UpsideDown Shabbos

I never understood what Rebbe Nachman was referring to when he mentioned that the table was turned upside-down on the Shabbat/Shabbos before Pesach (Sichos HaRan/Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom #88). I asked a number of people in Breslov and none had ever heard of the custom.

Speaking to my friend Reb Eliezer Savitsky, he mentioned this entry and explained as follows. There’s no “custom” to turn the table upside-down. But the fact is, the whole house is upside-down! Everything is in a state of disarray, normal space and mobility are circumscribed and everyone’s a bit nervous about “contaminating” the kosher for Pesach parts of the home.

Hashem made it this way on purpose. The confusion etc., takes away our ability to speak the words of Torah and prayer the way we would like to. A little reminder, and a relatively gentle hint, that the Shekhinah is still in exile.

Then we can better appreciate all the holy talking we will be doing at the Seder.

Author: Ozer Bergman

Ozer Bergman is an editor for the Breslov Research Institute, a spiritual coach, and author of Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman's Path of Meditation.

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4 Comments

  1. And I thought there was no shiur tonight? 🙂 Thanks for the Thursday-night Torah!

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  2. the upside-down table was a mystery-until one considers that fine Italian furniture was not available in the Rebbe’s day. The tables then sat on top of the frame & legs-it was turned over literally so the chometz side would be down and a fresh side up-saving hours of scrubbing & scraping the rough wooden surface to clean it. a gut voche!

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  3. So you’re saying, Wolf, that the flat surface of the table sat on the frame and legs but was not attached?

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  4. The table usually sat on a trestle and had boards acting as a brace.
    The tabletop was made of several boards held together. In the case of a tzaddik then these same boards were taken apart and used as a bier. i hope that helps answer your question. A Good Week!

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