Friday, June 8, 2007

Chochma vs. Bina - Practical Manifestations - Part 4

Click here to read the introduction (Highly Recommended).

Chabad and Breslov:

I will now speak about Breslov and Chabad Chassidus. We see that they have many things in common. For example, both engage in spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus (Chabad according to the well known letter of the BeSh"T, "Eimasai Ka'asi Mar, etc." and Breslov according to the will of Rav Noson, that the main involvement should be with spreading [Rebbe's Nachman's teachings]). In this last generation, both of them are involved in Kiruv Rechokim and "making" Baalei Teshuva, and both have had to tolerate much opposition. The Baal HaTanya and Rebbe Nachman were Mechutanim (co-father-in-laws). The Baal HaTanya used to call himself the (spiritual) grandson (נכד) of the BeSh"T, like Rebbe Nachman, z"l. there are other connections, but this is not the place to expound. However, the difference between them is in the aspect of Chochma and Bina, as I mentioned.

It is explained that the holy BeSh"T was the aspect of Adam Harishon, which included all levels and all aspects, in the aspect of Keser Haklali [All-Inclusive Crown] (the Chariot of Elokim, K'vayachol). After that, all of the students of the holy BeSh"T continued in his holy way. They were pipelines and vessles to draw down the holy light of the BeSh"T for generations. However, there are many disparate lines and particular traits in them, because even though all of them were tied and reached the light of the BeSh"T. Nevertheless, each one of his holy students had his own way, from some trait or aspect, to ascend to the aspect of Keser (the light of the BeSh"T).

(Even Rebbe Nachman, z"l, despite the fact that he, on one hand, revealed many new aspects, as he said explicitly, nevertheless, there is also within him the aspect that he is continuing to reveal the light of the BeSh"T, similar [to the relationship between] the Ar"i and Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai. Even though the Ar"i revealed new things, which were not expounded in the holy Zohar explicitly, nevertheless, all of the new revelations of the Ari were a revelation of the light of the Rashbi in "new vessles." Through the "new vessels of the Ar"i we merit to receive the light of the Rashbi. It is the same thing regarding the BeSh"T and Rebbe Nachman.)

We must divide up those who followed the holy BeSh"T into four principal lines: 1) Chochma, 2) Bina, 3) Chesed-Gevurah-Tiferes and 4) Netzach-Hod-Yesod-Malchus. (Despite the fact that it is known that accoridng to Kabbalah all of these aspects include all of the aspects [as sub-aspects] , which means that there are more specific divisions [to be made] , this is not the place to expound.) (At the time of the Magid [of Mizrich], these divisions did not yet exist, because the Magid, in this respect, was the aspect of the BeSh"T...) 1) The Baal Hatanya is the aspect of Chochma. (Throughout the Tanya, he refers to the sefira of Keser as "Chochma," because his way was to ascend to Keser is through "Chochma." Therefore, he established the "shita" of Chabad whose essence is the revelation of G-dly Chochma in the Torah of Chassidus.) 2) Rebbe Nachman tied his revelation to the Sefira of Bina, as Rebbe Avraham b'Reb Nachman, z"l spoke about at length in the sefer כוכבי אור. (Even though Rebbe Nachman, himself, was the aspect of Keser, nonetheless we did not merit that the aspect of Keser should be revealed in the days of Rebbe Nachman, [but he instead] revealed in himself with the garments and vessels of Bina.)

3) The Rebbe Reb Elimelech, zy"a, and his students are connected to Chesed-Gevurah-Tiferes. Therefore, they mainly involved themselves in matters of Ahava, Yirah and Deveikus. (the way of Kotzk, Pshischa, etc. was tied to Daas Tachton, which is the inner essence of Chesed-Gevrua-Tiferes) 4) The general way of Chassidus in the later generations [has been]tied to Netzach-Hod-Yesod-Malchus. (And therefore Chassidus receives light in a way of remembering the levels of the earlier generations. And so too in their practices and commitments, etc [they endeavor to do like the Zaides and Bubbes].) But here is not the place to expound [further].

Let us return to the matter of Chabad and Breslov, who are connected to Chochma and Bina, two inseperable friends. there is much in common between them. They are both involved in repairing the world and spreading the wellsprings of Chasidus to bring the redemption closer. The idea of the redemption is related to the aspect of Keser and therefore, only Chochma and Bina, the two parts of Keser (as is apparant from the physical analogy that the right brain [Moach HaChochma] and the left brain [Moach HaBina] are within the skull, which corresponds to Keser) are involved... in bringing the redemption closer through spreading the wellsprings [of Chassidus] and "making" Baalei Teshuva.

