as well. Let me ask you, when I mentioned the above example of the name "Nachman Friedman", did you think of any particular Tzadik with the name Nachman? You see, this is only one Hebrew name, as opposed to two or more Hebrew names that normally better identify the Tzadik after whom the name is given. It is true that the name Nachman is not mentioned even once in the entire Tanach - though in a way it is mentioned once, as the name Nachmani followed by the name Mordechai of the Purim story (Nehemiah 7:7). However, the name Nachman is used extensively in the Gemara. However, chances are is that unless one learns enough Gemara everyday to immediately think of a Sage with this name; much more likely, the Tzadik that one will immediately think of is Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, whose name Nachman is the Gematria of 148, the number of this post.

But wait a minute! You could have sworn that you saw on some Kipa (skullcap) where you saw it was written "Nachman Meuman (from Uman)". After all, if the Breslov sect wants to identify this group of Chasidim as Breslovers, they have to make up their mind if Rabbi Nachman was living in Breslov or in Uman.

In fact, for most of Rabbi Nachman's leadership, he lived in Breslov. However, a few months before his passing, he relocated to Uman, a Ukranian town, following his home being burnt to the ground on the Sabbath, and wound up being buried there.

In all fairness, unlike virtually all other Chasidic movements, the Breslov movement does not carry a history of a dynasty of Chasidic Rebbes - for there is only one Rebbe of Breslov - Rabbi Nachman. However, it is true that in the ensuing generations, there have been leaders of the movement, but without the official title of a Chasidic Rebbe, including his devoted disciple Rabbi Nosson Sternhartz who was the one who wrote down Rabbi Nachman's teachings, including his magnum opus Likutei Moharan (Moharan is the abbreviation of the words Moreinu HaRav Rabbeinu Nachman - "Our teacher, the leader, our Rabbi Nachman").

And so, the focus of Breslov in terms of its leaders is particularly on Rabbi Nachman. As such, unlike in other Chasidic movements where usually there is a present day leader after whom all the followers of the particular dynasty will look up to (though there are ones who have more than one Chasidic Rebbe which at times can be the cause of much unnecessary fighting, defeating the whole purpose of being a Chasidic Jew), it allows for followers of Breslov to adopt a particular leading Breslov scholar as their rabbi to turn to for guidance, based on his or her spiritual needs. Yet, the ultimate leader whose teachings are the ones that all Breslovers follow is Rabbi Nachman.


A Breslover rabbi, Rabbi Yisroel Dov Ber Odesser (5649-5755), born in Tiberias, Israel, is one of the top shining examples of a true Breslover Chosid. Considering the fact that not only he was not born in a Breslov Chasidic family, but rather in the Karlin Chasidic stream, and living in an environment that was most opposed to Breslov, he first learned about Breslov Chasidus from a Sefer called Hishtapchut HaNefesh (Outpouring of the Soul) that he found in the garbage can, no doubt thrown out by someone opposed to Breslov, even though it is forbidden to throw out a holy book - amidst his quest to come closer to Hashem. Following someone who forcefully stole the holy book away from him since it was a "Breslov book", when Rabbi Odesser first heard the name Breslov, he soon found a Breslover follower Rabbi Yisroel Karduner (Halpern) who taught him Breslov Chasidus in both teaching and practice. Following this, Rabbi Odesser, despite of much riducule, threats, trouble from the in-laws, and reduction of his Kollel salary in sharp contrast of the other married folk learning in the same Yeshiva, remained steadfastly devoted to the teachings of Rabbi Nachman that shaped the rest of his life, as well as the life of many others whom he influenced towards this way of living. Living a life of abject poverty in serving Hashem and spreading the teachings of Rabbi Nachman, to the extent that he couldn't even afford to provide a Talit (prayer shawl) for his new son-in-law as is customary, you would never know from the happiness that he displayed on his face that he ever had a distressful day in his life.

Early on in the midst of being a Breslover Chosid, Rabbi Odesser encountered a setback in his spiritual practice. You see, he was accustomed to fasting on a regular basis since he was a young child in his great zeal of serving Hashem. However, 90 years ago in the early morning of 17 Tammuz 5682 (1922), one of the six fast days of the Jewish calendar, he felt extra weak, and that he had to eat. Following eating and praying the morning prayers, he sunk into a deep depression for the next several days, while others who beheld him mocked that soon it would be the end of Breslov. In the midst of this, he begged Hashem to forgive him for causing a Chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d's name) for Breslov.

All of a sudden, in the late afternoon of 23 Tammuz (today's date), he heard some voice telling him to approach his library, and open up any book. Following this, he noticed a note where he had opened up the page, and while he first thought nothing of it as he was looking at the words of the pages that he opened up the book to, not seeing any special message that seemed to help him get out of his depressive state, he then took a hard look at the note. However, this was no ordinary note. Anyone honest enough who sees this can see that this was Kabbalistic in nature, and couldn't have been written by just anybody wishing to make a prank on him to snap him out of his sad mad, aside from the fact that the books of his library were under lock and key. In the midst of the eleven lined note, the seventh line read "Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman". Miraculously, it was no doubt written by Rabbi Nachman to Rabbi Odesser, even though Rabbi Nachman had already passed away more than 100 years earlier. But the basic message of the letter that showed that Rabbi Nachman was talking to him was that it began stating that he was very happy with his serving Hashem, ending off that "they will say that you didn't fast on 17 Tammuz". And in fact, while everyone was able to see that Rabbi Odesser was in a most depressive mood, he told absolutely no one that he ate on that morning.

