Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Pshis'cha: His Life and Teachings
Translated from the Hebrew, this book details the life, times, and teachings of Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Pshis'cha (1765-1827). He lived during a time of great political instability and upheaval in Polan: the three partitions of Poland; the 1808 invasion of Napoleon's army' and the weakening of central government control. All these factors, directly and indirectly, adversely affected the lives of Polish Jewry.
Rabbi Simcha Bunim was a remarkably independent-minded, worldly hasidic master. Unlike the majority of the Polish-Jewish population, he spend time in Western Europe, mastered German and Italian, and wore European clothing even when in the courts of other tsadikim. He earned a living as a pharmacist, which was unheard of among the hasidim of that time. Rabbi Simcha Bunim's emphasis on individual responsibility for the perfection of one's character traits and his teaching of personal redemption hugely challenged and threatened populist hasidism. This conflict culminated in the famous confrontation which occurred at the wedding of a grandchild of Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta, in Ostila.
The depth and pruity of Rabbi Simcha Bunim's soul becomes apparent in his essays and parables. As his intelligence, wit, and devotion emerge, out relationship with him deepens and we begin to feel that we know him more intimately. The hasidic tales indicate his depth of imagination and his inderstanding of the human dilemma. Through some of his disciples, such as Rabbi Menachem Mendle of Kotsk, Rabbi Yitschak Meir of Ger, Rabbi Hanoc of Alexander, and Rabbi Moreachai Yosef of Izbitsa, his legacy endures to this very day.
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His Advancing Hasidism and Intelligence
HaYehudi HaKadosh and His Influence On Rabbi Simcha Bunim
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