Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotsk (1787-1859) was one of the most interesting and challenging figures of Hasidism in the nineteenth century. His search for truth and battles against falsehood and spiritual compromise are the subject of many legends, hagiographical stories, and anecdotes. Though he was irascible and demanding, he inspired the loyalty of disciples who went on to become the dominant leaders of Hasidism in Poland from the middle of the nineteenth century to the destruction of Polish Jewry in the Holocaust. R. Menahem Mendel left no surviving writings. His descendants and disciples moved away from the radicalism of his teachings and adopted more conventional and conservative theological positions. As a result, there was little incentive to preserve and publish his teachings.
The Teachings of Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotsk
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