Concealed for two centuries and known only to a select individual in each generation, the Scroll of Secrets is the hidden Messianic vision of R. Nachman of Breslav. Despite being written in an encoded language, with acronyms and abbreviations, after a clarification and cautious reconstruction of what can be decoded, the author presents the reader with an exalted Messianic vision. The book marks a turning point in our understanding of R. Nachman’s spiritual world, and initiates a renewed discussion of an intriguing Hasidism that excites scholars and broad circles within the Jewish and Israeli publics. The reader is presented with a sublime and enticing vision of the eschatological End of Days that contains song and prayer, Torah, melodies, longings, and love and compassion for every man.
“R. Nachman of Breslav’s Scroll of Secrets is indubitably the most esoteric document in the entire history of Hasidism and arguably the most obscure. For the first time in the scholarship of Breslav Hasidism, Dr. Mark has printed its Hebrew original from manuscripts to which he gained access, decoded the numerous cryptic abbreviations and hints, and treated in detail its major concepts, offering an incisive analysis of its contents, which removes the veil of secrecy. He demonstrates the major role played by R. Nachman’s messianic self-perception in the formulations found not only in the scroll, but also in some other writings, where this issue has been obfuscated. Dr. Mark highlights the innovative self-understanding of R. Nachman and his feeling o f being the final revelation of Hasidism, higher even than that of his great-grandfather, the Baal Shem Tov and the Great Maggid of Medzerich. No doubt scholarship of the Breslav Hasidism, and of Hasidism in general will benefit from the magnificent work of patiently and cautiously revealing the content of this fascinating document. The study of mysticism too, will be enriched by a better understanding of one of the most original Jewish mystics.”