Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav

Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav

Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav

Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav

Synopsis

This classic work explores the personality and religious quest of Nahman of Bratslav (1772-1810), one of Hasidism's major figures. It unlocks the great themes of spiritual searching that make him a figure of universal religious importance.

Excerpt

I am grateful to the community of scholars, students, and the general public for the warm reception this book has received since it was first published in 1979. Tormented Master was translated into Hebrew and published in Israel (1981) as Ba'al ha-Yissurim. I am especially indebted to my friend Avraham Shapira for having encouraged and supported that translation.Both the English original and the Hebrew translation have been out of print for several years.For that reason I am grateful for this opportunity to make Tormented Master available once again.

This is an unrevised reprint of the original 1979 edition. I look forward at a later date to undertaking some significant revisions and producing a new edition of this work. Beyond various minor changes, additional footnote references and the like, which I have been accumulating over the past dozen years, I hope there also to take cognizance of more recent scholarship on Hasidism in general and Nahman of Bratslav in particular.I wish to mention here the writings of Yehuda Liebes and Ada Rapoport Albert on Nahman, which I will certainly seriously consider as I prepare a future edition of this work.

I am most grateful to Stuart Matlins and Jevin Eagle for the enthusiasm with which they have prepared this Jewish Lights edition.The hasidim of Bratslav consider the spreading of works by and about their master to be one of their greatest obligations as his disciples.Though this book is written by a historian, not a disciple, I share with them a sense that the world will be a better place if Nahman's life and teachings are more well known.

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