There is a kind of stereotype about people that get involved with Reb Nachman. You don't expect to see them learning much Talmud. And far be it from me to argue. But because of simple and common decency I have to admit I would not be doing any learning of Talmud if not for Reb Nachman. I was really not wanted or allowed to be in any yeshiva at all. That is I was thrown out of every single yeshiva I every walked into except when I learned by the synagogue of Reb Nachman in Uman.
So how Reb Nachman's teachings effect others I can't claim to know much about. But as for me I clearly would not be learning a drop of Talmud without his advice and influence.


I was surprised to see the Reference Frame blog stick up for metaphysics. Here is the link:

This I think is the quote from Steven Dutch that I was looking for for a long time. I knew he has a masterful essay that blew up Hume and blew him right out of the water. But I remembered that he has some this point about induction.

Here is the link: Induction and 9/11

Steven Dutch's essay about Hume is here Argument from design

Cause and Effect

We live in a universe of patterns. Once a pattern is established, the burden of proof is on people who
claim the pattern does not hold. When some philosopher of science points out that we cannot prove
 that the sun will rise tomorrow, I say he's absolutely right. There is no way to prove axiomatically that
the sun will rise tomorrow, and nobody in science cares in the slightest. When the sun doesn't rise
 as scheduled, call me.

What I suggest is to start an kind of new idea that is old. The idea of a Beit Midrash. In fact in the days of the Talmud the synagogue was outside the city and it was only for prayer. It was not where people gathered together to learn Torah. And in the Beit Midrash there was only Torah. It was not for prayers at all. And it was public. ANYONE COULD COME IN AND LEARN.
 Kollels today  and yeshivas in Israel throw out anyone that wants to learn Torah  because they are private clubs. They do not say that to you when they are asking for donations, but it is the truth. And if they don't throw you out they make you regret ever walking in anyway.

Another problem is places that claim to be teaching Torah but are in fact dangerous cults that are determined to draw people to the worship of some lunatic charismatic leader. In fact these are the vast majority of yeshivas today.
These people are parasites. They do nothing to advance real learning in our society and drain resources into crank movements that will never benefit anyone except charlatans.

I should mention that the NY model of Yeshivas is in fact this very same idea of a Beit Midrash. They tend to be open for anyone that wants to learn Torah as a rule.


There is a difference between the mystic numinous aspect of Torah and the metaphysical aspect. These two aspects are close enough together for people to think that they are the same. But they are not. The basic metaphysical approach is defined well in the Guide for the Perplexed of the Rambam. But that is not the mystic aspect. The mystic aspect is best understood by learning Isaac Luria, the Ari, thoroughly and the the Lekutai Moharan of Nachman from Breslov.
I think the most important school of thought in Philosophy today is that of Kant and specifically in in the Friesian tradition. And the best representative of this school I think is Kelley Ross. It is called Friesian but in fact it is a structure built of many bricks, only one of which is Fries. I see that though the major points are on the web site still it seems the best explanation  and presentation is in Kelley Ross's original PhD thesis Origin of Value


There is a place for authentic Lithuanian yeshivas where people learn Torah for its own sake. But because there are authentic yeshivas, that fact gives frauds  a cover story to make yeshivas that exist only for money or to advance a cult and call it  a yeshiva.

In the days of the Gra there was in every city just the local beit midrash [synagogue] which was used as a study hall during the day. There certainly was no concept that people could or should be paid to learn Torah. To learn for hire is not allowed.

People also hired a tutor to teach their children Torah at home.

What I suggest is for people to go out and buy their own set of the Babylonian Talmud and to plow through it in two sessions per day at home. One in depth and the other a fast session so that you finish the Talmud many many times.

The problem with the idea of learning in some local shul [synagogue] today is that the majority of the orthodox synagogues are affiliated with some cult. In fact the majority of the frum world consists of various cults. They are called frum because they are united in external rituals. The world views of most of these cults are highly antithetical to the world view of the Torah. Most worship some charismatic figure, dead or alive. But they cover this worship with Jewish rituals that their their idolatry seems kosher.

For this reason it is best to avoid these places like they were filled with people that had the black plague and learn at home or in some Conservative or Reform Shul. Or you could perhaps start you own authentic Lithuanian yeshiva. But I should mention the "Yeshiva Movement" is rather new. And it was started by a disciple of the Gra. But it is different from the "Kollel Movement". The Kollel movement as a whole today is directed towards the goal of making Torah into a cash cow. This is not the same as the yeshiva movement and is really quite forbidden according to Torah law.
I should mention that I consider Reb Nachman from Breslov to be good, though some people have some complaints about the Breslov movement. In fact I think being in Uman for Rosh Hashanh is very important and also learning his book the Lekutai Moharan during the year. While some people in Breslov do get a bit over excited about it, still I think Reb Nachman's lessons are essential vitamins for the soul.

כל תורה שאין עמה מלאכה סופה בטילה וגוררת עוון All Torah that does not have work with it in the end will be worthless and brings to sin.

Appendix: If you are wondering about the excommunication of the Gra, it has no relation to Reb Nachman. See the several books out there that collected all the testimonies in Villna in Yiddish and the actual language of the different excommunications and you will see what I mean. The excommunications are certainly still valid, but they just have nothing to do with Reb Nachman.


Today I was talking to a person descended from the brother of the Villna Gaon. and he was telling me some interesting miracles that happened to him after he went to Uman to pray by the ziun of Reb Nachman. The truth is you see a large variety of Jews and gentiles that come there. In any case this was about a woman that was not able to obtain  divorce from her husband. The basic idea was this fellow telling me the story came a prayed for her, and there was some kind of unusual event involved. the husband had been stubborn, but after this fellow had prayed in Uman there was some kind of court case another time and the husband was still stubborn, but then he need to take a bathroom break and was gone for a half hour, when he returned he wanted to give the get with full consent with no strings attached. the second it was over he slapped his head and exclaimed '' what did I do?''

He also told me a story involving the Ribnitzer. A Reb Sender-a grandson of Shmuel Horvitz-a well known Breslover was asked for a blessing for children. He said come with me to the place where the Ribnitzer did his 310 dippings in the mikvah every day. The came in and while the Ribnitzer was doing his thing this Reb Sender went into the mikvah with all his clothes on. And came out and waited. The Ribnitzer looked up and saw him and asked, "What in the world are you doing?" He answered, "This fellow here needs children." The Ribnitzer said, "Fine, but what are you doing?" He again said, "This fellow needs children." The Ribnitzer said "Fine, he will have children." And ten months later his wife give birth to their first boy.