Shalom and welcome to 148West. To obtain the most benefit from our humble site, please read this page first. Thank you.

What’s the Purpose of This Here Blog?

The simplest way to answer is to offer the following rendition of a meditation written by the Eshel Avraham (Reb Avraham Dovid of Butshatsh) in his work Tefilah l’David:

“From now until this time tomorrow, on behalf of every Jew, I hereby intend to unite the Blessed Holy One and His Shekhinah, in order to place myself, the entire Jewish nation and all mankind on the side of merit.”

That’s the mission. You’re invited to join, partake, what have you. If it helps you grow, please use it, please share it. If it doesn’t help you, leave for it someone else or for a later time. Maybe you’re not ready, maybe you’ve outgrown it. Doesn’t mean someone else can’t make good use of it.

Who Are You? Why Should I Listen to You?

Bergman’s the name, blogging’s the game. Ozer Bergman. I don’t have a Ph.D., I was ordained by a rabbi you never heard of and never served in any branch of the Israeli Army (or any other army for that matter).  I am not the holy guy with all the answers.

I was born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn (before the Lubavitchers arrived en masse) and was raised in Woodmere, one of the Five Towns in Nassau County, New York. I went to the Yeshiva of South Shore, for which I am thankful, because there I learned two most important skills: [1] to read Hebrew and [2] to love being Jewish.

From there I went to Yeshiva University High School (Manhattan). Last stop on the formal education train was The Johns Hopkins University. I majored in philosophy, and minored in drug research. (Because Hopkins is a strong science school, why else?) During my junior year (at Harvard) I met and fell in love with Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

I moved to the Holy Land in February ’78, and have been living in Jerusalem since August ’83. Along the way I got married to this woman, became a father and grandfather, wrote a slew of articles for a Torah weekly and a book (also here), learned a lot of Torah (but never enough), edited a number of books and turned white. I’ve learned a lot from and about life, most of all that I have a lot yet to learn.

Should you listen to me? I can’t answer that question. But if you’re old enough to read this, then you’re old enough to decide that for yourself. One thing’s for sure. You could do a worse. A lot worse.

What Are You Teaching? What Are You Preaching?

I’m not teaching as much as I am sharing. Whatever I’m learning in life or in Torah, I just restructure and lay out as well as I can, with the occasional extrapolation. Most of what I share will be based on the works and teachings of the late, great Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. But I’ll share from anywhere in the Torah and life that I think will help someone.

And I don’t preach. That’s not the way of the Baal Shem Tov or of Rebbe Nachman. But if you would ask me, I would strongly recommend (in no particular order) that you:

  • keep Shabbos (aka Shabbat)
  • keep kosher
  • talk to God as you would to a true, good friend, every day, in your own words, about whatever is on your mind
  • speak nicely to people
  • be generous
  • smile
  • Be. More. Jewish.

Please feel free to comment on any post or comments. Just remember: play nice.

To find out what Rebbe Nachman wants and what he asks of his followers/disciples, go here. And if you ever wanted to know what makes someone a Breslover, this link is for you.

Speaking of links, this way to the links page.

© Copyright 2013 O. Bergman