Friday, September 21, 2012

And the Messiah is...

For anyone familiar with Rebbe Nachman and Bratslav Hasidism, Zvi Mark’s book The Scroll of Secrets: The Hidden Messianic Vision of R. Nachman of Breslav, does not contain too many surprises.   

Mark has gotten access to a secret scroll guarded by Bratslav Hasidism for two-hundred years, containing the prognostications of Rebbe Nachman’s regarding the coming of the Messiah.  Not surprisingly, since Bratslav Hasidism has always been accused of elevating their rebbe to messianic status, the messiah in the scroll closely resembles Rebbe Nachman and Bratslav teaching will be in the vanguard of the Messianic Age, bringing in a new world order.  But the beauty is in the details, and Mark does a excellent job showing the importance of the scroll in Bratslav self-conception.

Mark also deftly explains the complex issues of esoteric and exoteric knowledge, messianic thought and expectations, and the complex role of modern Bratslav Hasidim in explaining and propagating their cause.

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