Can anyone explain going to Uman?

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  • #604459
    Curiosity
    Participant

    I feel like I will never understand this trend of going to Uman for the holidays. People spend so much money to go to a random backwater country just to be at a kever of some Rebbe whom many of them are not even chassidim of. I know it’s not true for everyone, but there are many people that leave their wives to take care of their kids all alone on the high holidays and spend money that they don’t necessarily have, just to go to Uman. How could it possibly be daas Torah to do such a thing? Especially those that leave kedushas Eretz Yisroel to go to a tamei land, I don’t care who is buried there; graves just make it more tamei, not less. And on a global level, wouldn’t it be a much bigger mitzvah to take all the millions of dollars deposited into the coffers of the Uman government and give them to aniyim who can’t afford to eat on Rosh Hashana, instead? It just seems like such a huge error in priorities. A thoughtful response is welcome.

    #890123
    choppy
    Participant

    It’s the right thing for Breslover Chasidim.

    #890124
    yytz
    Participant

    I’m not an expert on this topic but here’s my 2 cents. First, Rebbe Nachman specifically told his followers to come to his kever on Rosh HaShana. Second, he also wrote (Likutei Morahan 2:109) that the graves of tzaddikim have the kedushah of eretz yisroel (“mamash” he added). It’s not surprising that non-Breslover rabbonim would rule that it is forbidden to go to Uman on Rosh HaShana (as many Israeli rabbis have). But when a great tzaddik says to do something, and you follow that tzaddik, you can and should do it.

    It’s true that many people who go are not full-fledged Breslov chassidim, but nearly all of them are inspired to some degree by Breslov chassidus (for example, many are BTs or on the road to becoming BTs in part because of studying Rebbe Nachman’s works).

    Also, many people who go find that it makes a huge difference in their lives. This includes women who go at other (non-Rosh HaShana times). Interestingly, though, there is apparently a small proportion of Breslov chassidim in Israel who do not believe in going to Uman — but I’m not sure who they are and what their reasoning is.

    Sure, people could have spent the money on tzedakah instead. But you can say that about a bunch of things — siyum hashas, eating at restaurants, going on vacation, pesach hotels, etc.

    #890125
    bpt
    Participant

    There are several points to consider:

    #1 – Going to a Rebbe is something you can only understand, if you’ve been to one yourself. And I don’t mean going as a sightseer; I mean going like you mean it.

    #2 – Wives and kids manage quite well without us, for a short period of time. Most current example? The scene in Sullivan County. Besides, its believed (at least by chassidim) that going to a rebbe (or in this case, a kever) fuels your entire year, so going away for 5-10 days does not hurt the wife/kids… it helps.

    #3 – As far as leaving EY, that I annot comment on, as I live in chutz.

    #4 – Money to the local Uman economy, there I agree with you. That is sinful, but unavoidable. But no worse than buying a german car, or hiring a polish goyta. Sad, but a fact of life.

    #5 – Aniyim – They get the $$ they need anyways, so the money spent going to a rebbe does not affect the aniyim. And, many “aniyim” make the trip to the rebbe themselves, so the $$ spent by working people going to the rebbe is well within their rights. (as if they need to obtain society’s permission, which they don’t).

    Lastly, go one time and you will understand. I have yet to make the trip to Uman myself, but I have been to places where davening is on a different plane than it is in my hometown, and there is no comparision. The people, the place, the time, all these things add up to an experience that you need to be in it to understand it.

    #890126
    a mamin
    Participant

    I believe in following Rebbes that are living, BUT I certainly wouldn’t tell someone what to do with their money or time. Where is LIVE AND LET LIVE defined here? Why shopuld it bother you at all what someone else does with their time , etc?

    #890128
    MDG
    Participant

    “Why shopuld it bother you at all what someone else does with their time , etc? “

    – Because it is making a cultish minhag that was never existent – not in theory, not in practice (if I’m wrong, then find me the source in Shas and poskim). Outside of Breslov, no one does this nor talks about it.

    – That “minhag” is then pushed on others, and so the “minhag” spreads.

    – It is supporting people that killed and hate my people.

    – It’s a waste of money that causes others to squander money that would have been spent for tzedakah. In other words, ther is only so much money available to the community at large. When some is lost, it’s lost from all available money in the community.