Here is the translation of the Petek:

Very hard was it for me to descend to you
My precious student to tell you
that I enjoyed greatly your service
and upon you I said
My fire will burn until Moshiach will come
Be strong and courageous in your service
Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman
And with this I will reveal to you a secret and it is:
Full and overflowing
from one end to the other (Pei Tzadi Pei Tzadi Yud Kei)
And with strong service you will understand it
and the sign is the 17th of Tammuz
they will say you are not fasting

Following this, he broke into a most exultant mood, dancing in happiness to no end. Everyone seeing him were saying that the "Meshugene Breslover is now happy" dancing along with him while he was in the midst of the dance circle, until they were drained of energy to continue dancing. However, despite his lack of eating in the last several days, Rabbi Odesser continued dancing throughout the night.

In the aftermath, one of the leading rabbis, an avowed opponent of Breslov, authoritatively asked everyone in town to tell him if they knew anything about this note that changed Rabbi Odesser's mood. However, no one had such information, following which, this rabbi stopped his opposition to Breslov. In the next many years, Rabbi Odesser showed this note to several Breslov rabbis, some of whom made Kabbalistic comments to this most holy note. Aside from this, he continued on with his life living and spreading the teachings of Rabbi Nachman, until he was forced to be in a wheelchair, residing in an old age home in Ra'anana, Israel.

However, unlike virtually all senior citizens who have been forgotten long ago living to the age of 95, this turned out to be a most turning point in his long life. Discovered by Breslover Chasidim who originally lived non-observant Jewish lives, he left the old age home at this old age, cared for by his followers, until his passing in his 106th year. His following, whom he asked not to call him rabbi since "we are all friends", were based on the concept of "Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman" from this Petek, singing this as what people will call a mantra, in bringing other Jews to Judaism and Breslov Chasidus. However, knowing that he could expect opposition, wasted no time traveling to the United States to get a Haskama (approbation) for the Petek from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, ZT"L, the Posek - leading rabbi in deciding Halacha (Jewish law) until his passing in 5746 (1986), even though in fact, it really didn't need a Haskama being that it was written by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. Following their meeting in which Rabbi Feinstein bowed to Rabbi Odesser asking him for a Brocho (blessing) and seeing the Petek (which he said that he was magnetically attracted to), he wrote a Haskama attesting to the Petek being a "most wonderous note", along with his request to the masses to support the printing of Rabbi Nachman's Seforim (books), dated 7 Iyar 5744 (1984). As it turned out, this Haskama prevented Rabbi Odesser from being put in excommunication from a famous rabbi in Israel whom many unfortunately think that this latter rabbi was the greatest Tzadik in the generation, but thanks to one of the 100 rabbis that this opposing rabbi gathered to excommunicate the real Tzadik of the generation, who knew enough information about Rabbi Feinstein endorsing the Petek, the excommunication never took place.

To be sure, especially among other factions of the Breslover sect, there are those who want to claim that this Petek has nothing to do with Breslov Chasidus, and was made up, claiming that it was some fellow colleague "Yoel Ashkenazi" (whom virtually no one has heard of other than this bogus story) who wanted to cheer Rabbi Odesser who wrote the obvious miraculous note. In fact, a student of Rabbi Odesser in his earlier days, whom he taught Breslov Chasidus, following showing him the Petek, refused to believe the authenticity of it, following which he became a self-proclaimed Breslover rabbi leader whom Hashem paid back by encountering much opposition in his own life, and refuses to this day to repent of his outright rejection of the handwritten note of Rabbi Nachman. However, the facts are the facts, unless one wishes to call Rabbi Odesser a liar, which is in fact mocking Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the leading Posek of his generation who is most revered by the Yeshiva world, who wrote his Haskama on this note.

The ultimate fact is that few Breslov rabbis can claim to have gone through the Mesirut Nefesh (self sacrifice) that Rabbi Odesser went through in his life, who chose to devote his life to Hashem, and helping other Jews spiritually, instead of living a more comfortable life in his poverty stricken state. To his dying day, he saw to it that all the retirement money that he received from the Israeli government was used to print the books of Breslov Chasidus, relying on his followers for their non-medical experience of treating a senior citizen, not eating too much more than bananas for his health.

Affectionately called Saba "grandfather" based on his advanced age when he received his following for the last 11 years of his life, Rabbi Odesser, who is virtually the most famed rabbi in pictures today in Israel, graces the vans of numerous "Saba" tanks as well as the vehicles of ordinary drivers, his face reflecting the adage from Tanach (Bible) "Your eyes will see your teacher".

Among the numerous statements that Rabbi Odesser made in his conversations and stories to his followers, he stated at one point "I am Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman". Now, while opponents will be quick to claim that at best, he was senile if not a cult leader, it is hardly different than the famed Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, named the Ben Ish Chai, one of several titles given to the Biblical Benayahu Ben Yehoyada following visiting his grave when he stopped by in Israel and feeling a spark of the Biblical figure's soul entering his own soul; hence naming his various Seforim, including the Sefer "Ben Ish Chai" after these various titles. You see, it happens at times that a very righteous person having reached a certain spiritual plateau will receive a spark of the soul of another righteous person who has already left this world. Hence, there are certain Tzadikim who have extra holiness when looking in their face, for the eyes of a person is the mirror to the soul, containing a part of the soul of another Tzadik, the same way that when one lights a fire from another fire, it doesn't take away anything from the original fire, while creating a whole another fire of its own.

