Rebbe Nachman of Breslov was born on Shabbos Hachodesh/Rosh Chodesh Nissan. While one source suggests it was the year 5531, Reb Nosson says that it was the year 5532. (Chayei Moharan 104. In both years, Rosh Chodesh Nissan fell on Shabbos). There is an amazing remez to 5532 being the correct year, as this would make the date of the Rebbe’s birth א׳ ניסן תקל״ב – exactly equal to 703, the gematria of נחמן בר שמחה. Additionally, this would mean that his bris took place on ח׳ ניסן תקל״ב which is equal to 710 – the gematriya of נחמן spelled out, נון חית מם נון.

There is No Despair!

On the Shabbos of Rebbe Nachman’s birthday, Parshas HaChodesh was read – החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים ראשון הוא לכם לחדשי השנה. One of the basic lessons of the Jewish calendar counting by the moon is that although the moon seems to disappear, it reappears and becomes full again. This can help us understand one of the most famous sayings of the Rebbe: אין שום יאוש בעולם כלל – there is absolutely no despair; no matter how low a person falls, materially or spiritually, there is always hope. Just like the moon seems to disappear and then, just a short time later, it becomes a full moon again, so too a person has the potential to rise from the lowest level to the highest.

This is alluded to in the words החדש הזה לכם. The word החדש is the exact gematriya of יאוש, despair. The next words, הזה לכם imply that ‘this is a lesson for you’  – instead of giving up hope, one should take a lesson from the moon and turn the יאוש into החדש by starting fresh with renewal – התחדשות. Additionally, the word הזה is the gematryia of טוב. Therefore, these words may be read read as טוב לכם, as we are instructed (in Azamra, Likutei Mohoran 282) to look for the “good points” in ourselves as well as others.

Hisbodedus – Personal Prayer

If we add an א – which alludes to Hashem – to the word יאוש, it equals שיח (tefillah), an allusion to Rebbe Nachman’s primary directive of hisbodedus. Another allusion to this can be found in the first letters of החדש הזה לכם, which equal 40, the gematria of לבדד. In Sefer Oneg Shabbos (Parshas Balak), Reb Ephroyim’l Krakofsky writes that the words הן עם לבדד ישכן (Balak 23:9) refer to this avodah as well. לבדד refers to hisbodedus and ישכן is the gematriya of השעה, referring to the hour that Rebbe Nachman advises one to spend engaged in hisbodedus. (Likutei Mohoran II, 25)

The Rebbe’s Aliyah

The Rebbe himself is alluded to by last letters ofהחדש הזה לכם  which spell משה. Moshe Rabbeinu was the middah of נצח, which Kochvei Ohr explains is the same gematria as נחמן. This explains why the Rebbe always had the fourth aliyah, which represents נצח. Also, the tzaddik’s yahrzeit is on the fourth day of Succos, the Ushpizin of Moshe Rabbeinu which corresponds to Netzach. If I may add: the portion of Parshas Hachodesh when read in Parshas Bo appears in the reading of the fourth aliyah.

Completion of the Arba Parshios

Chazal teach, משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה. Reb Tzvi Cheshin shlita points out that the initials of שמחה hint to the Arba Parshios in order – מחית עמלק חקת החודש שקלים.

It emerges that on the day of the Rebbe’s birth, the Arbah Parshios were completed. Appropriately, this completed the word שמחה. Additionally, the fourth middah is נצח, equal to נחמן (as discussed above).

My Fire will Burn Until Moshiach Arrives

החדש הזה לכם is equal to the gematriya of משיח בן דוד, alluding to Rebbe Nachman’s famous declaration – “My fire will burn until Moshiach arrived,” and to his saying that Moshiach will be descendant from him (Chayei Mohoran 229; 274; 612).

לחדשי השנה equals the gematria of רבי נתן. With the Kollel, it equals נחמן בר שמחה with the inclusion of the letters.

רבי נחמן is equal to השנה.

ראש חדשים equals ראש השנה with the 2 words.

Stories to Awaken the Soul

The first Rashi in Bereishis states that the Torah could have started from החדש הזה לכם, and asks “ומה טעם”, “What is the reason that we start from Bereishis?”

The ו of ומה represents the sixth middah of יסוד. The words מה טעם equal 164, the amount of pesukim in Tikun Haklali.

Rashi goes on to say we start from Bereishis because כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו לתת להם נחלת גוים. The words “Koach Ma’asav” may be read as “the strength of a story,” alluding to the Rebbe’s saying that he told his stories to wake people up.

