|In addition to rebuilding the Chassidic
community of Safed, Rabbi Kenig wishes to establish a number of Breslov
Chassidic Centers for Torah Study and Prayer around the world: the first
within driving distance of New York City, to be followed by others in California,
South America, France, and England, all under the aegis of Nachal Novea
Institutions. Shabbos and occasional week-long retreats with classes in
Likkutei Moharan and instruction concerning the practice of hisbodedus
will be featured. The main purpose of such centers will be to enable spiritual
seekers (both observant and non-observant) to experience a "taste" of Breslov
in an authentic but accessible context. They will also serve Chassidic
families who wish to take a break from their routines and spiritually revitalize
themselves. The various events organized by Breslov Chassidic Centers will
be organized individually and paid for by the participants, with reduced
rates for those of limited means.
In a sense, this outreach effort already has been initiated. Nachal Novea has offices in New York and Los Angeles and maintains contact with a wide network of friends and supporters around the world. Over the past ten years, Rabbi Kenig has given shiurim (classes) in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Montreal, Paris, Colombia, Panama, and, of course, Uman. The success of these efforts has inspired Nachal Novea to extend the scope of its operations.
The first step toward establishing a Breslov Chassidic Center in America will be to develop an English newsletter, based on the Hebrew newsletter Tatzpit ("Outlook") and augmented by tapes of Rabbi Kenig's lectures; it will also include news from within the Breslov community. The next step will be to organize Shabbatonim on an individual basis in Upstate New York, some for seasoned Breslover Chassidim, others for newly-observant and non-observant Jews inquiring into their own heritage. Ultimately, it is hoped that a property will be acquired--upon which to establish a full-time retreat center.
Breslov Publishing Society: Nachal Novea plans to extend its publishing efforts in order to make additional Breslov texts available in Hebrew, English, Spanish, French and Russian. These texts would supplement the fine work done by another organization "The Breslov Research Institute" founded by R. Chaim Kramer in 1980. Today BRI has a catalog of over 70 titles primarily in English, but also in French, Spanish, Russian, Korean, etc. Nachal Noveal in a more limited way has also been making strides along these lines, R. Gedaliah Kenig produced an English translation of Sippurei Ma'asios. He also printed R. Avraham Sternhartz's Tovos Zichronos (Breslov oral traditions) and the Tcheriner Rav's Yerach Hat'eisanim on Rosh Hashanah; Likkutei Even and Tefillos HaBoker of R. Ephraim Ben R. Naftali; and his own classic Chayei Nefesh on the nature and role of the tzaddik. Nachal Novea subsequently published an edition of Tikkun HaKlalli, followed by a Spanish translation of Hishtaplchus HaNefesh, and now publishes Tatzpit, a monthly newsletter in Hebrew. A French version, Le Lettre, is now being published, and an English version is planned for 1998.
The classic Hebrew works of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and his foremost disciple, Rabbi Nosson Sternhartz, are widely available, primarily through efforts of the Jerusalem Breslov community.
|Nevertheless, Nachal Novea hopes to publish more
editions of these works, as well as Shaarei Tzaddik, the collected writings
of R. Gedaliah Kenig, his commentaries on Likkutei Moharan and Tikunei
Zohar, and his Sefer Erachin, an encyclopedia of fundamental concepts in
the Breslov literature. An English translation of Chayei Nefesh by David
Zeitlin and David Sears is currently in progress.
Library: It was R. Gedaliah's dream to create a comprehensive Torah library in Safed to serve the entire region. This library will include the entire spectrum of Torah literature, from Shas and Poskim to Kabbalah and Chassidus. This undertaking is well underway, and will be an important component of the new synagogue and community center. Also, each retreat center will have a substantial Torah library to serve guests of all backgrounds. These libraries will include tapes of shiurim (classes) by R. Gedaliah Kenig, R. Elazar Kenig, and other Breslov teachers.
Rosh Hashanah: "My entire mission is Rosh Hashanah," Rabbi Nachman declared. Thus the major event of the year in the Breslov calendar is the Rosh Hashanah pilgramage to Rabbi Nachman's tzion (gravesite) in Uman, Ukraine -- or, for those who cannot do so, to the tzion of the holy Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron, Israel. Rosh Hashanah represents the return of all creation to its Divine Source and the birth of the universe anew. It also commemorates the creation of Adam, whose soul contained all future souls throughout the generations. The tzaddik represents -- and accomplishes -- the unification of all souls and the Creator. Therefore, Rabbi Nachman greatly praised the custom of Jews to gather together with the tzaddikim on this momentous occasion.
Since R. Gedaliah's death in 1980, the Nachal Novea staff has taken full responsibility for the Meron Kibbutz (serving over 1000 participants). Also, for the last few years Nachal Novea, under the direction of R. Yitzchak Kenig, has staffed the kitchen for the Uman Kibbutz (serving over 6000 participants). As of this year (1997), we have assumed financial responsibility for the holiday meals in Uman as well as Meron. Anyone who has experienced these events can testify to their inspiring character, as well as to the great effort that goes into making "the Rebbe's Rosh Hashanah" possible for such a large and diverse group of people.
Chassdic Music: One of the concerns of Nachal Novea Institutions is to preserve and popularize the musical compositions of Rabbi Nachman and his Chassidim. "Songs of the Breslover Chassidim: Today," sung by Rabbi Yaakov Klein, Executive Director of Nachal Novea Institutions, was arranged and produced by klezmer virtuoso Andy Statman in 1993. Mr. Statman and the Breslov Choir, led by Rabbi Klein, are planning a new record for 1998.
Rabbi Ephraim Kenig, a younger brother of R. Elazar Kenig and Chairman of the Board of Nachal Novea Institutions, has recorded several hours of a cappella Shabbos chants and zemiros (table-sonqs) for the Shoresh Society, an archive of traditional Jewish music founded by David Sears and Andy Statman. It is hoped that R. Ephraim will record more such material in the future, as well as his Rosh Hashanah nusach -- the traditional way of chanting and singing the prayers according to the Breslover custom.