Wednesday, January 05, 2011


A Na Nach Response

Our Na Nach readers were quick to response to our Ha Ha, Na Nach article with some heartfelt clarifications.  One particular response got our attention for it’s clarity and passion.  We present it complete.

by Gita Levi

Shalom u'vracha.

Yesterday was truly special day for me… it began at one a.m., when I received an SMS from precious friends of mine in Tzfat, "mifitzim" of Saba – informing me they had just given birth to a baby girl.  [“mifitzim” is a term used by Na Nachers to refer to themselves, those dedicated to the mitzvah of hafatza of Saba’s message, “hafatza” being a Breslev term for chassidic outreach to their fellow Jew with the teachings of Rebbe Nachman.]

Hours later, I received your newsletter [Ms. Levi reads Mystical Paths via our nightly email option]. I just saw the title and thought "Oh no," because, as a talmida of Saba, I know where such articles usually lead … after reading it all I thought that in comparison to similar "explanations" of Na Nach this wasn't so bad. The details regarding the petek was unusually erroneous, but it seemed that happened as a result of wanting to be brief, and the message that came out of it was fair enough – that some believe it was a letter received from Rabbenu and some that it was not. Anyways, your bottom line to the whole issue seemed fair enough, and so unlike what usually happens I decided this time to remain silent.

But as I rethought your article, I knew I could not remain silent, if only because I know most Na Nachs are not English speakers and as well usually do not have internet. So I decided that in honor of my friends in Tzfat on their special day, and in honor of their newborn Baruch Hashem, I ask to clarify a very significant misconception that snuck its way into your article that is unfortunately not only inaccurate but actually slanderous of many many "Na Nachs."

The differentiation you created between the "serious" Na Nachs who belong to the Foundation, i.e. Keren Yisrael and the Na Nachs out on the street spreading joy - but much more importantly spreading the word of Rabbenu Rebbe Nachman and his books – does not exist in many cases. That is to say, many of those "Na Nach vans" you see are connected 100% to the Keren [“the Keren” meaning Rabbi Oddesser’s foundation] (i.e. their hafatza is through the Keren), and they are doing exactly what Saba Yisrael asked to be done through the foundation he founded – to make every effort that a book of Rabbenu makes it way into every Jewish home.

dancing_nanachsPeople may assume the worst about these Breslovers who dance in the street, at simchas etc. – but the truth is that most are very very serious Breslovers; they are extremely strict in their adherence to the Torah's commandments and are sincerely full of Yirat Shamayim and the most awesome Ahavat Yisrael. They may not study in Yeshivot because they spend their time in hafatza, but many are profoundly knowledgeable in Torah and the Seferim of Rebbe Nachman.

They are truly observant Jews with endless derech eretz, which they pass on to their children. They CERTAINLY are not "using controlled substances" as you stated, and their dancing etc. is their method to spread Rebbe Nachman's message that "there is no despair". In truth, their lives are very very difficult. Many are married, and they leave their wives and children for days on end in order to do hafatza. They don't always have where to sleep, or the money to buy food.

Their lives would be much easier if they were to study fulltime in a yeshiva, but they have taken upon themselves to be dedicated fully to hafatza, despite all the difficulties they face. Their wives have amazing messirut nefesh, willing to take on the raising of their children and all the household demands so that their husbands can continue to do hafatza. Yes, they are full of devekut and they have true bitul to the Tzaddik. Yet surely according to Breslover chassidut, these are middot tovot!

I am not claiming that there are not individuals who consider themselves Na Nachs whose actions are not questionable. I just wanted to make it clear that most of the vans you see out there and the mifitzim in them work through the Keren. They are very serious – even when dancing to the trance music blasting from their vans – not only about Na Nach and their attachment to Rebbe Nachman and Saba Yisrael, but about their devout observance of the mitzvoth of the Torah. Their stamina, dedication and devekut are surely a unique phenomenon and perhaps that is why they are often misjudged.

