Start at Part 1
We arrived at the kever of Rebbi Nosson at around 2:30am (Friday morning). Rebbi Nosson is buried on top a small bluff overlooking the town of Bardichiv. Surprisingly Bardichiv looked like a very developed town. We ascended a long and winding stair case with our tehillim in hand and tefillos swirling in our minds. We were slightly surprised when we entered the tzion to find two slumbering chassidim fast asleep on the floor. Knowing this was the last kever we would be visiting on this whirlwind tour before we get to Uman, I started to reflect on the experience of the last 3 days. I was immediately struck with the realization that it took me 40 years to unplug from the madness and really do something to prepare myself for Rosh Hashana. I got on a plane at 5:00pm Tuesday evening with a short lay over in Amsterdam with enough time to say Slichos and Daven Schacharis with Kavanah. When we arrived in Kiev it took over 1 hour until we finally managed to clear customs despite the primitive ridiculous system that is used in this backward country. We then boarded a van with all our luggage. We were a group of 7 and kulam biyachad one mission to pour out our neshomas by the heiliga kevorim of some of the greatest Tzaddikim that walked in this world. This was our chance to daven for ourselves, our loved ones, chaverim, and all of klal yisroel. It was 3 days that we did not see a bed, sit at a table with a normal meal, or change our clothes. Despite all that it seemed we were lacking, my life was infused with an overwhelming experience to really connect with the Rebono shel olam through these holy kevorim she'll tzaddikim and only focus on the most minimal aspects of gashmius possible. There is no way possible to accomplish a real proper preparation for Rosh Hashana when one is in his or her usual daled ammos. Even if you are not looking for distractions, they seem to find you. B'h Hashem knew that I really wanted this year to elevate my tefillos in a way that I never could before.
Several hours later we arrived in Uman at circa 5:00 am. I truly know now that our faithful driver Leon is a good goy. He dropped us off and told us to walk around 2000feet past security and he drove around to the top of a hill with our luggage so we would not have to shlep our bags through the broken streets of Uman. This man drove us for the last 48 hours with only 1-3 hours of sleep depending on the stop we made. Despite this he had the decency to look out for our comfort and well being by accommodating us in every way possible.
Needless to say after dropping of our bags, we quickly dropped off our bags and ran to the Tzion. The tzion was pumping with sounds and cry's of words of tehillim. My chaverim quickly whisked me off to see the Kloize which looks like an airplane hanger with seating for several thousand people. We said slechos and then ran right back to base camp the "Ritz Carton" to daven Schacharis. Yes that is correct no typo "Carton" true Breslov chassidim that are always besimcha also have a cute sense of humor including a heisa Mikveh with a rubber duck and dead fish floating in the mayim metahrim. I still was not ready to sleep I had to walk the streets of Uman to try and take in this mokom. It is an amazing feeling to walk and only see Jews everywhere. Jews of all different sizes and shapes from different places around the world all here to daven. I bought a new pair of tzizis lekovod Shabbos, a new white yarmuka lekovod Yom Tov and finally a new sefer which I have been looking for quite some time Sefer Hamidos one of the 3 seforim written by Rebbi Nachman. After walking around for several hours I finally returned to my room to get a few hours of much needed sleep. I awoke 2 hours before Shabbos to make my final preparations for Shabbos. Shower, Mikveh, and a visit to the Tzion to say Tikkun klali, and give 1 dollar(my form of a prutah) to ensure that Hashem will fulfill the promise of this Tzaddik to pull me out if needed from gehenom by my peyous. I promised Hashem before I was born that I would be a Tzaddik and not a Rasha, I can assure you I plan to keep this promise but I'll take all the help I can get.
Needless to say the Skolya Rebba was right Wow is this a mokom of tiffilah. Despite the fact that the niggunim at Aish Kodesh far exceed the niggunim here on Friday night, I can't recall such a powerful davening to usher in Shabbos with my neshoma yesayra. In fact despite the lack of the long niggen after licol dodi the tiffilah filled me in a way I have never been filled before.
We eat our meals outdoors prepared by Rabbi Chaim Kramers sons. The Shabbos meals were inspiring filled with inspirational stories from the people that are staying here with us.
It's time for melave malkah so I will continue soon.
Inspired with tiffilah more then ever before.
(Pictures of the streets of Uman taken half an hour ago courtesy of my holy chevrusa)
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