Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Incomplete Pictures of Rebbe Nachman

This small book, The Empty Chair: Finding Hope and Joy, the Timeless Wisdom from a Hasidic Master contains short sayings by Rebbe Nachman.  We are meant to read them, and find inspiration in the words and maxims.

And many of Rebbe Nachman’s sayings are inspirational.  But the reader should know that this short book only contains part of the story.  Rebbe Nachman is a complex thinker.  He often says multiple, often contractor things about a subject.  And for every hopeful and joyful utterance, there is probably a negative one as well.  

There are many things about Rebbe Nachman that modern, secular people would find objectionable.  His attitude about masturbation in his book Rabbi Nachman’s Tikkun is unfortunate and medieval.  Of course, none of that is in this volume.  We are meant to feel good here, and not guilty.  

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