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Tuning the Soul

Music as a Spiritual Process in the Teachings of Rabbi Naḥman of Bratzlav

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Chani Haran Smith

This book is an in-depth study of the function of music in religious experience according to Rabbi Naḥman of Bratzlav. It provides new insights on his unique doctrine of the “Good Points”, which represent the core of loving kindness and holiness in the human soul, and the musical context in which they become both a means and a metaphor for spiritual transformation. Drawing on midrashic and kabbalistic sources, the book explores Naḥman’s perception of different types of “tzadiqim” (religious leaders), including himself, and the special role music plays in their leadership. It highlights the importance of creativity and renewal in the messianic process that involves both music and loving kindness.