Breslov, Chabad and Yeshua
James Scott Trimm
Within Hasidism there seem to be two primary currents. One current is strongly emotionally driven and as typified by the teaching of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the founder of Breslov Hasidism. The other is more intellectually driven and typified by the teaching of Rebbe Zalman, the founder of the Chabad movement. There are many other sects and schools of Hasidism in Rabbinic Judaism, but I believe these two currents best typify the overall thinking of Hasidism in Rabbinic Judaism.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
Rebbe Nachman was the grand son of the Ba’al Shem Tov. His teachings emphasized the importance of love and joy in spiritual life. His teaching is typified in his saying:
Joy is not merely incidental to your spiritual quest.
It is vital!
Yeshua also emphasized the importance of joy:
These things have I spoken unto you,
that my joy might remain in you,
and that your joy might be full
And now come I to you;
and these things I speak in the world,
that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Rebbe Nachman stressed a personal and intimate relationship with Elohim, saying:
How very good it is, when you can awaken your heart
and plead until tears stream from your eyes,
and you stand like a little child crying before its Father.
Likewise Yeshua said:
And said, Verily I say unto you,
Except you be converted, and become as little children,
you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Rebbe Nachman taught:
Answer insult with silence.
When someone hurts you,
do not answer in kind.
You will then be worthy
of genuine honor–
honor that is inner honor,
honor from Above.
(Rebbe Nachman of Breslov; L.M. I:6)
Likewise Yeshua said:
…if one would smite you on the right
cheek, turn unto him the other.
(Matthew 6:39 HRV)
Of course it is easy to see the obvious parallels between Yeshua’s teaching and that of Rebbe Nachman.
Rebbe Zalman, Chabad and the Tanya
Rebbe Zalman was a student of one of the Ba’al Shem Tov’s greatest students. Those opposed to the Hasidic movement in Rabbinic Judaism criticized it as irrational, just pumped up emotional hype. Rebbe Zalman responded to this criticism with his monumental work, The Tanya.
The Tanya became the basis for a Hasidic movement called Chabad, taken from a acronym for the Hebrew words for Widsom, Understanding and Knowledge.
The Tanya teaches that each Jew has within him a second soul called a “Soul of Elohim”. Some have misunderstood this as some form of racism, but in fact in the Tanya, a Jew is not a racial term, but a term for one who follows the faith of Judaism. This concept actually parallels the Christian teaching that a Christian has a second Spirit called the Holy Spirit within them. It also parallels that same teaching in the Ketuvim Netzarim.
The Tanya refers back to the concept of the Three Pillars of the Godhead as found in the Zohar, and says that the two outer pillars of Wisdom and Understanding are brought together through Knowledge, just as Adam and Eve were brought together through knowing one another and produced offspring (Gen. 4:1), likewise Wisdom and Understanding as Father and Mother/Holy Spirit within us, come together in Knowledge which is the Middle Pillar of the Godhead and is the Son of Yah. The Tanya teaches that when the Tanak refer to Israel as Elohim’s son, it is because Israel has this Son of Yah within them, and it is this Son of Yah within us that brings forth seven emotions, and the Hasidic Joy.
Thus Zalman taught that Hasidic Joy flows from Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge as the Son of Yah indwells us!
The parallels between the teaching of the Tanya and those of the Ketuvim Netzarim (the Writings of the Nazarenes) are uncanny!
And in the very abbreviated material above, I have only scratched the surface!
The many parallels between the teaching of Hasidism and that of Yeshua and the Ketuvim Netzarim (The writings of the Nazarenes, commonly known as the “New Testament”) are far beyond coincidence.
In restoring the ancient Sect of the Nazarenes we are ourselves restoring true Chasidic Judaism, and so there should be no surprise to see many parallels between Nazarene Judaism and Rabbinic Chasidic Judaism. Both are sects of Judaism seeking to restore the original Chasidim.
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