Another issue that Rabbi Odesser got involved with which very unfortunately was turned into a controversial/political issue was his attempt to bring Rabbi Nachman's remains from Uman to Israel. Now, it is true that Rabbi Nachman requested to be especially buried next to the graves of Jews who were martyred in the town some decades back. However, he noted that while he really wished to be buried in Israel, it was only because most of his followers were in the Uman greater area at the time, and feared that perhaps in the long and dangerous voyage of being shipped in a ship to Israel, his coffins would drown, that he opted to be buried in this area in Uman as the best ulternative at the time. Now, unlike a famed Breslov rabbi living today who instead of following Rabbi Nachman's wishes of being buried in Israel when his grave was threatened to be used for secular purposes by the Ukranian government, made himself look like a hero "saving" Rabbi Nachman's grave by convincing the anti-Semitic government to treat it as a "shrine", Rabbi Odesser knew that the original reasons that Rabbi Nachman for being buried in Uman were no longer applicable, since by then, most of the Breslover Chasidim were presently residing in Israel, and a mere couple hours of plane travel in stark contrast to a long, dangerous ship ride is all that would take to transfer his remains, aside from the fact that other Tzadikim whose graves were threatened by the particular government of the country of their burial were flown to Israel. However, thanks to zealots misrepresenting Rabbi Nachman pretending to be devoted Breslover Chasidim who fought for Rabbi Nachman to remain buried in foreign soil, Rabbi Odesser's righteous plans were thwarted.

So, not only is there no boosting of the Israeli economy with pilgrims for the annual Rosh Hashana trip some of whom would otherwise be visiting Israel for the first time, many Breslovers in Israel are left with a choice between leaving behind their families after painfully collecting money for the $1,000 dollar trip (airfare and lodging expenses), or not visiting Rabbi Nachman, since after all, Rabbi Nachman did mention for all of his followers to be by him for Rosh Hashana; having been turned to being a money issue of a few individuals who make tons of money off of poor Jews who wish to visit the grave of Rabbi Nachman for Rosh Hashana, and jack up the price to $1,000 or more in time for Elul, the month of repentance, when the normal airfare roundtrip to Kiev or Odessa from Israel is not more than a few hundred dollars (you can sometimes get cheaper rates paying the airline directly). Of course, this is not to speak of the tons of money that is supporting the anti-Semitic Ukranians who love the "Jew money" from 30,000+ pilgrims, as well as from visitors during the rest of the year, even as a young Breslover Chosid who was engaged to get married a few months later was murdered by thugs in Uman on the 200th Yahrzeit of Rabbi Nachman nearly two years ago.

Personally, I visited Uman for Rosh Hashana nearly three years ago, visiting the graves of Rabbi Nosson Sternhartz in Breslov and the Ba'al Shem Tov as well. However, it has been my first and only time to travel to Uman. Aside from the fact that while I was in Uman, I became very sick with my stomach, along with many others, which as a result, I literally dragged myself, and forced myself to pray during the two day holiday, particularly next to Rabbi Nachman's grave (in a room of thousands praying in a huge hall) in the third world country that many visitors will find themselves sick, I think that Rabbi Nachman would roll over in his grave if he knew of all the above negative factors with visiting him. Now don't get me wrong, there are many Breslover Chasidim who are truly sincere and wish to follow Rabbi Nachman's literal wishes. I believe that one should follow how they feel they can best serve Hashem - whether within the Chasidic sects - it is Breslov or other sects, OR whether it is visiting Rabbi Nachman in Uman, or joining a Breslov group (called a "Kibbutz") in Israel, especially among Saba followers some of whom visit the grave of Saba at Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem on the day before Rosh Hashana, and then pray together at the Kotel (Western Wall) for the two day holiday. However, above all, I don't believe that financing anti-Semites (on a yearly basis) instead of supporting our own brethren in Israel and saving tons of well needed money to support own's family has to be part of one's spiritual experience.


As we see, the name Nachman begins and ends with the letter Noon (the Noon that is at the end of a word is called a Noon Sophit); and so does the name of Rabbi Nachman's most devoted disciple Rabbi Nosson begin and end with a Noon.  Also, Rabbi Nachman was born on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the first day of the month whose name also begins and ends with a Noon.  And it was on this very date, the date of the dedication of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), that the leader of the Tribe of Judah, Nachshon Ben-Aminadav, whose name also begins and ends with a Noon, offered his sacrifices on behalf of his tribe.  For that matter, the name of the letter Noon, also begins and ends with a Noon.

Coincidence?  For those who are atheists, everything is a coincidence, for if they don't believe in a higher power, then from where does wisdom come, even if they don't want to believe in following a religion?

But for everyone else, even if they don't follow Judaism very well, can hardly deny the beauty of the letters of the holy Hebrew letters.  For though this doesn't directly instruct Jews on the technical halachic details on how to serve Hashem, they are certainly at the least powerful demonstrations of Hashem's infinite wisdom.

And so, dissecting the letter Noon and its Gematria, we see numerous connections between the letter Noon and Rabbi Nachman.  But to see what is behind this, one has to go back in history.