    #890129
    a mamin
    Participant

    MDG: It really is none of your business. Whatever someone wants to give to tzedaka, they give, not a penny more or less.

    #890130
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    But when a great tzaddik says to do something, and you follow that tzaddik, you can and should do it.

    Can I rely on you for that? I should really do something because a tzaddik says it’s a good idea or meritorious to do so?

    The Wolf

    #890131
    MDG
    Participant

    “Lastly, go one time and you will understand. I have yet to make the trip to Uman myself, but I have been to places where davening is on a different plane than it is in my hometown, and there is no comparision. The people, the place, the time, all these things add up to an experience that you need to be in it to understand it. “

    I’ve been to rock concerts that were like that.

    #890132
    frumgrants
    Member

    Going to Kevarim on Eruv Rosh HaShanah is not a new minhag. I wish I knew Shulchan Aruch and the Nosei Keilim by heart but I don’t however I have seen it the Minhag written about there see Pri Megadim I believe. Interestingly, the Breslover Chassidim who were in Poland and could not gather in Uman at the time would gather in Chochmei Lublin with Reb Meir Shapiro who was the Baal Tokeah in the Breslov Minyan. He also used to lead them Erev Rosh HaShanah to the grave of the Chozeh because they couldn’t go to Uman.

    As far as leaving Eretz Yisrael for kevavrim, the Poskim speak about it:

    Birkei Yosef (OC 568:1): If one lives in Eretz Yisrael and desires to prostrate on graves of Tzadikim in Chutz la’Aretz, or he lives in Yerushalayim and desires to go to graves of Tzadikim (elsewhere) in Eretz Yisrael, he may go on condition to return (Pri ha’Aretz 3:6:14, in some editions 3:10:7).

    Sedei Chemed (1, Ma’areches Aleph): One may leave Eretz Yisrael to prostrate on the graves of Tzadikim, for it is a great Mitzvah.

    #890133

    Chabad, Breslov, or Church = being nice and happy and whatever.

    #890134
    MDG
    Participant

    “MDG: It really is none of your business. “

    When money is lost from the community, it effects all of us.

    “Whatever someone wants to give to tzedaka, they give, not a penny more or less.”

    I do give more when people ask for more. You can ask those that knock on my door. I find it hard to say no when people sincerely ask. I’m sure many others are like that.

    #890135
    interjection
    Participant

    Experience it before you challenge it.

    #890136
    grapes90
    Member

    First of all you wont understand until you truly want to understand why people go to uman. If you really are interested you might want to learn a little about Rebbe Nachman Z’l before you make assumptions. The same way your so concerned about other peoples money and why non Breslovers are going to uman, consider the fact that every lag b’omer thousand of people spend money and travel hours to Meron to dance and daven when they have nerver learnt a zohar or anything from Reb Shimion Bar Yochai. Kivrei Tzadikim DO have a kedushah, if you think not then I doubt you find any value davening by Me’aras Hamachpela, kever Rachel Etc.. And as yytz already quoted from (Likutei Morahan 2:109) that the graves of tzaddikim have the kedushah of eretz yisroel, hows that for a source?? Just to share some light, Rebbe Nachman Z’l told his chassidim that ANYONE who comes to him on Rosh Hashana and gives pruta of charity and says the ten psalms of Tikkun Haklali he will do everything in his power to intercede on there behalf for a better judgement. Now what das torah wouldn’t want that? Think of it as going to the best lawyer that ever was once a year for a meeting and to be sure he will testify on your behalf. And for all those who are so concerned about the wives, have youi asked a Breslover wife if she minds??? Or are you just assuming they have a problem with their husbands going?? Check out breslovtorah.com they have many incredible shiurim, all in english great quality and a vast well of Torah. Enjoy, I mean no offense just trying to make the picture a little clearer.

    #890137
    WIY
    Member

    The question is if there is a chiyuv to give tzedaka to someone who knocks on your door and says he is collecting so he or his fellow chassidim can go to Uman.

    #890138
    TheGoq
    Participant

    I know i should just google this but where is Uman?

    #890139
    bpt
    Participant

    ” I’ve been to rock concerts that were like that. “

    Nu, so you do understand the premise. (even though, you surely meant this sarcastically).

    Truth is, its really not that much different. If you get into the groove, you will enjoy yourself.

    The major difference is, a rock concert tends to bring behavior of a decidedly non-Tishre type to the surface, where as going to a rebbe (living or otherwise) tends to bring out the better side of your soul.

