Page 93 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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BERGER / RABBI NAHMAN
87
G reen skillfully analyzes the tale o f the King and the Emperor , as
well as two o the r tales.
I t is noteworthy tha t a Hebrew translation o f G reen ’s biog­
raphy , en titled
Ba’al Ha-Yesurim, Porashat Hayyav Shel Rabbi
Nahman Mi-Braslav,
was published in Israel by Am Oved. A pa­
perback edition o f the original hardcover version was also issued
by Schocken this year.
ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION
Yehudit Kook, a lecturer at the Bar-Ilan University, in her
Rabbi Nahman, Iyyunim Be-Sippurav
(Studies in N ahm an’s Tales),
Jerusalem , 1972, in terp re ts the tales as allegories with a moral
purpose, reflecting faith, alienation, prayer, repentance, joy,
God, man and the soul. This book, written in an elegant Hebrew,
might in a way be rega rded as a m odern inspirational guide. In
one o f the chap te rs she discusses the place o f the tales in
Nahman’s thinking.
In his
Ha-Sippur Ha-Hasidi
(The Hasidic Story, Jerusa lem ,
1975) and in his preface to Arnold J. Band’s translation o f the
Tales, Joseph Dan suggests tha t although the intense religious
spirit and mysticism o f these stories should not be minimized they
should be read primarily as literary experiences. Everything tha t
happens in the earthly and celestial realms, past, presen t and
fu tu re , becomes p a r t o f Rabbi N ahm an ’s personal experiences.
T he kabbalistic ideas contained in the stories become chapters in
the mystical b iog raphy o f Rabbi N ahm an ’s soul. H ere Dan
fu r th e r develops the theories o f Joseph Weiss. He also p repa red a
Teachers’ Guide to Nahman, published by the Center fo r the
Study o f Ideas and Society, Jerusa lem , 1975.
In the
Thirteen Tales of Rabbi Nahman
, published by the Hillel
Press, Jerusa lem , 1978, and w ritten by the British-educated
Esther Koenig, m o ther of Gedaliah Koenig, a Braslav hasidic
leader in Israel, we have a literal translation o f the Tales. “It is the
style o f the spoken word which we have tried to preserve, ra th e r
than pervert it for the sake o f English prose,” she states. This book
also includes the translation o f an in troduc tion to the Tales by
Nathan Sternharz, N ahm an’s chief disciple. It was he who first
published the Tales af te r N ahm an’s death . An attractive, well-
p rin ted paperback, the book also contains some fine illustrations