For many, they daily live the history of the Jewish people - particularly through the psalms of King David.  While he himself didn't write all of the 150 psalms, he is the one who assembled them into one book.  Now, his own name David is the Gematria of 14, and the letter Noon, the numerical value of 50, is the 14 letter of the Alef Beit.  Now, the number 150, as the number of the psalms of the book that King David assembled, is
50 times three.  And by the way, he is a parental descendant of Nachshon Ben-Aminadav who name begins and ends with a Noon.

As our rabbinic literature informs us, King David was both born and passed on Shavuot, which is called the "Fifitieth Day", being the 50th day from the day of the offering of the Omer offering from which we ourselves count 49 days.  Now, dividing a day into three parts - night, morning, and afternoon, the three times of the day that we pray, we have a total of 150 parts of the 50 days that culminate with Shavuot.  Hence, bearing in mind that this is my 148th Post, the nighttime of Shavuot when it is customary for Jews throughout the world to stay awake all through this night learning Torah is the 148th part of this 150 part period, bearing in mind that being closer to the summer time, it winds up that there are around eight hours (the first third of the 24 hour period) for the nighttime of Shavuot.   And in King David's own life, he used to arouse himself as midnight to learn Torah for the remainder of the night.  To note, reciting Tikun Chatzot - the prayers mourning for the destrction of the Temple and requesting for the rebuilt Temple recited at midnight, is a part of the life of a devoted Breslover Chosid.

Actually, the connection to the number 148, or to the Gematria of Rabbi Nachman's name, doesn't begin with Shavuot.  You see, the name of the first Jewish holiday - Pesach, is also the Gematria of 148, the holiday of the month of Nissan in which Rabbi Nachman was born.  And as connected to Rabbi Nachman's main disciple Rabbi Nosson, the phrase Korban Pesach (Psacal sacrifice), the name of the sacrifice that was brought by the entire Jewish people in Temple times on the afternoon right before Pesach, is the Gematria of Rabbi Nosson's name - 500.  Moreover, as connected to the significance of today's date on which the above Petek story took place 90 years ago, the sixth Aliyah of this week's Parshat Pinchas, which many learn corresponding to the sixth day of the week, mentions the sacrifices for the holidays of Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashana, and Yom Kippur.  And of the 15 parts of the Seder that is performed on the first night of Pesach (outside of Israel, the first two nights) it is particularly the name of the 15th and final part of the Seder - Nirtza ("it has been accepted") that begins with the letter Noon, as well as being the same Gematria as the name of Moshe Rabbeinu - 345, the Ushpiz (Heavenly Guest) for the fourth day of Succot, the very date of the passing of Rabbi Nachman.  As for Moshe himself, he reached the 50th level of Bina (understanding) on the final day of his life.

Now, there are 32 pathways of Chochma (wisdom) and 50 levels of Bina, as mentioned in Kabbala.  Now, the Torah was given on Shavuot, the "FIFTIETH day", and the Chumash, what comprises our holiest object - the Sefer Torah, begins with the letter Beit=2 and ends with the letter Lamed=30, adding up to the number 32.  This is bearing in mind that Beit is the 2nd letter and Lamed is the 12th letter, adding these two numbers being the number 14; and the letter Noon - the numerical value of 50,  is the 14th letter.  Moreover, the Chumash consists of 5,845 verses.  And as connected to the name Nachman which begins and ends with the letter Noon, let's note the numerical value of its letters - Noon (50), Cheit (8), Mem (40), Noon (50).  Now, remove the zeros, push the other numbers together, and presto, the number 5,845!

O.K, I am not saying that Rabbi Nachman is the new Moshe Rabbeinu (like L'Havdil, the Christians claiming their false god to be in effect the new lawgiver, which is denying that the Jews have to observe Judaism).  But 
in essence, where Moshe Rabbeinu left off is where Rabbi Nachman continued, though there have been a few Tzadikim in between, particularly Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai - author of the teachings of the Zohar, the Arizal (Rabbi Isaac Luria), and Rabbi Yisroel Ba'al Shem Tov (Rabbi Nachman's great-grandfather) who brought down the Torah via its Kabbalistic teachings another level closer to the Jewish people.  This is perhaps most evident from a particular verse in the Torah (Exodus 32:32), in which, following the Jews' sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe pleads with Hashem "Now forgive their sin, and if not, erase me now from Your book that You wrote (the Torah)".  It has been noted that Rabbi Nachman is hinted in this very verse, for in the words Ayin Mecheini Na ("...not, erase me now...") it spells backwards Ani Nachman "I am Nachman", and the first letters of the words V'Im Ayin Mecheini Na M'Sifrecha "and if not, erase me now from Your book" when rearranged, spells the word M'Uman - "from Uman"!