    And the songs are better!

    #890140
    Nechomah
    Participant

    I would like to ask BPT a question –

    You say that women and children get along without the husband/father perfectly fine for short periods of time and you use the example of what is going on right now in Sullivan County. Can you please tell me what that has to do with being away from your family on Rosh Hashanah,not being together during the Yomim Tovim. Who makes kiddush/havdalah for these families that are left behind?

    While I have no way to understand what the East Coast summer trips to the Catskills tradition is all about since I’m from LA and live in Yerushalayim, this issue to me is totally different than being away during the week.

    #890141
    Sam2
    Participant

    Interjection: I’m not saying anything in this situation, but that “principal” is just not true. I can speak against using cocaine even though I’ve never done it.

    #890142
    MDG
    Participant

    “Experience it before you challenge it. “

    That’s like saying I once heard, “Don’t condemn a sin until you’ve tried it.”

    #890143
    MDG
    Participant

    “Going to Kevarim on Eruv Rosh HaShanah is not a new minhag.”

    Yes, I have learned that, but that does not include R”H , where the Torah says that one should be with his family.

    Charles Short – that was mean and uncalled for. I have some major theological issues with some of frum my brethren, but I try not to name call.

    Goq – Uman is some backwater town which I beleive is in the Cossack-infested Ukraine. It’s not easy to get to and therefore takes extra money for transportation.

    #890144
    yytz
    Participant

    Wolf: Yes, that’s right. It’s a core principle of chassidus that it is important to have a connection with a tzaddik, who gives you advice (above and beyond making halachic rulings) about how to achieve your tikkun, your neshama’s purpose in the world. When you have a connection to a tzaddik, and he gives you advice, of course you take it! And Rebbe Nachman’s strong advice to his followers was to come to his kever on Rosh HaShana. (The rest of his advice is compiled in Likutei Eitzos, among other places). Now, if the “tzaddik’s” advice is against halacha, then of course the answer is to get out of there and find someone else to follow. But it’s not against halacha to visit the grave of a tzaddik on Rosh HaShana.

    Think about the Gra’s statement that he would have walked across Europe to meet Ramchal. If Ramchal had given him advice, do you think he would have taken it? I would think so. So it’s not necessarily just a chassidic thing. If you had stood in line to get the Chazon Ish’s blessing and he gave you advice, wouldn’t you do what he said?

    #890145
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf:

    Think about the Gra’s statement that he would have walked across Europe to meet Ramchal. If Ramchal had given him advice, do you think he would have taken it? I would think so. So it’s not necessarily just a chassidic thing. If you had stood in line to get the Chazon Ish’s blessing and he gave you advice, wouldn’t you do what he said?

    Is R. Yaakov Emden a big enough tzaddik that if he says something is meritorious that I can do it?

    The Wolf

    #890147
    hatzolajew
    Member

    I agree. Espcially if you live in Zionist Israel. Leaving to daven to the kever of R’Nachman is the way to go.

    #890150
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Thanks MDG much appreciated.

    #890151
    ovadiayosefrocks
    Participant

    I must note that most if not all the Rabbanim and Poskim of this dor say it is asuur legamri to go there. Quotes from Poskie Hador…..On Rosh HaShana everyone should be with their families, and not traveling to Kivre Tsadikim. Any person who is a Ba’ar Da’as, a Ba’ar Sekhel, should be Rosh HaShana night making kidush for his family. Families should be eating together, drinking together, and celebrate the Yom Tov together. This is what Yom Tov is all about. On Yom Tov what should we do? Go to a cemetery, or be with our families?”

    #890152
    interjection
    Participant

    Sam2 and MDG, you are right. To experience before you try is not acceptable advice as a universal rule.

    “And for all those who are so concerned about the wives, have youi asked a Breslover wife if she minds??? Or are you just assuming they have a problem with their husbands going??”

    I speak for myself and the other Breslover wives I know. This year the men will be there almost a week but we know it’s crucial to our family’s kedusha of the entire coming year, that he go.

    #890153
    yytz
    Participant

    Wolf: The issue of taking a concubine, as R’ Emden advocated, is much different, because that was a proposal by a single rabbi to overturn centuries of universal rabbinic consensus. Visiting a kever of a tzaddik on Rosh Hashana is different because there’s a lot of support for it (several generations of Breslov rabbis in various countries, Birkei Yosef, Pri ha’Aretz, Sedei Chemed, etc.), and no clear prohibition.

