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ASK A BRESLOVER: Breslov & Zionism

by Yossi Katz

Question:
[su_pullquote]Do Breslov Chasidim belive in Zionism? Do they belive in a Jewish State as well as Eretz Yisrael being the homeland of the Am Yisrael? From what I understand there is a split in the breslov world. Can you please clarify this for me? Does Breslov make up part of the Eda Haredit?[/su_pullquote]

Answer:
In my opinion it depends on what you mean by Zionism. If you were simply referring to “Zionism” as the love of Eretz Yisrael and our belief that it was given to the Jewish people eternally and that eventually we will return to it, then there is no doubt that every Breslover is a Zionist. There was no bigger lover of the Land of Israel than Rebbe Nachman. His books are filled with praise for Eretz Yisrael and of advice in regards to gaining its kidusha/holiness. It is know that Rebbe Nachman himself overtook an extremely dangerous journey, whose original purpose was only to walk a few steps in the Land and then return to his Chassidim. Rebbe Nachman told his Chassidim that anyone who wants to be a real Jew, must visit the Land.

Now if you are referring to the modern political Zionist movement founded by Theodore Herzl amongst others, simply put, Breslov is not a political movement. Firstly, the Rebbe passed away on Sukkot 1810, the Zionist Movement was not founded until the end of the 19th century, so the Rebbe definitely did not say anything about it. The mesorah-traditions we have in Breslov rarely contains political views. We believe that the Rebbe being the Tzaddik Emes/True Tzaadik is constantly doing whatever is in his power to bring every Jew closer to God and the truth. This goal and process stands head and tails above all political beliefs and groups.

I once heard a story from the grandson of the great anti-Zionist Reb Shmuel Shapiro. His grandfather was once lovingly dancing with another Breslover who was very Zionistic. When Reb Shmuel was asked why he would dance with this fellow, he replied something to the effect that their personal hiskasherut/connection to Rebbe Nachman is much larger than any political disputes. Some Breslovers may choose to be Zionistic, well others may choose the opposite, but in the end we will be judged by how much we followed the Eitzos/Advice of the Tzaddik and by how much we strived to pursue truth. Everything else is trivial.

Hope this helps,
Yossi Katz

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3 comments

frank May 6, 2015 - 10:19 am

We cant be divided, we must be 1 , Rebbe Nachman taught that. But most of all.hashem wants that, israel is the birth of our people so lets take apond ourself to full fill the mizvot to love one another

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Hilliger May 6, 2015 - 3:31 pm

Eretz Israel is the place where Hebrews made one of the earliest urban settlements, not the birth of our people (before, the Beit Hamikdash was located elsewhere). What’s more, the indigenous people (amei haaretz) that dwelled in Eretz Israel have rather a negative connotation, i.e. the seven Canaanite nations – the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite etc. Thus, Jews never considered themselves indigenous to the land: The Babylonian Talmud alludes to Babylon (Irak) as our “mother’s home” (Shabbat 113b) and “eating earth of Babylon” was compared to “eating their ancestors flesh” (Pesachim 87b). The word “Irak” is etymologically derived from the Hebrew term for “Greenhouse” ??? ???? (Devarim 11:10), as in the gardens of Babylon.

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Charedim, un mondo poco conosciuto e troppo vituperato | Kolòt-Voci June 24, 2020 - 3:06 am

[…] Breslov  <<è una costola  dell’ebraismo chassidico fondata dal Rebbe Nachman di Breslov (1772-1810), pronipote del fondatore del chassidismo il Baal Shem Tov 1698-1760. I suoi seguaci si sforzano di sviluppare un rapporto intenso e gioioso con Dio, il loro approccio alla devozione è molto personalizzato ed emotivo, con canti, balli e manifestazioni fisiche di allegria. Il rabbino Nachman disse: “È una grande mitzvah essere sempre felici. Rebbe Nachman ha anche posto grande enfasi sulla preghiera, oltre ai normali servizi quotidiani nella sinagoga, consigliò ai suoi seguaci di impegnarsi nell’ hitbodedut, letteralmente “auto-isolamento” su base giornaliera in un dialogo informale con il Signore. Egli ha spiegava che l’hitbodedut è la più alta forma di servizio divino e che è praticamente impossibile essere un buon ebreo senza di essa. Durante questa pratica l’individuo effonde pensieri e preoccupazioni a Dio nella sua lingua madre, come se stesse parlando con un amico intimo. L’obiettivo è quello di stabilire una completa unificazione con Dio e una comprensione più chiara dei motivi e degli obiettivi personali. Nel 2018, oltre 30.000 ebrei fecero il pellegrinaggio di Rosh Hashanah a Uman: il compianto rabbino Nachman promise che chiunque recitasse il Tikun Klali, un estratto dei Salmi sulla sua tomba in quella ricorrenza, sarebbe stato salvato dalla Gehenna, una specie di inferno. Breslov non è un movimento politico, alcuni possono scegliere di essere sionisti, altri possono scegliere il contrario.>> https://breslov.org/ask-a-breslover-4/ […]

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