Reviewing Breslov By Means of a Book Review

The Stolen Light‘ by Izo Leibowitz from Amazon is quite entertaining. The blurb:

The annual migration of tens of thousands of Jewish men to the Ukrainian city of Uman is one of the most intriguing phenomenon in the entire Jewish world. Come share in the Uman adventures of Avi Neuman, a young, secular guy who gets caught up in a bizarre series of events in Uman that turns his whole life upside-down and introduces him to a mysterious spiritual world, where super-natural miracles are the norm. This one-of-a-kind tale is based entirely on true stories that were told by some of the people at the heart of the Uman experience. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and most of all – it will make you think.

True. I read it. There is a problem, however. The characters keep turning to Rabbi Nachman of blessed memory in what seems mighty akin to prayer. When things go awry some of them “prayed to God and Rabbi Nachman”. When things went well they “thanked both”. Personal Divine providence seems orchestrated a little too strongly by that same human being. Song lyrics are quoted which illustrate this same perspective.

I don’t think I have a problem with Breslov, but if it’s getting distorted into idolatry, I certainly do.

(As for going to Uman for Rosh Hashana itself, see my recent posts herehere and here.)

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