    #890154
    Kozov
    Member

    And Breslever Poskim are not Poskei Hador?

    #890155
    Avi K
    Participant

    Hatzalojew, the way to go where?

    #890156
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf: The issue of taking a concubine

    That’s not the issue I’m talking about.

    The Wolf

    #890157
    shlishi
    Member

    yytz: Rav Yaakov Emden wasn’t the only one that allowed that. Ramban (and others) permitted it too.

    #890158
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Its not as hard to get there are you think. Flying to Kiev is fairly easy nowadays , No visas are needed and there are direct flights from NY.

    Its about 160 miles from Kiev to Uman. About a 3 hour Bus trip.

    While I would not go on this trip, One of my dream places to visit is the Ukraine, Id love to visit the towns and villages where my ancestors were from.

    If a Breslover wants to go, Let them go and if a Non-breslover wants to go let them go to.

    And if they cant afford it and someone else willingly pays is it any different than birthright Israel where some Gevir pays for trips to Israel for American Youth.

    As long as I am not asked to give to this, I really have no problem and as long as Breslover Wives and children have no problem with this , let them go.

    #890159
    Curiosity
    Participant

    Hatzolajew- the political affiliations of the ruling party of eretz Yisrael doesn’t influence its holiness. Besides, are the politicians in the Ukraine such big tzadikei olam?

    Interjection- With all due respect, I’m trying to understand. What tangible holiness do the men’s families get by sending the husband away for a few days out of the year? Where is the mekor for this concept? Why is the holiness derived from R’ Nachman’s kever in Uman significantly greater than the holiness derived from much much greater people buried in Israel? And finally, do you think other Jews who DON’T go to Uman on RH are unable to get any sort of kedusha throughout their year? I suspect the “kedusha” you are referring to is simply inspiration derived by seeing so many Jews in one place. If that’s true then the whole thing is just circular. In all of Jewish history kedusha was derived by learning Torah, doing mitzvos, and having good middos. Physically attending a particular place on a particular day of the year never really had too much significance. Unless you are discussing the Kohen Gadol going into the Kodesh Hakodashim, but that’s clearly very different.

    #890160
    frumgrants
    Member

    “Yes, I have learned that, but that does not include R”H , where the Torah says that one should be with his family.”

    Where does the Torah say that? R”H is not one of the 3 regalim, and halachically there is a huge difference. According to the Ari I believe one should not “be” with their spouse on R”H as it is a Yom HaDin.

    Chassidim have always left their families to travel to Rebbe’s on RH. If one has the zchus to have a Rebbe he understands that his entire inspiration and hadracha for Yidishkeit comes from that source and the minhag was always to spend R”H with that Rebbe. It is silly to start asking why don’t they go to XY & Z. Those people are their direct influence right now the same way a Satmar or Skver chassid goes to their direct influence for R”H today as well. Yeshivisheh people even go to their Yeshivos many times and I know several who felt as if they need to leave their families to travel abroad to their Yeshiva where they learnt so many years ago.

    #890161
    Kozov
    Member

    “Physically attending a particular place on a particular day of the year never really had too much significance.”

    Uh, Meron on hilula diRashbi.

    “do you think other Jews who DON’T go to Uman on RH are unable to get any sort of kedusha throughout their year?”

    I think that’s precisely what they think, and thats why they do it. Well im sure there are similar opportunities like going to kivrei tzadikim or being connected to a tzadik. Anything wrong with them thinking that way?

    ” I suspect the “kedusha” you are referring to is simply inspiration derived by seeing so many Jews in one place.”

    That too but not only that. Some might think they are on a spiritual high when its simply like you said but that doesnt detract from hashpaos being drawn down on the neshoma that they may not be aware of.

    #890162
    LSH
    Member

    Well the great thing about this topic is that we’re all thinking what is the right thing to do this Rosh HaShanah. I was just thinking this yesterday. My heart breaks when I think that I won’t be in Jerusalem for RH this year. I might try to be with my mom. Thank G-d I have parents. If I’m with my mom I probably won’t be able to go to shul at all and I’ll have to have someone stop in to blow the shofar. It’s a huge question as to what’s the right thing to do. And the day after is a fast day. Lots of things to think about. We all want great davening and inspiration but we are not “VaYeshev Yaakov”. We were sent here to work. Even on RH.

