God's Voice from the Void

Old and New Studies in Bratslav Hasidism

Edited by Shaul Magid

Subjects: Jewish Mysticism
Series: SUNY series in Judaica: Hermeneutics, Mysticism, and Religion
Paperback : 9780791451762, 310 pages, November 2001
Hardcover : 9780791451755, 310 pages, November 2001

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Table of contents

Introduction and Acknowledgements

Part I
New Studies
Shir Yedidut: A Pleasant Cong of Companionship
translated and annotated by Aubrey Glazer

Chapter 1
Association Midrash: Reflections on a Hermenuetic Theory in Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav's Likkutei MoHaRan
Shaul Magid

Chapter 2
The Master of Prayer: Nahman of Bratslav
David Roskies

Chapter 3
The Cut That Binds: Time , Memory, and the Ascetic Impulse
Elliot R. Wolfson

Chapter 4
Adorning the Souls of the Dead: Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav and Tikkun Neshamot
Yakov Travis

Chapter 5
Nahman of Bratslav: The Zaddik as Androgyne
Nathaniel Deitsch

Chapter 6
Saying Nihilism: A Review of Marc-Alain Ouaknin's The Burnt Book
Martin Kavka

Part II
Old Studies

Chapter 7
Messiah and the Light of the Messiah in Rabbi Nahman's Thought
Hillel Zeitlin
translated by Alyssa Quint

Chapter 8
Rabbi Nahman, Romanticism, and Rationalism
Samuel Abba Horodetzky
translated by Martin Kavka

Chapter 9
Mystical Hasidism and the Hasidism of Faith: A Typological Analysis
Joseph Weiss
translated by Jeremy Kalmonofsky

About the Contributors


New and classic explorations of the work of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, a major Hasidic thinker, using a wide range of approaches.


Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav was one of the most celebrated masters of late Jewish mysticism and Hasidism, and his writings have become classics. This volume brings together translations of three seminal studies on Rabbi Nahman in German, Hebrew, and Yiddish with six new studies from scholars in various fields of Jewish studies. The presentation of new scholarly work widens the conversation about Hasidism in general and Rabbi Nahman in particular by viewing his ideology from the perspective of contemporary hermeneutic, philosophical, and literary perspectives incorporating the insights of postmodernism, gender theory, and literary criticism. New ground is covered in essays on Rabbi Nahman's attitude toward death, his approach to gender, his interpretation of circumcision, the impact of his tales on Yiddish literature, and his hermeneutic theory. The combination of classic and new studies in God's Voice from the Void offers a window into the trajectory of scholarship on Hasidism, including ways in which contemporary scholars of Hasidism and Hasidic literature both continue and develop the work of their predecessors.

Shaul Magid is Elaine Ravitch Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the coauthor of Reading a Beginning, Beginning a Reading: Toward a Hermeneutic of Jewish Texts.


"Nahman is one of the more fascinating figures in the history of the Hasidic movement both because of his singular personality and because of the profound and uncompromising nature of his theological vision. The book's broad range of topics and new approaches make this volume a significant contribution to the scholarship on Rabbi Nahman. " — Joel Hecker, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College