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Hitbodedut

– Background: – Secluded meditation practices were encouraged by medieval rabbis like Abraham Maimonides, Abraham Abulafia, Joseph Gikatilla, Moses de Leon, Moses Cordovero, Isaac Luria, […]

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– Background:
– Secluded meditation practices were encouraged by medieval rabbis like Abraham Maimonides, Abraham Abulafia, Joseph Gikatilla, Moses de Leon, Moses Cordovero, Isaac Luria, and Chaim Vital.
– The founder of Hasidism, the Baal Shem Tov, promoted deveikus through hitbodedut and meditating on kabbalistic unifications of Isaac Luria.
– Rebbe Nachman of Breslov extensively wrote about these practices, claiming they were also practiced by the forefathers of Judaism, prophets, and Torah leaders.
– Hitbodedut can be done indoors, in nature, or at night, providing opportunities for personal prayers and introspection.
– Rebbe Nachman suggested forests or fields as ideal places for hitbodedut due to their enhancing prayer effectiveness.

– Rebbe Nachman’s Method:
– Hitbodedut involves talking to God intimately in a private setting like a closed room or outdoors.
– Spending time in solitude daily can lead to semi-prophetic experiences and increased opportunities for Teshuvah.
– Practitioners pour out their hearts to God, discussing thoughts, feelings, problems, and seeking guidance for the future.
– Rebbe Nachman advised practicing hitbodedut simply, like conversing with a close friend.
– Even mundane matters like business dealings can be discussed during hitbodedut sessions.

– Silent Meditation:
– Hitbodedut includes silent meditation techniques like the silent scream and bitul, focusing on God’s presence to the exclusion of all else.
– Rebbe Nachman recommended hitbodedut for at least one hour daily to supplement traditional Jewish services.
– The practice is performed in one’s mother tongue and is a staple for all Breslover Hasidim.
– Hitbodedut has gained popularity as a unique form of Jewish meditation within Israel and the Jewish diaspora.
– Rebbe Nachman did not intend hitbodedut to replace daily Jewish services but to complement them.

– Further Reading:
– Bergman’s book “Where Earth and Heaven Kiss” provides a guide to Rebbe Nachman’s path of meditation.
– Greenbaum’s “Tzaddik” offers a portrait of Rabbi Nachman, shedding light on his teachings.
– Kaplan’s “Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom” and Kramer’s “Crossing the Narrow Bridge” delve into the wisdom and mystical experiences associated with hitbodedut.
– Sears’ “The Tree That Stands Beyond Space” explores Rebbe Nachman’s mystical experiences in depth.
– These resources offer additional insights into the practice of hitbodedut and Rebbe Nachman’s teachings.

Hitbodedut (Wikipedia)

Hitbodedut or hisbodedus (Hebrew: הִתְבּוֹדְדוּת, lit. "seclusion, solitariness, solitude"; Tiberian: hīṯbōḏăḏūṯ [hiθboːðaˈðuːuθ], Ashkenazi: hīsboydedēs/hīsboydedūs or hīsbōdedūs, Sephardi: hitbōdedūt) refers to practices of self-secluded Jewish meditation. The term was popularized by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772–1810) to refer to an unstructured, spontaneous, and individualized form of prayer and meditation through which one would establish a close, personal relationship with God and ultimately see the Divinity inherent in all being.

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