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Nachman of Breslov

Biography: – Nachman of Breslov was born on April 4, 1772, in Międzybóż, now Medzhybizh in Ukraine, to Feiga, the daughter of Adil, the Baal […]

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Biography:
– Nachman of Breslov was born on April 4, 1772, in Międzybóż, now Medzhybizh in Ukraine, to Feiga, the daughter of Adil, the Baal Shem Tov’s daughter.
– He married Sashia at 13, had six children, and died of tuberculosis in 1810 in Uman, where he was buried.
– Nachman’s significant moves to Bratslav and Uman, where he met Nathan Sternhartz and engaged Trachtenberg, are notable events in his life.

Teachings:
– Nachman rejected hereditary Hasidic dynasties, emphasizing that every Jew could become a tzaddik.
– He advocated magnifying blessings through mitzvot, living with faith and joy, and spending an hour daily in solitary prayer (hitbodedut).
– Music and nature played crucial roles in spiritual development according to Nachman.

Pilgrimage Tradition:
– An annual pilgrimage to Nachman’s gravesite in Uman began after his death, known as Rosh Hashana kibbutz, drawing thousands of Hasidim.
– The pilgrimage continued clandestinely during the October Revolution and was officially reopened in 1989 during Perestroika.
– In 2008, around 25,000 people participated in the annual pilgrimage.

Controversy:
– Nachman faced opposition within the Hasidic movement during his lifetime, particularly from those in Zlatipol.
– His teachings were questioned by some within the Hasidic movement, and Joseph Perl’s denouncement of Hasidic mysticism in 1816 caused further controversy.
– Austrian censors blocked Perl’s treatise for fear of unrest among Jewish subjects.

Published Works:
– Nachman of Breslov’s significant published works include ‘Likutey Moharan,’ ‘Sefer HaMidot,’ ‘Tikkun HaKlali,’ ‘Sippurei Maasiyot,’ and ‘Sichot HaRan.’
– Despite the destruction of some of his writings like ‘Sefer HaGanuz’ and ‘Sefer HaNisraf,’ Nachman’s teachings and works continue to influence modern writers and scholars.

Nachman of Breslov (Wikipedia)

Nachman of Breslov (Hebrew: רַבִּי נַחְמָן מִבְּרֶסְלֶב Rabbī Naḥmān mīBreslev), also known as Rabbi Nachman of Breslev, Rabbi Nachman miBreslev, Reb Nachman of Bratslav and Reb Nachman Breslover (Yiddish: רבי נחמן ברעסלאווער Rebe Nakhmen Breslover), and Nachman from Uman (April 4, 1772 – October 16, 1810), was the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement. He was particularly known for his creative parables, which drew on Eastern European folktales to infuse his teaching by creating deeply kabbalistic and yet universally accessible remedies, advices and parabolic stories, through which anyone can project himself into and draw spiritual and practical guidance. He emphasized finding and expressing a person's uniqueness, while steering away from despair in a world he saw as becoming more and more standardized. Through Martin Buber's translation, his teaching is thought to have influenced some 20th century writers, including Franz Kafka.

Nachman of Breslov
Grave of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
TitleBreslover Rebbe
Personal
Born
Nachman of Breslov

4 April 1772 (Rosh Chodesh Nisan 5532)
Died16 October 1810 (18 Tishrei 5571)
ReligionJudaism
SpouseSashia, daughter of Rabbi Ephraim of Ossatin
ChildrenAdil
Sarah
Feiga
Chaya
Miriam
daughter (died in infancy)
Yaakov
Shlomo Ephraim
Parents
  • Simcha (father)
  • Feiga (mother)
Main workLikutey Moharan
DynastyBreslov

Nachman, a great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, revived the Hasidic movement by combining the Kabbalah with in-depth Torah scholarship. He attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime, and his influence continues today through many Hasidic movements such as Breslov Hasidism. Nachman's religious philosophy revolved around closeness to God and speaking to God in normal conversation "as you would with a best friend". The concept of hitbodedut is central to his thinking.

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