5 Cheshvan 5781 / Friday, October 23, 2020 | Torah Reading: Noach
 
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Uman    

Uman



This melody always brings me back to a place of calm, to a place of rest, to a place simply of faith. To Uman.

 



Dearest Friends, 

 

What happens in Uman stays in…… your heart, forever. But it may not seem like that at first. 
 
From all the sites we visit throughout our trip to Ukraine, Uman is by far the most confusing.  
 
The scene there is hard to put in words- it is filled with Jewish people, souls looking for connection, throughout the whole year not just on Rosh Hashanah. There is even a Jewish community there numbering in the hundreds.   
 
Rebbe Nachman’s burial spot itself is now in the middle of a large structure, a structure that makes it quite difficult to understand what the site was like in Rebbe Nachman’s time. 
 
A number of years ago, one of our trips took place on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. After a very long day which began in Medzhibush, continued in Breslev, and ended off in Uman, there were plenty of emotions and a lot to digest. I found myself back at Breslev Research Institute headquarters, sipping on some tea and sitting with one of my dear friends and teachers, Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman. Rabbi Trugman had come on the trip with us and it was a very special treat for me, as our families have been close for many years.  Rabbi Trugman is a well-known author and teacher.  He has also put out a number of beautiful music albums in which I have been privileged to take part. One of the main differences in our style of music is that most of Rabbi Trugman’s niggunim are in a major key, whereas most of mine are in a minor key. 
 
After such a long day, all I wanted to do was feel calm in the heart and peaceful in the mind, but Uman presses on certain buttons. I was sitting and struggling with specific elements of what was going on in present day Uman when I remembered one of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings, one which has always pushed me to go beyond myself- Ikkar  Avodas  Hashem  Bitmimus  Ubepshitus. The most important part of serving G-d must be with simplicity and purity.  In that moment, I understood that this means exercising my free will by chucking away all barriers and stumbling blocks that consume the heart and mind, and serving Hashem beyond that place.   
 
And at that moment, with that understanding and while sitting next to  Rav  Trugman, this niggun, which is in the key of major, came down and brought everything together. 
 
This melody always brings me back to a place of calm, to a place of rest, to a place, simply, of faith. 

 
B’ahava Rabba 

Shlomo 

 

 





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