personal struggle

Nahman believed that the core of the religious life lay in the inner world of the individual and in the intense struggle going on within each person's soul. Having attained all that he possessed as a result of the most bitter battle against threatening temptations and, he came to demand that a similar battle be fought by each of his serious disciples. Nahman's own inner life and struggles became paradigmatic for the hasid, both within Nahman's lifetime and later in the history of Bratslav.

While other Hasidic communities were often distinguishable from one another (particularly within the Ukraine) only by particular matters of style, dress, or customs in fulfilling one or another of the mizvot, Nahman's Hasidim were set off in their early days as those who had performed the initiatory rite of confessing all their sins before the master; later they were characterized by the demand Nahman made that each of them conduct daily heartrending personal "conversations" with God, pouring out their burdens before Him as they gave utterance to their most private prayers.


From: Green, Arthur. Tormented Master. Copyright 1996 by Arthur Green (Woodstock, Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishing). $17.95 + $3.50 s/h.
Order by mail or call 800-962-4544 or on-line at http:\\
Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, P.O. Box 237,Woodstock, VT 05091/td>


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