Now, while in fact, the way of the numbering system of the chapters and verses of the Bible was performed by Christians as a way of identifying the verses for future reference, it is evident at times that Hashem's hand had a play in this (and if anyone has objections to the following because it is based on Christians deciding the numbers, then one should not learn Daf Yomi, the daily double-sided page of the Talmud either for that matter because this was also arranged by non-Jews, even though it consisted solely of Hebrew lettering), and yet, this is the basis of the learning for so many Jews.  The fact that Rabbi Nachman of Breslov/Uman is hinted in the Torah in such an amazing way - and in the chapter and verse that are both numbered 32 can hardly be denied as Hashgacha Peratit (Divine Providence).  You see, Rabbi Nachman was born in the Hebrew year 5532 (consisting of the letters Hei-Tav-Koof-Lamed-Beit) that ends with the number 32, and founded the brand of Chasidus that is called Breslov named after the town that he was residing in at the time of leading the movement, whose name also ends with the number Lamed-Beit (32).  Moreover, the ONLY place in the entire Tanach that his title Moharan is spelled in consecutive letters (Mem, Vav, Hei, Reish, Noon) is in the last verse of Psalms 32 - Simchu VaHashem V'Gilu Tzadikim V'Harninu Kol Yishrei Lev "Be happy in Hashem and rejoice O righteous ones, and shout out in joy O upright in heart" (verse 11) being spelled within the words Tzadikim V'Harninu "righteous ones, and shout out in joy", the verse ending with the word Lev (heart) which spells the number 32 in Hebrew as the last word of Chapter 32!  And if this was not enough, the first word of this verse is Simchu "Be happy", a major theme in Breslov Chasidus, cognate of the name of Rabbi Nachman's father Simcha, and is the Gematria of Na Nach Nachma Nachman - 354, which is also the Gematria of the word Chumash, of which its 5,845 verses is related to Rabbi Nachman's name.

Speaking of numbers, particular the number 32, let's turn to Numbers 32:32, a verse in next week's Parshat Matot (Note: There are actually two Parshiyot that are read this coming week: Matot & Masei) "Our troops will pass over in front of Hashem in the Land of Cana'an, and with us is the estate of our inheritance on the other side of the Jordan", stated by the Tribes of Gad and Reuben as their promise to Moses that they will be willing to help the Jews fight their enemies upon the Jews' entry into the land in return for larger pieces of land on the other side of the Jordan.  In any case, this verse begins and ends with the letter Noon (Nachnu - "we will" and L'Yarden - "of the Jordan"), just as Rabbi Nachman's name.  

So you may ask, it's nice that this verse that begins and ends with the letter Noon is in the 32nd verse of the 32nd chapter of Numbers, and is similarly to Rabbi Nachman's name and connection to the number 32.  However, what does the theme of this verse have to do with this?

To answer this, we have to go back in Jewish history in the times of the First Temple.  As the story goes, as recounted in II Kings Chapter 4 (in the Haftara for Parshat Tazria), Na'aman, chief general to the king of Aram, was visited with Tzara'at (loosely translated as leprosy, but not necessarily correct).  Upon the advice of a Jewish girl whom he captured in war, he came to Israel in hope for a cure from Elisha HaNavi (the prophet).  When they met face to face, Elisha told him to dip seven times in the Jordan river and then he would be cured.  At first, Na'aman was quite furious as to why he should go specifically to the Jordan river, being that this was a "Jew river", when there were other rivers not too far away.  However, upon pleadings from his servants, he took the plunge, after which, he found himself cured.  He then returned to Elisha to reward him for this miracle cure, but Elisha refused.

In any case, Elisha the prophet obviously had a reason why Na'aman should bathe himself particularly in the Jordan river.  True, this was the very river that the Jews crossed to arrive in Israel under Joshua's leadership; however, Na'aman wasn't Jewish, and anti-Semitic at least up to the time of his cure, and so technically, as far as he was concerned, if the G-d of the Jews was able to cure him, then it could happen in any way possible.  So what was the deal?

First as you notice, Na'aman's name also begins and ends with a Noon.  As pertaining to this, the reason is given as follows:  There are three verses in the Chumash that begin and end with a Noon.   They are:

1)"When a plague of Tzara'at visits a person, then he is brought to the Cohen" (Leviticus 13:9)
2)The above verse of the promise of the Tribes of Gad and Reuben of crossing the Jordan to help their brethren fight the enemies in Numbers 32:32
3)"Hashem your G-d will establish for you a prophet from the midst of your brethren like me (Moshe), to him shall you listen" (Deutronomy 18:15).

Hence, Elisha as a prophet as per the third verse, told Na'aman who had Tzara'at as per the first verse to dip himself in the Jordan river, which is mentioned in the second verse.

In short, as it pertains to Rabbi Nachman, though not known to be a prophet per se, he did say prophetic statements as Tzadikim have done throughout time until today.  Moreover, as the ultimate Tzadik, he was the ultimate spiritual doctor, just as the Cohen to whom the person with Tzara'at came to in order to be spiritually cured, because a person was visited with Tzara'at due to major sins, usually for saying Lashon Hara, slander or gossip on other Jews, and at the end of his purification process, has to go to a Mikva, a ritularium.  Indeed, he is known as the Nachal Novea Mekor Chochma "flowing RIVER, the source of wisdom" (Proverbs 18:4), being that the first letters of this phrase when rearranged spells the name Nachman.

Moreover, the verse in Numbers 32:32 which is speaking of fighting together the enemies residing in Israel, relates very much with Rabbi Nachman, for aside from his one visit to Israel, made it clear to his Chasidim that his "place is only in Israel", contrary to the ones who went out of their way to see to it that Rabbi Nachman remains buried in Uman want us to believe.

With all the above said, the Gematria of Elisha's name - 411, has to do with Rabbi Nachman.  Bearing in mind that Elisha was one of the 48 prophets of the Bible, the verse in Deutronomy 18:18 about prophets begins and ends with a Noon, as with Rabbi Nachman's name.  But the punchline here is that there are exactly 411 chapters (called Torahs) in Rabbi Nachman's magnum opus - the Likutei Moharan (286 chapters in the first section, and 125 in the second section), the same number as the Gematria of Elisha's name!  And so in fact, the Likutei Moharan (though not the only Breslov Sefer that will do the trick) is the spiritual book of medicine from which Jews can begin to be spiritually cured, just as Elisha had the cure for Na'aman, whose name beginning and ending with a Noon from the side of the Sitra Achara (evil force), which resulted in Na'aman changing his life to stop believing in the idols and start believing in Hashem (See Likutei Moharan I:66 which writes about Elisha and the concept of the Tzadik).

