Monday, April 30, 2007

Rav Nachman As Mashiach?

Hat tip: Eliyahu.

An article in HaAretz, a review of "Megilat starim: hazono hamishikhi hasodi shel reb nachman mibratslav" ("Scroll of Secrets: The Hidden Messianic Vision of R. Nachman of Bratslav") by Zvi Mark, Bar-Ilan University, 253 pages:
Mark's first important conclusion is that the Messiah referred to in the scroll is a tzaddik (pious scholar) in Rabbi Nachman's own image. The messianic times portrayed here are "a perfect fulfillment of the Bratslav code of values." Indeed, Rabbi Nachman's personal messianic pretensions emerge loud and clear from various remarks attributed to him in his lifetime, particularly the statement that "everything the Messiah does for the benefit of the Jewish people, I can do, too. The difference is that the Messiah can carry out his mission ... whereas I do not yet have that capability."

Rabbi Nachman regarded himself as having all the necessary qualifications to be the Messiah. What kept him from fulfilling his messianic potential was a lack of recognition.


As we have said, Mark claims that the messianic figure described in "Scroll of Secrets" is a kind of reflection of Nachman himself. To be more exact, not only does Rabbi Nachman have a messianic mission, but the Messiah is an embodiment of all his qualities and abilities. It comes as no surprise, then, that the niggun, or Hasidic melody, that figures so highly in Rabbi Nachman's world, is slated to play a pivotal role in the messianic era.


Another special talent of Rabbi Nachman's, which he also ascribes to the future Messiah, is healing. According to his student Rabbi Nathan, Nachman had a book with cures for every illness in the world, but he chose not to use it. In the end, he had it burned. Rabbi Nachman's messiah, on the other hand, will plant a garden of plants and herbs for medicinal purposes, and supply each and every sick person with medicines providing a cure.
There is more. Check it out.

1 comment:

Chaim B. said...

Read 'The Tormented Master' by Arthur Green (a bio of R' Nachman) who also discusses R' Nachman's messianic pretentions. Lubavitch is not the first.


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