The words לתת להם נחלת could allude to the Rebbe, whose soul is alluded to in the opening letters of the words נחל נבע מקור חכמה. The Rebbe intended to wake us from our slumber so we could work on the Hischadshus of Parshas Hachodesh.

One of the ways the word בראשית is broken up is ירא שבת.

The tzaddik is referred to as שבת.

The gematria of רבי נחמן בר שמחה equals ירא שבת plus the two words.

The Greatest Chiddush

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov zy”a was the greatest of those involved in giving encouragement to people. This is hinted to by the words ראש חדשים, which may be read as “The head of those teaching hischadshus-renewal.” When I told this over to Reb Shlomo Cheshin z”l, he added thatראש חדשים  can also mean that the Rebbe was the “greatest of all Chidushim,” as he said of himself that he was a “chiddush.

החדש הזה לכם can mean that “these 10 letters – representative of the 10 Tehilim of Tikun Haklali – are a chiddush for you.”

There are 38 words in the pasuk, equal to the age of the Rebbe when he passed away.

Parshas HaChodesh goes on to discuss the Korban Pesach. As is well-known, פסח is the gematria of נחמן.

Parshas Tazria

The day the Rebbe was born was Shabbos Rosh Chodesh, the day Parshas Tazria is read which speaks about Bris Milah. These mitzvos – Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, and Millah – are the three things that the Greeks wanted us to get rid of.

As is known, the Rebbe was vehemently opposed to anyone learning “Greek wisdom,” as well as any work of chakirah  – even those written by tzaddikim.

The first letters of ש׳בת מ׳ילה ח׳דש spell שמח, the root of the word שמחה. The Rebbe was the son of שמחה, he passed away on the חג השמחה, he was born following two months of Adar, and he was born on Rosh Chodesh Nissan when we are supposed to have in mind by Mussaf the posuk,ישמחו השמים ותגל הארץ (as brought in Bnei Yisaschor, Rosh Chodesh 1:11 and Nissan 1:1) Of course, he is famous for his teachings of שמחה. Perhaps the most famous expression of this focus in his teachings are the words to the song מצוה גדולה להיות בשמחה תמיד. (Likutei Mohoran II, 24.)

Tazria has 67 pesukim, equal to בינה.

Sefer Kochvei Ohr explains that בינה spelled bimiluy בית יוד נון הי – is equal to נחמן בן שמחה (553). 67 is also equal to אלול, which is the preparation for Rosh Hashona – the Rebbe’s essence. The Rebbe also taught that the kavanos of Elul are Tikun Habris (Likutei Mohoran II, 87).

The third posuk in Tazria states, וביום השמיני ימול בשר ערלתו.

The word ערלתו is equal to נחמן בר שמחה with the 3 words. This alludes to the fact that meaning that eight days from when these words were read, the Rebbe would have his Bris Milah. Additionally, the Rebbe often spoke about Kedushas Habris and famously revealed the 10 chapters of Tehilim, Tikun Haklali, that rectify pegam habris.

Rebbe Nachman teaches that if a Jew who is in the lowest spiritual state finds the strength to search out Hashem, saying איה מקום כבודו – “where is Hashem’s glory, this itself can help pull him out of his low state and bring him to the highest level. This is the aspect of ואיה השה לעלה (Likutei Mohoran II, 12).

Based on this, we can see a hint from the posuk:ואם לא תמצא ידה די שה ולקחה שתי תרים או שני בני יונה אחד לעלה ואחד לחטאת וכפר עליה הכהן וטהרה (12:8).

ואם לא תמצא ידה די שה – If a person can’t even search out Hashem by saying איה מקום כבודו which is the aspect of ואיה השה לעלה.

Then ולקחה שתי תרים או שני בני יונה – take the advice of the Rebbe, alluded to in the word שתי, which is equal to 710 – the gematria of נחמן spelled out, נון חית מם נון. The next word, תרים, is equal to הצדיק אמת. שני is equal to רבי נחמן. יונה spelled out bimiluy יוד וו נון הה – is equal to נחמן.

Take the advice of אחד לעלה ואחד לחטא, an allusion to Likutei Moharan 6 (a lesson based on the kavanos of Elul), which speaks about serving Hashem both in a state of ascent (לעלה) as well as a state of descent (לחטאת). Even in the ascent, the Rebbe says one needs to do teshuva on the previous teshuva. On the other hand, even in the lowest place, one must believe that Hashem is there with us. We need to search Him out and strengthen ourselves.

