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Against All Odds - Visiting Rabbi Nachman's Grave in the 1960s

Against All Odds - Visiting Rabbi Nachman's Grave in the 1960s

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The odds were totally stacked against him. On one side stood his teachers and friends, who wished they could come along but were too frightened to try. On the other side stood a most formidable enemy: Communist Russia, land of the secret police, Siberian exile, and ruthless religious oppression. In the center was the goal: to pray at the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in Uman, Ukraine, which was off-limits to foreigners. How could a young chassid from New York do the impossible and break through the Iron Curtain?

Unbelievably, he succeeded. And his new book, Against All Odds, tells how in spellbinding detail. Part adventure story, part undercover intrigue, part heroic epic, this appealing autobiography by Rabbi Gedaliah Fleer follows the author from his childhood in the Bronx to his emergence as a hero of the Breslov movement. Thanks to his single-minded determination to infiltrate the Soviet Union and sneak into Uman in the early 1960s, Fleer helped open the door to thousands of Jews who have since traveled to Uman to pray at Rebbe Nachman's gravesite.

The tension and terror of living under the Russian hammer and sickle springs to life under the author\'s expressive pen. Fleer, a popular Breslov lecturer in America and Israel, makes it perfectly clear that his was not an easy undertaking. His desperate attempts to hide his Jewish identity, escape the pervasive surveillance of police officers and hotel staff, and survive a night in the Uman jail show us just how dangerous the Soviet Union was only a few decades ago.

In October 2005, tens of thousands of Jews from around the world traveled to Uman to spend Rosh Hashanah with Rebbe Nachman. Forty years ago, a single American chassid risked his life and freedom to attend the Rosh Hashanah pilgrimage, which consisted of only eleven other Russian chassidim. How does the impossible become possible?

Perhaps this amazing result could be explained by Rebbe Nachman himself, who taught: If there is something you really want, or something you wish would happen, focus every ounce of your concentration on that thing or event. Visualize it in fine detail. If your desire is strong enough and your concentration intense enough, you can make it come true (Rabbi Nachman\'s Wisdom #62).

By: Gedaliah Fleer | Publisher: Breslov Research Institute | Language: English | Volumes: 1 | Pages: 224 | Binding: Hard |

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