Another major connection between Rabbi Nachman and the Chumash is the 50th Parsha - Ki Tavo, which begins with the words "It will be when you come to the Land that Hashem is giving you..." (Deutronomy 26:1).  Now, as I mentioned earlier, there are 5,845 verses in the Chumash, and is very much connected with Rabbi Nachman's name.  Hence, the first 11 verses of this Parsha - the first Aliyah that is given to the Cohen, correspond to the last 11 years of Rabbi Nachman's life (5561-5571), the main years of Rabbi Nachman's leadership from which most of his teachings that we learn now stem from.  Now, let's look at the final verse of this Aliyah, the 5571th verse of the Torah that corresponds to the Year 5571 in which Rabbi Nachman passed away: "You shall rejoice in all the good that Hashem you G-d will have given you..."  Now, in both the first verse and last verses, both the names of Rabbi Nachman's father whose name was Simcha and his top follower Rabbi Nosson -m whose name also begins and ends with the letter Noon - who wrote all of his teachings, are hinted.  For in the first verse, it begins with the word V'Haya "It will be", which is a term used in the Torah to denote happiness, the definition of the name Simcha.   And in this last verse, it begins with the word V''Samachta "You shall rejoice", similar to this name.  And as for Rebbe Nosson, both the first and last verses spell the word for "is giving" and "will have given" respectively the exact same spelling as his name - just with the vowel differentiation of Nosein & Nossan (usually I transliterate with the Sephardic pronounciation, but here I am using the Ashkenazic pronounciation as per Rabbi Nosson's name as he was Ashkenazic), respectively.

Now, for those who believe in the truth about the Petek, they have a special treat waiting for them.  You see, the final verse of this 50th Parsha "You shall observe the words of this Covenant and perform them, in order that you will be successful in all that you will do" is the 5,682th verse of the Chumash, and Rabbi Yisroel "Saba" Odesser discovered the Petek in the Year 5,682 (1922), in which Rabbi Nachman's name as Na Nach Nachma Nachman was first revealed.

Now, this form of Rabbi Nachman's name as single, double, triple, and quadruple (I call this triangle spelling as writing this from top to bottom) is nothing new.  This concept is originally mentioned in the Tikunei Zohar about Hashem's name YKVK as Y YK YKV YKVK (The letter K is substituted for the letter H representing the letter Hei, but we try to be most careful not to write Hashem's name unless we are printing a holy book) called the Shir Chadash (new song) that will be sung at the time of the Redemption, the last of the 10 songs mentioned in the Tanach, which correspond with the 10 letters of the triangle spelling .  Now, the question can be asked, we are forbidden to directly pronounce this most holy name of Hashem, and that is why we pronounce the name A-do-noy (my Master) instead.  So, how can we sing this song if we are forbidden to pronounce Hashem's name this way.  The answer to this is that as we learn, Hashem's name is represented within the name of the Tzadik, for it is the Tzadik who most resembles Hashem.  And so, Rabbi Nachman, fitting the bill, is what is presently sung, being used to bring Jews closer to Judaism and Breslov Chasidus, bringing the Redemption a little closer, and will no doubt be the "New Song" or "Song of the Redemption" when the long awaited moment for nearly 2,000 years will arrive shortly with G-d's help.  In fact, this concept of the triangle spelling is mentioned in Likutei Moharan II:8, the very last sermon that Rabbi Nachman delivered in his lifetime on his last Rosh Hashana in Uman where he settled just five months earlier.

Now, pertaining to "Saba" as per the story that I wrote earlier, also represents the letter Noon, not just because he said "I am Na Nach..." but we see this also in a couple of Gematriot.  You see, the word for the letter Noon which is spelled as the letters Noon-Vav-Noon is the Gematria of 106.  Saba passed away in his 106th year, and the name of the title of the book of letters about Rabbi Nachman's teachings that he wrote to Israeli President Shazar, who started returning to Judaism thanks to Saba, as he originally came from a Lubavitch family but turned to secular Zionism in his youth, is called Ibei HaNachal "Blossoms of the River" which is the Gematria of 106, which is based on his name as the letters of the first word Ibei (Aleph, Beit, Yud) when spelled backwards spells the initials of Saba's name Yisroel (Dov) Ber Odesser (the family name beginning with an Aleph).

