Today, October 29th, is National Hermit Day. While Judaism’s distaste for asceticism discourages the life of a hermit, it does often share one particular value espoused by National Hermit Day, which is to encourage people to spend time in seclusion and using that time for contemplation. Many feel that this generation, with its ubiquitous personal electronic devices and cell phones, is especially in need of quiet time.
The concept espoused by National Hermit Day reflect the practices made popular by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a 19th century Chassidic rebbe and the great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Nacham advocated hitbodedut, engaging in daily self-seclusion focussed on conversing privatly with God.
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