Reb Nachman Explains It All
The new modern translation of Likutey Moharan shows why the Hasidic master is relevant today
Several years ago, I drove to a local bookstore in the eastern, Ivy-League college town where I lived and schlepped home copies of Tikkun and Commentary magazines, as well as piles of books on feminist re-constructionist Judaism, post-feminist Judaism, goddess Judaism, post-Hasidic Judaism, New-Age Judaism, Humanistic Judaism, green Judaism, and so on, most of which were based on the recommendations of the store owner. It was all disappointing and confirmed my fears: that what I had been taught in my childhood Hebrew school held true—Judaism was political and cultural (and intellectual), not spiritual, which seems to be a widely held belief. But in the pile of dismally doctrinal writings, there was one book, a tiny booklet really, called The Empty Chair, which spoke to my soul. It contained simple teachings, direct quotes from Rebbe Nachman, selected from several Breslov Hasidic texts.
This June, the 15th and final volume of the first English translation of Likutey Moharan (The Collected Teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov), the Rebbe’s greatest work, will be published. Continue reading.