Even if you are not Jewish, I highly recommend taking the time to read some of his teachings, because, although they were written in the middle of the 19th century, the message of Rabbi Nachman’s teachings are still applicable today.
If you want to skip this little introduction to who Rabbi Nacham is and why he is special…you can go directly to the first chapter that I have posted. “Easy Money, Chapter 1“…otherwise keep reading.
Rebbe Nachman, a great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism, breathed new life into the Hasidic movement by combining the esoteric secrets of Judaism (the Kabbalah) with in-depth Torah (Old Testament) scholarship. He attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime and his influence continues until today. Rebbe Nachman’s religious philosophy revolved around closeness to God and speaking to God in normal conversation “as you would with a best friend”.
Rebbe Nachman lived at a time of controversy between Hasidim and more traditional Orthodox Jews, known as Misnagdim (opponents) for their opposition to hasidism. It was also a time of friction between Hasidim and proponents of Jewish emancipation. During his lifetime, Rebbe Nachman also encountered opposition from within the Hasidic movement itself, from people who questioned his new approach to Hasidut. Many within the Hasidic movement felt that Rabbi Nachman’s teachings deviated from classical Judaism and from the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov.
The reason that I chose to write about this particular Rabbi (spiritual leader) is because I feel that his influence set the stage for a different understanding of God and our relationship with Him.
In fact, the primary commandment (or mitzvah) that Rabbi Nachman stressed was the mitvah to be happy.
If you have read any of my other posts, you might know that I was once an “Orthodox Jew”, but because I felt that there was too much contradiction within the community and logic did not override ritual…I made a very difficult decision (which took a lot of guilt and pain to come to) to discontinue my affiliation with “Orthodoxy”.
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