    #890163
    bpt
    Participant

    I believe that time away does all of us (each in our own way) a world of good. It fosters a true appreciation for the people you are away from, and gives you a chance to see how vital they are to you.

    To end off on a happy note, wether we daven in Meron, Uman or the kitchen table, may our tefilos reach the kisay hakovod, and bring us the geulah shelaima NOW!

    #890164
    yidyid
    Member

    the only problem i hav is why are people collecting from EVERYONE like it would be a tzedaka that helps klall israel when as said before is only a private inspiration?

    #890165
    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    As many rabbanim have pointed out, Avraham Avinu was more important than Rebbe Nachman.

    Besides, every living rebbe has an Ezras Noshim in his shul. Why can’t there be accommodations for women in Uman? Oh, right. No husband wants his wife to see how people act there.

    #890166
    yytz
    Participant

    Itche, women don’t go to Uman for Rosh HaShana because of tznius concerns. However, many women do go at other times of the year — about 10,000 to 15,000, in fact. See the “What Women Seek in Uman” article on the website of the Breslov Research Institute.

    #890167
    Curiosity
    Participant

    Can we stop comparing making a pilgrimage to a grave, to going to get eitza from your rav?

    Kozov, going to Meron is just a convenient venue to hold the hillula and makes it more meaningful, many congregations around the world have the same hillula without going to Meron. People don’t go there to ask Rashbi to absolve their sins in Shamayim. It’s totally different.

    #890168
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    yytz,

    I’m still waiting to know why it’s a good idea to go to Uman simply because R. Nachman said to (and when he has opposition to his position), but it’s not a good idea to follow R. Yaakov Emden simply because he says it’s a good idea to do something (and he, too, no doubt has opposition to his opinion)?

    The Wolf

    #890169
    yytz
    Participant

    Curiosity, it’s not a comparison. Rebbe Nachman’s explicit advice to his followers was to visit his kever on Rosh HaShana. Breslovers are doing just that — following his advice. If you don’t like the word advice, well then call it a custom, as Rebbe Nachman does himself (see below). Surely it’s legitimate to follow a minhag established by your rebbe?

    “It is customary to go to the Tzaddik to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is first and foremost the Day of Judgement. But no matter how great the severity of the judgement and no matter where in the world it threatens, everything is sweetened when Jews gather around the Tzaddik on Rosh Hashanah. With so many Jewish souls gathered together and merged in abundant love, a wonderful joy and delight come into the world.”(From Likutei Eitzos, Rosh HaShana).

    Also, from Chayey Moharan (#403):

    “Everyone, without exception, who counts himself as one of my followers or takes heed of what I say should come to me for Rosh Hashanah. Anyone who is worthy of being with me for Rosh Hashanah should be very happy: ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet, for the joy of the Lord is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10).

    “The Rebbe once declared: ‘Gohr mein zach is Rosh Hashanah . . . My entire mission is Rosh Hashanah.’ He was particularly emphatic about his followers coming to him for Rosh Hashanah, and indicated on his last Rosh Hashanah in Uman that we should continue to do so even after his death.”

    #890170
    ohr chodesh
    Member

    Reb Wolf: Which position of Rav Yaakov Emden do you keep alluding to?

    #890171
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    siman 43.

    The Wolf

    #890172
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Reb Wolf

    And please don’t call me “Reb.” I have not earned the title.

    The Wolf

    #890173
    yytz
    Participant

    Wolf, the difference is that R’ Emden had minority halachic views, while the directive to visit the Rebbe’s kever on RH is not against halacha — it is a minhag of a chassidic group. It is normal to follow a minhag of your rebbe even if other people oppose it. (As with sheitels v. headcoverings, techeiles, etc.)

    #890174

    Is that relevant to you, Wolf? I guess that would make you quite a sinner.

    #890175
    Englishman
    Member

    Wolf: He says only from an illegitimate relationship in siman 43, so it is incomprehensible how you would apply this to yourself. Furthermore, he may be a daas yochid on this issue that we can’t pasken from. (That would still not preclude his own talmidim, only, from using his psak. Same with Uman. Rav Nachman’s talmidim, including the current ones, can use his psak, while others perhaps not.)

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