Then וכפר עליה הכהן וטהרה – the tzaddik will help us achieve forgiveness-taharah by teaching us how to react properly every spiritual situation.

“If I Only Had the Wings of a Dove…

As mentioned, יונה spelled out bimiluy יוד וו נון הה – is equal to נחמן. This could give more meaning to the song sung by Breslover Chassidim who yearnin to get to the kever of the Rebbe in Uman, מִי יִתֶּן לִּי אֵבֶר כַּיּוֹנָה אָעוּפָה צִיוּנוֹ הַקָדוֹשׁ אוּמַנָה.

This had extra special meaning in the days that the Communists would not allow Jews to travel to Uman. In truth, there are always obstacles in getting to Uman, so these words always have meaning. (These words are based on a posuk in Tehilim 55:7, וָאֹמַר מִי יִתֶּן לִּי אֵבֶר כַּיּוֹנָה אָעוּפָה וְאֶשְׁכֹּנָה.)

The gematria of אֵבֶר כַּיּוֹנָה is exactly equal to נחמן בן פיגא (which is also equal to ברסלב).

A Cleansing River

Parshas Tazria goes on to speak about how a person with tzara’as goes to the Kohen who instructs them how to become pure. So too, the Rebbe said: “I am a river that cleanses from all stains” (Chayei Moharan 189, 332).

Hisbodedus & Teshuva

The posuk כל ימי אשר הנגע בו יטמא טמא הוא בדד ישב מחוץ למחנה מושבו (13:46) hints at hisbodedus, personal prayer in one’s own words.

כל ימי – all your days.

אשר הנגע בו יטמא טמא הוא – we are all impure in some manner, as it says in Likutei Mohoran 6 that even someone on a high level needs to do teshuva onthe previous teshuva.

בדד ישב מחוץ למחנה מושבו – He should go do hisbodedus outside the camp, meaning away from people, as is taught in Likutei Mohoran 52. The first letters of ישב מחוץ למחנה equal הלילה (also spoken about in that lesson). In Likutei Mohoran II, 25 the Rebbe says this should be for at least one hour. This is meramez by the last letters of אשר הנגע בו יטמא טמא הוא בדד ישב מחוץ למחנה which equal השעה. (All this is preferred. However, one can also do hisbodedus in a room, by day, and for any amount of time).]

Tikkun HaKlali

There is an amazing remez to Tikun Haklali hidden in the famous words said after the naming of the Rebbe at his Bris. It is no coincidence that at the tzaddik’s very own Bris was hinted in the Tikun for Pegam Habris. 

The Rebbe’s uncle, the great tzadik, the Rebbe Reb Boruch’l of Mezhibuzh, explained after the naming זה ינחמנו ממעשינו ומעצבון ידינו מן האדמה אשר אררה ה'” (בראשית ה, כט) וכדרשת חז”ל (סנהדרין קיג, ב) צדיק בא לעולם, טובה באה לעולם.

Of course, the word ינחמנו contains the name נחמן in it. But the whole word ינחמנו is equal to 164, the exact amount of pesukim in the 10 chapters of Tehilim that comprise Tikun Haklali!

My Rosh HaShanah…

Meseches Rosh Hashona starts off with the word ארבעה –“four,” and, as we have seen, the fourth middah is נצח, equal to נחמן. The first Rosh Hashona discussed is the first day of Nissan, the birthday of Rebbe Nachman who said his essence was Rosh HaShanah. The initials of the first words ארבעה ראשי שנים spell ראש, which is equal to נחמן שמחה.

Rebbe Nachman famously said, “My Rosh HaShanah rises above all.” Perhaps the words ראש השנה שלי – “My Rosh HaShanah” can also refer to the Rebbe’s birthday, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the first Rosh HaShanah mentioned in Meseches Rosh HaShanah, and Nissan is complete rachamim. It can hint that the rachamim is עולה על הכל – it sweetens the primary Rosh HaShanah and the whole year.

Rebbe Eliezer says the world was created in Tishrei and Rebbe Yehoshua says the world was created in Nissan (Rosh Hashona 10b-11a). The gematria of אליעזר is one more than יאוש, which the Rebbe teaches does not exist. Rebbe Yehoshua can be seen as hinting at the Rebbe’s main talmid, Reb Nosson, whom he called “my Yehoshua.”

צדיק בא לעולם, טובה באה לעולם.


R' Dovid Friedman
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