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Through Fire and Water (H/C)


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Through Fire and Water (H/C)

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The Life of Reb Noson of Breslov

Did you ever wonder why the followers of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov never chose another Rebbe? How was Breslover Chassidus been able to survive and flourish for over 180 years without a dynasty of rebbes or central leadership? To find the answer, meet Reb Noson. Reb Noson Sternhartz (1780-1844) was Rebbe Nachman's closest disciple, and he fought unremittingly to transmit the Rebbe's heritage to future generations of Jews. He published all his writings and explored and explained his teachings in thousands of pages of his own original discourses and prayers, bringing Rebbe Nachman's message of faith, hope and joy to everyone. It was Reb Noson who forged and developed the Breslov Chassidic movement founded by the Rebbe in the Ukraine in the 1790's, turning it into the major force in Judaism that it is today. This thoroughly-researched biography will keep you absorbed for hours while you relive Reb Noson's life with him step by step. As a twenty year old rabbinic scholar of outstanding promise and an astute businessman as well, what was it that made him feel his life was empty and futile? What impelled him to rebel against his entire family, sacrificing everything he could have had, in order to attach himself to Rebbe Nachman and drink in his every word? Bereft of his master at the age of only 30, what powered him to single-handedly print the Rebbe's books and fire a new generation of Chassidim to follow his ways with an honesty and sincerity that made others feel ashamed? What was it that so infuriated Reb Noson's enemies that when insults, abuse, stone-throwing and a gruesome assassination attempt failed to thwart him, they slandered him to the Russian government and tried to have him sent to Siberia? And what gave Reb Noson the strength to hold his peace throughout, relying on nothing but faith and prayer for his salvation? Includes a detailed account of Reb Noson's adventure-filled trip to the Holy Land in 1822, full background information about Jewish and general historical trends, extensive quotations from Reb Noson's hitherto untranslated diaries, letters and other writings, a selection of his sayings, and an appendix on the structure and methods of his magnum opus, likutey halakhos, and other works. With glossary, biographical sketches and full indices.
by Chaim Kramer

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