Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
THE BRESLOVER CHASSIDIM
Rabbi Nachman said his followers would always be called Breslover Chassidim after the town of Breslov , where he lived for most of the last eight years of his life (1802-10).
Rabbi Nachman noted that the name BReSLoV has the same letters as LeV BaSaR, a "heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26) .
During his lifetime Rabbi Nachman had hundreds of adherents in various parts of the Ukraine . Many of them gathered at his side for his last Rosh Hashanah. It seems unlikely that there would have been a major influx of new adherents after his death had it not been for the initiatives of his closest disciple, Reb Nosson, who printed the Rebbe's books, organized visits to his grave, established the annual Rosh Hashanah gathering and built a synagogue in Uman to accommodate it. Reb Nosson was a magnetic character, and it was primarily from the ranks of his students and followers that the Breslover Chassidic movement developed.
The movement remained centered in Uman in the late 19th and early 20th century, after which increasing numbers of Breslover Chassidim moved to Israel and America , where they established synagogues and study centers and printed Rabbi Nachman's works.
The movement expanded exponentially from the 1960's onwards and is today enormously diversified, with communities, synagogues, study centers, publishing and outreach organizations in many locations throughout Israel and the Diaspora.
By Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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