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In Rebbe Nachman of Breslov's tales, The Master of Prayer Story, the Master of Prayer talks about a Hand that the King had. I assume the details that follow are not to be understood on only the most basic level of a story. Can anyone elaborate a little on what the Hand actually is and/or represents according to Rebbe Nachman?

In the story, the Master of Prayer said, "Everything that existed from the time Heaven and Earth were created until the end, and even what will exist after that, was inscribed on that Hand. The lines on the hand provided a picture of the structure of every universe with all its details, just like a map. The lines also formed letters, like the inscriptions on a map, so that one can know what each thing is........Also inscribed on this Hand is the path from one world to another. There is road and a path upon which one can travel from earth to heaven. [The only reason that it is impossible to go up to heaven is because people do not know the path; but on the Hand is inscribed the path to heaven.] On it are written all the paths from one universe to another. Elijah went up to heaven on one path, and that path is inscribed on the Hand. Moses went up on a different path, and that path is also inscribed. Enoch went up to heaven in still another way, and that is also inscribed there."

I am already aware of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's commentary on the story. I am hoping that someone could provide further information in detail.

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    Welcome to the site Baruch! To learn more about it, consider taking the following short tour. – mevaqesh Jan 10 '16 at 2:43
  • Not a clue what this is all about - a riddle about a riddle? Can you elaborate? – Danny Schoemann Jan 10 '16 at 10:28
  • In the story, the Master of Prayer relates that "Everything that existed from the time Heaven and Earth were created until the end, and even what will exist after that , was inscribed on that Hand. The lines in the hand provided a picture of the structure of every universe with all its details, just like a map... Also inscribed on this Hand is the path from one world to another...Elijah went up to heaven on one path, and that path is inscribed on the Hand." I want to find out if these details are simply part of a story, or if they are deep, esoteric Torah secrets. – Baruch Farbstein Jan 10 '16 at 13:52
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The deep implications of this subject are discussed in Rabbi Gedaliah Aharon Koenig's Chayei Nefesh published in Tel Aviv, 1968, which has been reprinted as part of his collected letters: Shaarey Tzaddik. It is part of volume three.

The image of a hand includes within it all the worlds and everything they contain, both spiritual and physical, from their inception until their ultimate end. Adam, Yaakov, and Moshe looked upon the Name HaVaYaH which corresponds to looking at the hand. Other prophets were permitted to look at the Name HaVaYah only on the level corresponding to "a replica of the hand as it is engraved on stone."

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The Hand is Tanakh. [Random filler content in brackets to meet minimum number of characters for my post to be accepted]

  • Thanks for the answer, HaMakom! Welcome to Mi Yodeya. Consider registering your account to best utilize the features of the site. Consider also telling us how you know this. – mevaqesh Dec 4 '16 at 5:13

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