I know that unfortunately I have done a poor job in trying to better explain who these Na Nachs are. I am truly in awe of their messirut nefesh; of their living so fully as Chassidim of Rebbe Nachman, and of their selfless dedication to Am Yisrael. My friend from Tzfat whose wife Baruch Hashem gave birth this morning is a Na Nach – he and his many many partners in hafatza are surely free of any "substance use"; he does not study in Yeshiva, but is a very religious Jew and it would be very very hard for you to find anyone as knowledgeable as he is in Sifrei Rebbe Nachman. On his behalf, and on behalf of his self-sacrificing wife, and his young children learning in cheder I ask that you let your reading public know that maybe your generalizations were unfortunately grossly inaccurate.

I thank you so very much for hearing me out.  I do want to apologize - after all, I have read so many things regarding so many matters on Mystical Paths that I truly applaud... many times I forward them to others because what you say is so important, and many times because of the inspiration and significance of what you and your guest writers write I translate them into Hebrew for my Israeli friends.  Yet obviously I never found the courage to write and tell you that.  And so it may seem that I only wrote to protest, and never just to thank you.

So I do want to apologize.  I think it is clear that it is my passionate attachment to Saba Yisrael and my sincere admiration of the mifitzim I merit knowing that made me take that step today of writing to you.  I have a great deal to thank my mifitzim for, and I now Baruch Hashem add to my list that bezchutam I am now doing teshuva and receiving the opportunity to litaken and thank you for your daily blog which is surely inspiration, a learning experience and a way to connect to Yahadut and Eretz Yisrael for all your readers worldwide.

And too, I want to thank you so much for your willingness to receive and even publish such a response.

זה ממש לא הי'ה מובן מא'ליו ואני מודה לך מאוד מאוד

(Pictures – Rabbi Yisroel Oddesser aka Saba.  And a Na Nach simcha simcha van stuck in traffic on the way to Jerusalem doing their dancing thing.)


  1. What did Rabbi Yisroel Ber Odesser mean when he said, "I am Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman!"...?

    Is "Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman" a sentence? If so, what does it mean? Wikipedia and assorted links gave various interpretations.

    I really hope that my questions don't kill the comments to this post.

  2. Ive heard of stranger things so the letter could be true . As for there derech in eretz yisrael Im overjoyed to see there simcha with Hashem while everyone else doesnt seem to get it ! thats our highest purpose which is the creed they live by simcha with Hashem through the writings and yes tzaddikim SAba and rav Nachman ! Its my parayer there simcha nullifies all our avodah done with no simcha .

  3. when one gets simcha from a sin chasfer shalom he energizes the 315 =7 kings of edom . simcha mitzvah = malchut 496 he arouse malchut shel kedushah so a king will reign in israel the king being Hashem !the prophet said of those who spread simcha of Hashem singers and dancers will praise your name . Rav nachman says tikkun brit is the legs /dancing in simcha and clapping of the hands in simcha to break harshness of decrees from the 7.45=315 kings of edom who ruled in tohu before there was a king in Israel in bohu.

  4. amalak is epytimized in the 7 kings of edom the sparks of the brit are trapped here. the ribua of brit =1028 =ci yad al case Yah in milui=1028 the trapped sparks of the brit are in tzimtzum within the body of amalak in all its forms . amalak = 240 =2.120 120 is the tzurufim of Elohim = for the 5 letters =120 . Specifically the milui of 295 and 291 = yesod im milui 586 . the 300 is protected by the 13 middot of rachamim of keter and the holy name MTZPATZ =300. singing and dancing and ruach hakodesh teshuvah and nevuah is the tikkun of the yesod/brit and elevation of the sparks ruach Elohim merachephet =1028 !

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  6. worse then the erev rav is the errev zeir the " religious erev rav " who put down kabbalah and or kabbalistic study under a variety of guises . Hashem Yitbarach May your destruction of AMALAK be complete this time !!!!

