Tuesday, August 23, 2005

An Effort To Compile Breslover Minhagim

from The Breslov Center for Spirituality and Inner Growth website:

Are There Any Breslover Minhagim?

Many people have questioned us over the years about Breslover minhagim. Other Chassidic groups have customs that define them and bind their members to one another and to their leaders, past and present. What about Breslov?

The fact that no one ever made an official Breslover "Sefer ha-Minhagim" tells us something: in past years, there was little need. The Breslover community was relatively small, and passed along its traditions by word of mouth and by example. However, today Breslov has grown exponentially, attracting people from virtually every background. Therefore, many newcomers to Breslov legitimately seek guidance in this area of Chassidic life.

In response to this need, the staff of the Breslov Center has collected numerous Breslover minhagim and spiritual practices, with the intention of posting them on this website. At present, we are going over the material with Rav Elazar Kenig, shlita, in Monsey, NY, to make sure that what we have written is correct. When this review process is complete, we will add the text to the "Learn" page -- G-d willing, sometime during Menachem Av. Those interested should please check the Learn page periodically.


At August 23, 2005 at 12:49:00 PM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

My understanding is that another reason Breslov has not emphasized Minhagim (like some other groups do) is that there is often a problem of elitism that comes with minhagim.

I think minhagim are a very beautiful and important part of Jewish life - and Chassidic life even more so - but I've seen people latch on to minhagim in an unhealthy way at times, and many people feel that they are superior by keeping their minhagim, etc. Breslov has a concept of avoiding "chumros yeseiros" (unnecessary stringencies) and Breslov is wary of people becoming preoccupied with trivialities, which takes one's focus away from their purpose.

I do encourage people to have and follow minhagim, but to try an avoid the "dark side" of "customized Judaism" ;-) I think that is a primary reason why Breslov plays this stuff down as a rule.

At August 23, 2005 at 2:49:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Gartel said...

thats pretty cool (that theyre gonna put it on their site i mean).

minhagim a lot of times show that extra level of "hidur" to the mitzva

At August 23, 2005 at 5:07:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once did a research project into various Jewish sects and I interviewed a Breslover Rabbi and he said that Breslovers have no customs, they just keep the customs they had before they became Breslov

At September 14, 2005 at 1:07:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That (the statement that Breslov has no minhogim) is incorrect. Everything can be moved to extreme. The attitude of "playing down" minhogim can lead to complete havoc and anarchy. Moderation is required in many things like that. Focus on main issues doesn't mean total hefker in minhogim. Usage of minhogim doesn't mean forgetting about main issues.

It's great that this project is done with consulting people who posess the unbroken tradition in Breslov and are not just newcomers.


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