However, there is a difference between Chochma and Bina in their method of repairing the world, which is also expressed in the two different ways they express Chassidus, as mentioned above. In Chabad Chassidus, the main Kiruv Rechokim is done through the G-dly Chochma in Chassidus. This is the way of Chochma. (In the last generation, this is also done by practical mitzvos (Mivtzo'im), in the aspect of concrete actions, even without any inner thought. This is tied to that which will be explained later, that Chochma's root is in the Ancient [Atik]. And therefore, it reveals the elavatedness of Malchus [mitzvos that are purely physical], whose end is bound up in their beginning, but this is not the place to expound on this topic) And in Breslov, Kirus is mainly done through [mekuravim] learning ways of Avoda[s Hashem], Teshuva, Hisbodedus, joy, etc., because the idea of Bina is Teshuva and the service of the heart.

[Section omitted from translation] Therefore, one who learns the seforim of Chabad receives a level of the loftiness of G-d, and the greatness of Hashem until the Infinite Light, which no mind can grasp. And one who learns the seforim of Breslov receives a feeling of closeness to Hashem and a strengthening of the feeling that Hashem is with him and beside him. This is the aspect of the revelation of Keser of "Arich," which reveals that no place is empty of Him.

This is also the secret of the words of Rebbe Nachman, who said that he wants that all of his Chassidim should come to be "like me, literally." Meaning: they should come to the aspect of Arich, where the aspect "He equates the small with the great, etc." will be revealed.

Click here for part 5, Rebbe Nachman and the Shpoler Zaide.

-Dixie Yid

Update: A Simple Jew has a guest posting relating to this topic by Rabbi Dovid Sears, which can be found here. Also, Chabakuk Elisha has a guest posting at Mystical Paths on some of the commonalities between Chabad and Breslov here.


AY said...

Great post!
I wonder how could someone choose between the path of Chabad and the path of Rabbi Nahman... Is it a question of one's soul roots? Do you have something to say on this issue?

moshe said...

Dixie Yid: Thank you, this is awesome! Who is R' Iche Morgenstern, and where can we hear more of his shiurim?
On a related subject, I heard in the name of R' Ginsburgh, how he categorized all the major groups in klal yisroel according to the seven lower sfirot. Here it is: Chesed - the sefardim; Gvurah - the Gr'a and the yeshiva world; Tiferet - Chabad; Netzach - R' Kook; Hod - the mussar movement; Yesod - general chassidus; Malchus - Breslov. I assume both approaches are right, they're just talking about different aspects of each kehilla.

DixieYid said...


Just to make clear, I'm not taking credit for the words I posting. I'm merely translating parts of a Kuntres by Rav Itchie Mayer Morgenstern, as explained in the introductory post.

As far as Breslov vs. Chabad, it's a great question but I think you're right about the answer. It depends on your Shoresh neshoma. Are you a Rochel or a Leah?

My rebbe says that there are two types of people (though most are amalgams w/a perponderance of one trait or the other). Rochels are on the side of Chochma and tend to be dependable, stable, solid personalities who can remain steadfast in thier commitments and Ruchnius. That personality type would seem to be more drawn to Chabad Chassidus, which relates to the side of Chochma and the side of Rochel and Moshiach ben Yosef, the Tzadik Yesod Olam.

Leahs are the side of Bina. They're prone to more ups and downs, with great potential for great highs and well as low lows. Leah is the side of Moshiach ben Dovid, the ultimate Baal Teshuva. This is more the side of Breslov, if that's where your personality leans.

Of course, if you're 70% Leah and 30% Rochel, maybe you should learn Breslov Chassidus 70% and Chabad Chassidus 30%! :-)

What are your thoughts?

Moshe, you can read more from R' Itchie Mayer Morgenstern from his seforim, called Yam Hachochma. One of them is available online at at the following link:

I'm very interested in that breakdown from R' Ginsburgh. Forgive my ignorance, but who is that? Where can I found more information on what you shared? You had all the details which tells me perhaps you have it in writing? Or in notes or something? Look forward to hearing back.

-Dixie Yid

AY said...

Dear Dixie Yid,
Thanks for your answers.
Seems you made a confusion because Moshiah' ben Yossef, and Yossef as a Tzadik Yessod Olam is very linked to Breslov, whereas for Chabad, they claim to be linked with Dovid HaMelech and Moshiah ben David...

moshe said...

DY: R' Yitzchak Ginsburgh is the founder of gal einai ( ). You even linked to his old website, in this last posting! He's a huge genius and a true chassid, and he reveals the most amazing chiddushim! Look through his new site ( You'll probabl enjoy his new shiurim on Torah and science there.
I don't have anything in writing, but gal einai have put out many books, so may be it's in one of them.
Isn't it interesting that the two people who reveal such awesome things should both be called Yitzchak? And one is Chabad and one is Breslov.