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  8. Hashem the solar eclipse, floods, earthquakes, fires , economies drying up , jewish amalak , non jewish amalak ruling "words of honey " is begining to shake the world . And Hashem even created the wicked for the day of destruction when he removes the sheath from the sun , and the wicked are now ashes under your feet and the rightous are healed of there damnation !

  9. edom and amalak who HE hasnt hit with these natural disasters is being given no ability to repent ! there sin is so grave ! this is the sod of why the rightous suffer and the wicked prosper !

  10. one of the earlier comments differentiated between two types of Simcha (happiness) pointing out that 'simcha mitzva' (with the two words) = 'malchus' - 496. This is a strong succor to Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman which = (with the 5 words) 496!
    Great blessings of Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman!

  11. adressing the first question what Saba meant when he said 'I am Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman'. There are many different interpretations to this. First of all, as yourself, everyday you say at least twice at the end of the Shema, 'I am Hashem!' what exactly are you thinking?! Probably you'll say that your just quoting H"Y Himself, and so I possit that you consider the obvious, Saba is just quoting Rabbi Nachman, as he meritted to see him, and hear him. To make this more understandable, consider having watched a very fascinating or moving soliliquey or the like, wouldn't you find yourself mimicking and repeating it over and over, without explaining every time that you are copying someone else, and not worrying that people will misunderstand you.
    Another explanation is that the root of a person's identity is Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman.
    Another interpretation, the Hebrew word for I, is actually one of the Divine names of the Sacred and Holy 72 Names of H"Y, thus Saba who's every word was said before H"Y in holiness was showing the strong connection between H"Y and Rabbainu.
    There are still other interpretations, they have been discussed at and other places, and also in my booklet, Likutay Nanach, which you can download at
    Great blessings of Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman!

  12. Adressing the second question: Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman is the way Rabbi Nachman signed his name on the Petek - the note Rabbi Yisroel Dov Odesser received from Rabbainu in 1922. This signature is a revelation of the Song that is Single - Na, Double - NaCh, Triple - NaChMa, Square - NaChMaN.
    There are articles available at that will explain this at great length.
    Great blessings of Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman!

  13. simcha bmitzva =496 = malchut =1-31 =496 31 = shem shel chesed EL =31 and yaakov dreamed of the ladder and the 4th exile at Bait EL and Hashem promised him hed be with him in exile edom , and king david died by falling off a ladder !

  14. i was zoche to know and speak to saba many times 20 years ago when he was moving among followers at a merkaz klita in jerusalem and other j-m neighborhoods, as well as tsfat just before he was niftar. many of them were new baalei teshuva olim from France. he personally opened the door into breslev for me, for which i will be eternally grateful. leaving aside the irrelevant point as to whether the petek is "real" or not, he was very clear about the following point: his whole mission with the petek was to publicize that Rebbe Nachman is the Moshe Rabbeinu of our generation, meaning, now that it exists in the world, his path is the only one suited for the return of this generation. This is a much broader issue than it seems--if you understand the significance of Moshe Rabbeinu to the Jews, then it has the right context.

    beyond that, he bemoaned very much that his message was distorted even then. he completely gave himself over to the mission mentioned above, which is why he says "I am na nach, etc..." unfortunately, many of those who claim to be his followers today never met him and are being fed stories about things that never occurred, whether about saba himself or other breslev leader they wish to denigrate. but then again, God runs the world more beautifully than ever. everything has its place and purpose. The fact that Rebbe Nachman's books are getting out there in the world is huge--a big zechut for all those involved. lo pashut. however, to denigrate authentic torah leaders, whether breslev or not, is a serious mistake bordering on heresy. hashem should forgive us.

  15. What's bothering me, much more than the reality of the petek, is the way rav Odesser took very strong stances against Chabad: I saw a video of the "Saba" saying "Chabad ze sheker"... How did he dare ?!!! Up to me, this is a true indicator of the wrong paths this petek leads people...

  16. Brett Keisel a Breslov Chasid


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