The search for spiritual meaning drives great leaders in all religions. This classic work explores the personality and religious quest of Nachman 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.
In this major biography, Dr. Arthur Green-teacher, scholar, and spiritual seeker-explores the great personal conflicts and inner torments that lay at the source of Nachman's teachings. He reveals Nachman to have been marked at an early age by an exaggerated sense of sin and morbidity that later characterized his life and thought. While subject to rapid mood swings and even paranoia, Nachman is a model of spiritual and personal struggle who speaks to all generations. Green's analysis of this troubled personality provides an important key to Nachman's famous tales, making his teachings accessible for people of all faiths, all backgrounds.
"If there is any single feature about Nachman's tales, and indeed about Nachman's life as well, that makes them unique in the history of Judaism, it is just this: their essential motif is one of quest. Nachman, both as teller and as hero of these tales, is Nachman the seeker. He has already told us, outside the tales, of his refusal ever to stand on any one rung, of his call for constant growth, of his need to open himself up to ever-new and more demanding challenges to his faith. The tales now affirm this endless quest..."
-from Excursus II. The Tales
About the Author
Arthur Green, PhD, is recognized as one of the world's preeminent authorities on Jewish thought and spirituality. He is the Irving Brudnick professor of philosophy and religion at Hebrew College and rector of the Rabbinical School, which he founded in 2004. Professor emeritus at Brandeis University, he also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as dean and president.
Dr. Green is author of several books including Judaism's Ten Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seeker s; Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow ; Seek My Face: A Jewish Mystical Theology ; Your Word Is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer and Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (all Jewish Lights). He is also author of Radical Judaism (Yale University Press) and coauthor of Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table. He is long associated with the Havurah movement and a neo-Hasidic approach to Judaism.