Mysticism and Madness


Two hundred years since Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav’s demise, his philosophical writings and literary creation remain lively and provocative materials in both Jewish culture and the New-Age movement.

Key elements of Rabbi Nachman`s magic and magnetic force are illuminated in this research, which presents Bratslavian mysticism as a unique link in the history of Jewish mysticism. The mystical worldview is the axis of this book, but its branches stretch out to key issues in the Bratslavian world such as belief and imagination, dreams and the land of Israel, melodies and song.

“Zvi Mark is this generation’s leading scholar on the ever-fascinating life and teachings of Rabbi Nahman. Both his new textual discoveries and his perceptive readings of them are truly eye-opening. I highly recommend his work!”
Arthur Green, rector of Hebrew College’s Rabbinical School and Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion

Mark’s book constitutes a very significant contribution to our understanding of Nahman’s world. It not only goes a long way in balancing the rather one-sided picture painted by earlier scholars, but also provides a very penetrating analysis of the major foundations of Nahman’s faith and practice.
The Jerusalem Post, February 2010