In Breslov, A Fire is Burning – Thousands Come to Hilulah of Rabbi Natan

It’s been 179 years since the passing of Moreinu Rabbi Natan of Breslov zya”a, the faithful student of the Light of Lights Rebbi Nachman of Breslov zya”a.  On Monday evening, the night of 10 Tevet the massive Hilulah event was held with the participation of thousands together with our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a, together with a seudat hodaya (a meal of gratitude) for the one year anniversary of the Rav’s release from imprisonment.

Ma’ariv and shiur on the night of the Hilulah

On the night of the hilulah, our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a, like every evening, prayed Ma’ariv from his apartment balcony with the community gathered in the courtyard of the Prayer Hall on Ido HaNavi Street in Jerusalem.  After the prayers, the Rav gave over a shiur about the weekly parasha.  This was followed by dancing, and after a prayer of around forty minutes the Rav entered his home.

Seudat Hilulah and Hodaya

Almost a year ago, on the day following the hilulah of Rabbi Natan, we saw the miracle of miracles when the Rav shlit”a was released after two years of imprisonment because of the baseless libels spread by his opponents.  On the morning of 11 Tevet, the Rav was released to his home.  Because of the proximity of the dates of the hilulah and the release, the celebration of the two events were held together.  Thousands of men, women, and children from all segments of society came to the Pavilion events hall in Talpiot, one of the largest such events halls in Jerusalem.  Despite the size, it could barely hold the thousands who came to the event from all over Israel.

At 8:30 pm the gates were opened, and the masses flowed into the hall.  At the beginning Rav Meir Malkah shlit”a spoke about the greatness of the day and of Rabbi Natan.  Afterwards, the band played with songs of arousal, and feeling with great professionalism, with the singer R’ Avraimi Lunger, the instrumentalist R’ Moishi Mendelson, Nachman Zucker on the clarinet, and R’ Dani Mamon on the guitar.  At 10:15, our Rebbe Rav Berland shlit”a arrived to the music “In Breslov a fire is burning.”  After several minutes of more songs like, “Yetzaveh Tzur” and “Lecha Dodi,” they began the song “Shir HaYididut which was composed by Rav Yitzchak Breiter zt”l in honor of Rebbe Nachman.

The main event and the shiur of Rav Berland shlit”a

At the conclusion of the singing, the Rav shlit”a began the main event in honor of Rabbi Natan zya”a.  The Rav spoke about how the day of the fast of 10 Tevet is the beginning of calamity [being the day that the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem].  He likewise spoke about the days of 8, 9, and 10 of Tevet, in which the Torah was translated into Greek and the world turned dark.   A number of times, the Rav also spoke about the greatest of Rabbi Natan, and the soul of Adam HaRishon.  The Rav pointed out that next year the hilulah will fall on parashat Vayigash when Yosef revealed to his brothers “I am Yosef.”  Then the Rav began to shout together with the thousands gathered “I am Yosef!  I am Yosef! I am Yosef!” several times.  Afterwards, the Rav gave words of chizzuk about learning Gemara in depth while lifting the book Likutey Halachot and showing to everything that in this book it’s written that whoever wants to draw close to the Tzaddik must learn Gemara in depth.  After explaining a sugya in the Gemara in detail at length, he said that the main holiness of a person comes through Gemara in depth, and that the success of a child is determined by the holiness of the parents, mentioning the parents of Shimshon who asked the angel “What shall be the conduct of the lad and his behavior?”, and the angel told the mother that she should abstain from all wine and guard against all impurity, and through this he will be a tzaddik.

At the end of the shiur, he spoke about the greatness of Rebbe Nachman and Rabbi Natan, that they merited to the aspect of Yechidah of Moshe Rabbeinu, and that Rabbi Natan was a completely new soul, and that through nullifying ourselves to that soul, we bring the redemption and that Mashiach ben David will come speedily in our days, Amen!

Thousands sing and dance for more than a half-hour

After the fiery shiur which entered the hearts of the thousands gathered, the Rav began the song “You brought us until here” and all the thousands came out in dancing.  After signaling to repeat the song three times, he signaled for the band to begin the song “In you Rabbeinu we shall rejoice,” while the thousands were jumping and dancing with awesome vitality and fervor.  It’s impossible to describe the great simcha in that we merited to being amongst the people of the Tzaddik in the hilulah of the greatest student of the Tzaddik.

At 12:15 am, the Rav shlit”a rose from his place and returned to his home amongst the singing of thousands gathered.

Below is a photo gallery from the event:

The Mashpia, Rav Yaakov Moshe Salmanovitz shlit”a at the Hilulah

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For an additional photo gallery, click here


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