Everyone should go to Uman, no exceptions
Excerpted and translated from a shiur given over by Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, the week beginning August 20th, 2018
Now, let’s talk about Uman. Everyone should travel to Uman [for Rosh Hashana], without any exceptions to the rule! Everyone, without any exceptions.
It doesn’t matter if he’s a Litvak, or a Breslover chassid, or a Belzer chassid, or a Rachmastrivka chassid, it doesn’t matter what sort of chassid he is. At least once in their lifetime, everyone has to go, without any exceptions.
Book to go to Uman today, already!
Today, it still costs $800 [a plane ticket], by next week it’s already going to be $1000, and then after that, it will already be $1200. It’s still possible to grab a ticket at $800.
There are even those that go for just $235, because now, in Elul, no-one is going [to Uman]. So anyone who travels this week can buy a ticket now for $235 and just stay there. If you haven’t got $800, you can fly out this week, because this week no one is going, there are no trips, so the plane ticket only costs $235.
If you haven’t got a wife, and you haven’t got children at home, and you haven’t got small children, you can fly for $235 – that’s just 1,000 shekels, when all is said and done, even less.
We’re going to hold a collection this week. Each person who goes to Uman this week, we’ll hold a collection for him, so that they’ll have 1,000 shekels, because this is the first obligation, ahead of all other obligations.
Without [travelling to Uman for Rosh Hashana], it’s impossible to really learn Torah, there is no siyatta dishemaya (Divine providence). “Hashem is my allotted portion and my share. You guide my destiny.” – Tehillim 16:5
When a person goes to Uman, then Hashem guides him throughout all the rest of the year. “You guide my destiny” – so Hashem’s hand guides the person in a good direction, and he doesn’t have any free choice. This nullifies his free choice.
Whoever goes to Uman, this week, he will have his free choice nullified. From shemayim (Heaven), they will establish matters for him so that he will be able to learn Gemara for 24 hours a day.
All of Rabbenu’s inyan (concern) is to learn Gemara. A person can only understand Rabbenu (Rebbe Nachman) if he’s learning Gemara. Without learning Gemara, it’s impossible to do this. You can jump up and down on a table a million times, it’s not going to help you.
But if you’re learning Gemara 12 hours a day, then you can also jump up and down on the table.
A person without Gemara won’t amount to anything.