Nahman of Bratslav

Nahman of Bratslav näkhˈmən, brätˈsläf [key], 1772–1810, Jewish Hasidic leader, the great-grandson of the Baal-Shem-Tov. His messianic pretensions put him in conflict with other Hasidic (see Hasidism) leaders. Nahman differed from other Hasidim by his consciousness of God's absence from the world, and his concern about sin. He told stories to convey the struggle against evil and for redemption. After his death, his followers did not choose a new leader, but continue to revere him to this day.

See his tales, tr. and ed. by A. Band (1980); biography by A. Green (1979).

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