DixieYid said...

AY, thanks for writing back. No, I said what I said on purpose. According to R' Morgenstern, Chabad is associated with Chochma, and as he said in the post, that's associated with Yosef HaTzadik and Moshiach ben Yosef. I think he hinted in the section on the GR"A and Chassidus that Chabad Chassidus basically took over this role that the derech ha'GR"A should have taken, if you re-read sections 3 and 4 together with that in mind. And Breslov, he said, is the side of Bina, which relates to Moshiach Ben Dovid, and, as I mentioned in the comment section, the side of Leah.

Perhaps there is another way of explaining these things by others and R' Morgenstern's is different in this regard, though it makes sense to me.)


Thanks for the links I'll have to check that out. I would hope that I could find an explanation there for the reasons behind that breakdown you gave us. Yasher Koach!

-Dixie Yid

yitz.. said...

technical msg:
dispirate is spelled disparate

(i'm only correcting spelling since you are translating someone else's work)

yitz.. said...

i think it should be also said that this whole kuntres looks to be very Bina-based which is explained now through the understanding that the author is Breslov ..

In other words, the whole Kuntres is delineating the differences between different segments of judaism into the Hochmah/Binah dichotomy --- something that has to come from a place of Binah.

DixieYid said...


I corrected the spelling. I try to use the spell check function but unless I have a short posting, that function has stopped working. Not sure why. Any advice would be appreciated.

Great He'orah on Bina and the Kuntres. There's another way to look at it though. Since he's generalizing all of the details and putting things in their greater, root perspective, there's an element of Chochma there too

DixieYid said...


if you know of a different breakdown, please explain the reasons. I'm very interested. Yasher Koach.

-Dixie Yid

yitz.. said...

@dixie yid

I stand corrected.. the fact that he's bringing all of the machlokot into one cohesive framework is very chochmah ..

but it's actually something i've always associated more with da'ath.. the correct admixing of binah and chochmah

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about the open or concealed meshichist group in Chabad:

With the historical emphasis of the Chabad movement on Chochma, how could these aberrations have started?

DixieYid said...

Anon 11:05,

Unfortunately, I am totally unequipped to understand or comment on the roots of the Meshichist movement, especially given Chabad's connection to Chochma and therefore Moshiach ben Yosef (not ben Dovid, as Meshichists believe). Perhaps Chabad's current form of messianism is some level of a fulfillment of the death of Moshiach ben Yosef preceeding the coming of Moshiach ben Dovid??? Just a thought, but I have absolutely no real insight to give.

-Dixie Yid

noahidelaws said...

I posted this elsewhere, but I'll post it here because it's relevant to the thread:

As for Rav Morgenstein's characterisation of all Chabad Chasidus as Chochmah, I think it reveals tremendous ignorance in Chabad Chasidus. (Which perhaps also proves my point concerning the pitfalls of "unifying".) Indeed, the Alter Rebbe is identified with Chochmah, but his successor, the Mitteler Rebbe, is identified with bina, and so on, until the Rebbe is identified with Malchus. There are different ways of calculating how the Chabad Rebbeim correspond to the sefiros, but whatever the calculation is, it's something that the Rebbe spoke about many times. Also, it should be emphasised that the derech and chiddush of Chabad is davka the importance of reaching ahava v'yira in a more pnimiyus'dike and lasting way, because it is the result of lengthy hisbonenus. This is not leaving out middos and remaining with Chochmo, ch"v, as Rav Morgenstein's pigeon-holing of Chabad Chasidus implies, but on the contrary, it is reaching middos that are much more lasting and real than those aroused without lengthy hisbonenus.

DixieYid said...


While we're posting what we posted elsewhere, I'll do the same below. :-)

"it seems that you are ignorant about Rav Morgenstern. If his identification of the sefira that Chabad is most connected to is different from yours or one of the Chabad Rebbes, that does not imply that he is ignorant of what they wrote! It means that he disagrees. Beis Hillel's disagreement with Beis Shamai doesn't imply that Beis Hillel didn't know Beis Shamai's position. It means they disagree!"

-Dixie Yid

Anonymous said...

Saying that each chabad rebbe corresponds to a different sefira doesn't contradict what rav morgenstern wrote since as is known every sefira contains all 10 sefiros. So within chochma there are all 10 sefiros - chochma shebichochma, bina shebichochma etc. Each corresponding to the chabad rebbes

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Anon, yes I agree completely. When I wrote my response a while back, I hadn't yet thought of your explanation, though I thought of it shortly afterward. Great point.