Now, taking a look at the Petek having the original Hebrew, it consists of 51 words and either 207 or 208 letters.  Why the doubt as per the amount of letters?  You see, in the seventh of the 11 lines which is Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman, the word Me'Uman is spelled Mem, Aleph, (Vav), Mem, Noon.  You see, the letter Aleph in this instance is not spelled the same way as the letter Aleph is spelled in other parts of the Petek, being spelled in such a way that it is a question if the letter Vav is really part of the Aleph or is separate.  Now, as per the name of the Tzadik, the Hebrew word for name - Shem is the same Gematria as the word Sefer (book) - 340, and Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman spelled without a Vav is the Gematria of 485, which is the same as the word Tehillim (Psalms) - hence, hinting to Sefer Tehillim (Book of Tehillim).  This is nice, but what does this have to do directly with Tehillim?  Well, this seems to also hint to Rabbi Nachman's disciple Rabbi Nosson's name.  You see, the Petek consists of 51 words, and the sole mention of Nosson HaNovi (Nathan the Prophet), a colleague of the author of Tehillim - King David, in Tehillim is in the beginning of Chapter 51!  And what is this psalm all about?  King David praying to G-d in repentance for the sin about which Nosson HaNovi first confronted him about.  And as Rabbi Nachman mentions, even when for some people, the gates of repentance seem to be closed, it is particularly the Book of Tehillim that helps a Jew brake through the barriers in order to repent.  Thus, if we consider the word Uman in the Petek spelled without a Vav, then this whole line consists of 14 letters, and the name of King David, compiler of the Sefer Tehillim, is the Gematria of 14.  And as for Na Nach Nachma Nachman itself as I wrote about earlier as the concept of 10 letters, they correspond to the 10 forms of song mentioned in Tehillim, and the 10 psalms of the Tikkun HaKelali that Rabbi Nachman established to recite.

Remember the verse in Exodus 32:32?  Let's take a look at it again - V'Im Ayin Mecheini Na M'Sifecha Asher Katavta "If not, erase me from Your book that You wrote".  Now bear in mind, Moshe said this to Hashem the following day after 17 Tammuz.  Now, let's look at this  - word for word.  The letters of the word Ayin (Aleph, Yud, Noon) can be rearranged to spell the word Ani "I", Mecheini is the Gematria of Na Nach, the first two words of the above phrase, which is used for short to refer to this or as the "Na Nach movement", and as Saba said at one point "I am Na Nach..."  Na (spelled with an Aleph at the end in contrast to the Na in Na Nach...) is the number 51 in Hebrew and we just mentioned that there are 51 words in the Petek, "from Your book that You wrote" refers to the Chumash that as mentioned earlier, the number of its verses hints to Rabbi Nachman's name.  In short, it seems that the date of 17 Tammuz on which the event that took place with Saba from which the Petek originated and mentions this date, is coming to complete the rectification of the sin of the Golden Calf that took place on this date.  For though Moshe pleaded to give up his own name, but Hashem still allowed his name to be in the Torah without wiping out the Jewish people, while saying that it will only be the ones who sinned who will be erased from His book, the Jewish people were still in a bad light as we see in the following chapter.  However, before the end of the exile, Hashem arranged that there would be an ultimate rectification for what took place on this date, which would lead to Jews coming closer to the Torah instead of the opposite that originally took place, which we can see without blindfolders today that this is thanks to the handwritten note that Rabbi Nachman wrote to Saba.

As a side note, as per the verse above about the appointment of the Novi (Deutronomy 18:15), the last word of that verse which begins and ends with Noon, as with Rabbi Nachman's name, is Tishmaun "you shall listen".  If you take a close look at this word in Hebrew, you will see that the last five letters spells the name Shimon, which was the name of Rabbi Nachman's very first disciple, which first took place when Rabbi Nachman was merely 13 year old on his wedding day!

Now, for the regular spelling of Uman which includes the letter Vav, the Petek consists of 208 letters.  And while the discovery of the Petek took place during the week of the Parshiyot of Matot-Masei, the events pertaining to Saba which began on 17 Tamuz, the date mentioned in the Petek, took place during the week of Parshat Pinchas, and the name Pinchas is the Gematria of 208!  And as connected to what I mentioned above about the 5,682th verse of the Torah corresponding to the year of Saba's discovery of the Petek, it begins with Ushmartem Et HaBrit "You shall observe the covenant...", which is similar to the phrase Shemirat HaBrit "Observing the Brit (the sexual organ)", meaning, using it only for the right purpose when it is permitted to be intimate with one's wife and no other time, as well as watching one's thoughts and sights to ensure this.  And as related especially to Pinchas, when Zimri behaved lewdly sinning with his Brit, Pinchas took vengence and killed him instantly without fear of repercussions, and was rewarded forever with the Kehuna.  And to note, one of Rabbi Nachman's main accomplishments was his methods of rectifying the sin that is the opposite of Shemirat HaBrit.

And as the events of the Petek took place in the begining of the Bein HaMetzarim "Three Weeks", there is a Chasidishe source that mentions that the three Shabbatot of this period correspond to the Shalosh Regalim "Three Pilgrimage Festivals" - Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot.  Hence, 17 Tammuz which fell out during the week of Parshat Pinchas in the story of the Petek, is especially related to Pesach, also bearing in mind that the words Nachman & Pesach have the same Gematria.  Moreover, the letters of the word Pesach are included in the word Pinchas, the name of the first Parsha of the three weeks which usually occurs during this time (and in this year, the dates 17-23 Tamuz fell out during the week of Parshat Pinchas).

