Two day fast in LA

By Moshe Kopel

During a college break I chose to visit some relatives in LA. Not wanting to be affected by the great impurity of the city, I started looking for a place to study Torah. After some research I discovered that only a short distance away there was a Bait Medrash named after Rebbe Nachman of Bresslev. 

It was almost time for Mincha, I quickly got in my car and drove over. The prayer was very high, there were moments that I felt like I was Israel.

After prayers a man got up and started reading from Sefer Hamidot. He had a long bushy beard and loose payot, it's been a while since I had seen such a thing on this continent.

When he finished, I approached him. His name was Sholom, he lived in the neighborhood. We quickly got down to business, spewing forth our opinions and ideas. I could tell that he'd been around, he already understood many of the concepts. His attachment to mysticism started from his drug trips, this eventually led him to the Kabbalah. At one point he laughed at the thought of having using drugs, now he had Rebbe Nachman who needs more.

The next day we sat learning Shari Orah. It was very hot, I mentioned this to Shalom. "You will not believe it but there is snow only a half an hour from here" he replied. I guess we had plans for Tomorrow, Gilgul Sheleg. We were getting quite psyched up to roll in the snow. However when we called the weather stations, we were informed that even the snow on the mountains had recently melted. We now realized that there was opposition from the Sitra Acher. All right they want to mess, lets see if they can handle a two day fast. 

We spent the next day eating up. On the way we pulled in another person into the fast. His name was Nassen, he was young only seventeen. His idea of getting high was with grass not Kabbalah. From the way he spoke, I doubted he would last the fast, but the more the merrier. That afternoon by Mincha we all accepted the fast, forty-eight hours of no eating or drinking for Tikun Habris and nullification of the klipot.

The first day went kind of slow, we spent much of the time discussing philosophy in Shaloms apartment. I realized we were wasting our time, I went to the Bais Medresh and started doing tikunim and learning Torah. Sleeping was kind of hard as I was feeling a bit weak by the time night came around.

In order to not have anyone in my way, I had informed my relatives that I was traveling with a friend for the next two days. Either way I did not have my car with me, I had to undertake the long walk to the Mikvah. At some points I felt that I was literally dragging my body around, but in the end I made it to the Mikvah. The water hit me pretty hard but I managed to complete the meditations. Luckily I got a ride back to the bais medrash.

The fast had really cleared up my mind, I was able to do many Yichudim during my prayers. After Shacharis Shalom told me he had a friend who knew much Kabbalah. We went to the Rabbis house he sat us down and taught us a number of names and meditations. He told us to go back to the Bet Midrash and make a vow not to speak for the remainder of the day. He then gave us a list of tikunim to do. Amongst the list were sections of the zohar to read as well as the verses regarding the Ketoret with all the mystical names associated with it.

We got down to work. Sometime hours later Nassen popped in. We had not seen him since yesterday, he looked weak but he was still with us, he had not broken the fast.

It was getting late, the fast was coming to an end. All the sudden Shalom got up waving a Tikun Klali, motioning for a group recital. We got up, I stood in the center by the Bima, Shalom stood on one side of the Bet Medrash Nasson on the other side. We picked up the Tikun Klalis and started "I am binding myself to all the holy sages that exists in our generation….." We started slow "Michtam Ldovid", by the time we reached psalms 32 we were yelling. It kept on getting more intense, all the sudden we started jumping. We were so week we could barely move but we were jumping, jumping and yelling with all our might. The Beit Medrash is located on a busy street, it has huge glass windows in front. We had shut the drapes so we would not see the prizut. However people heard the noise and were looking in, and we did not care, we just kept jumping and yelling.

It was very intense but we were not finished , over the next week we did many more Tikunim. We drove to Santa Monika beach in middle of the night to do Hisbodedute, we did additional fasts, Tanit Dibur with three times Tehileim as well as other Tikunim. We wiped Los Angeles clean of Nitzzozot like a fish trap with no bait left.