Having mentioned that the phrase Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman is the SEVENTH line of the 11 lines of the Petek, it should be noted that all three Rabbi Nachman, Rabbi Nosson, and Saba were born on Shabbat, the SEVENTH day of the week, as hinted in Tikunei Zohar - Tikun 48 where it states "Yisroel Saba Amuda D'Emtzaita T'lat Shevi'i, Shevi'i, Shevi'i"- "Yisroel Saba (literal meaning referring to Yaakov Avinu whose name was also Yisroel, but is also hinting to Rabbi Odesser whose first name is Yisroel and was referred to as Saba) the middle pillar, three (times) SEVENTH, SEVENTH, SEVENTH" and shortly  afterwards, it states V'Azil Chamesh Meiot Shana U'Matei Ad Tzadik Shevi'i  "it continues for 500 years, and it reaches until the SEVENTH Tzadik", and this is to note that the Gematria of Rabbi Nosson's name is 500.  And as having related the letter Noon to Saba as well, there are 11 verses in the entire Tanach (Bible) that begin and end with Noon. (The dates of their birth are 1 Nissan 5532, 15 Shevat 5540, and 20 Kislev 5649 respectively).  And as especially related to this year of which there has been more talk than ever about this year in particular being the year of the Redemption, when in reference to the letters of this Hebrew year - Hei (5000), Tav (400), Shin (300), Ayin (70), Beit (2), the letter Hei in its regular numerical value when not at the beginning of a number is five, the total is 777 - THREE SEVENS IN A ROW, just the way that it is mentioned in this Zohar (Note: the name Zohar itself begins with the letter Zayin that is the numerical value of seven)!

Those who only believe in Rabbi Nachman and Rabbi Nosson, but not Saba who sacrificed the comforts of this world spreading their teachings, excusing themselves to believe that the Petek was made up and all that, are missing the boat.  You see, there is a Mitzva in the Torah to listen to a Novi (prophet).  And as I showed earlier about the connection of the Novi to Rabbi Nachman, it is no different with Saba.  In fact, the title Saba has the same Gematria as the word Novi - 63!  Moreover, as Rabbi Nachman noted about his accomplishments - Gomartie V'Egmor "I finished and I will finish".  For this, the simple question can be asked "Either he finished his mission, or he didn't.  How could he have it both ways?"  But as we see, though Rabbi Nachman accomplished his mission for his time, he prophesized that there would be a time in the future that he would accomplish matters once more "I will finish", and this is most evident with the movement of the Petek that Saba started, which has resulted in bringing so many more Jews close to the right path.

Not that the following will convince the nay sayers to Saba, but noting that the seventh line of the Petek - Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman - as the word Uman being spelled with a Vav, being the Gematria of 491, the 491th word in the Torah - Yitzmach (literally means "will sprout") - Genesis 2:5 is the same Gematria as Rabbi Nachman's name - 148!  And as related to Moshiach, we say three times a day in the weekday Shemoneh Esrei - Et TZEMACH David Avdecha Meheira Tatzmiach "Speedily make SPROUT the SPROUT of David Your servant", the beginning of the 15th blessing of this prayer, which at one time was the 14th blessing until a previous blessing was added; the same way that this line in the Petek can either be spelled having a total of 14 or 15 letters depending on whether the word Uman is spelled with or without a Vav!  And if this was not enough, since I was at it already, I figured I would see what the 500th word in the Torah is since the number 500 is the Gematria of Rabbi Nosson's name.  And the word is...Ayin "not" (in the same verse as the word Yitzmach), THE VERY WORD used in the verse of Exodus 32:32 - V'Im Ayin "and if NOT, erase me from Your book that You wrote", where the word Ayin ending with a Noon Sophit, is the last letter spelling Rabbi Nachman's name spelled backwards in this very part of the verse!

Noting that this is now exactly 90 years from when the Petek first became revealed. the word for the letter Tzadi which is the numerical value of 90 is most similar to the word Tzadik.  Moreover, the Hebrew word for the number 90 is Tish'im, which is the Gematria of the phrase V'Ahavta L'Reiacha Camocha "You shall love your friend as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18) - 820.  Moreover, this is the source of the 244th Mitzva of the Torah of Ahavat Yisroel "Love of one's fellow Jew".  Now, the word Egmor "I will finish", as I related to the mission of Saba in his relationship to Rabbi Nachman, consisting of the letters Aleph-Gimel-Mem-Reish, is the Gematria of 244.  And part of this accomplishment is doing the opposite of the sin of Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred) that led to the destruction of the Second Temple, loving a Jew for being a Jew, the fire clad  way of bringing him back to the fold.  As Rabbi Nachman said "My fire (my teachings) will burn until the coming of Moshiach".  

As Rabbi Nachman refers to his teachings as "fire", which is Eish in Hebrew, it is the Gematria of Rabbi Nachman's title Moharan - 301, which is used for the title of his magnum opus.  Moreover, we see a phrase in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) Chapter 3 "If there is no flour (Kemach), there is no Torah, if there is no Torah, there is no flour".  Now, the word Kemach also spells the number 148 in Hebrew.  As the Gematria of Rabbi Nachman's name, we can define this as "If there is no Rabbi Nachman, there is no Torah.  If there is no Torah, it means that there is no Rabbi Nachman."  Aside from the fact that the chapters in his Likutei Moharan are called specifically Torot, or Torah in singular, in contrast to using the words Perek, Siman, etc. used in virtually all other areas of Torah, we see that it is only from Rabbi Nachman that we can truly learn how to accomplish what the Torah teaches us.

May we witness the coming of Moshiach shortly with the final accomplishments of Breslov Chasidus thanks to Saba, today's ultimate representation of Rabbi Nachman.

23 Tamuz, 5772

P.S.  The time of this post - 7:02 PM, hints to the Gematria of the word Shabbat (702), for it was on Shabbat that Rabbi Nachman, Rabbi Nosson, and Saba, the three main characters of this post, were born.

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