A highly secret teaching from one of the most renowned Jewish scholars and thinkers in Jewish history is slowly becoming known, revealing shocking details about the character of Messiah which are so explosive that they were hidden, in code, for over two centuries.
Megillat Setorim (“Scroll of Hidden Things”) has been a secret of the Breslov branch of Orthodox Judaism for over 200 years. It was revealed by the revered Rebbe (Rabbi) Nachman, the founder of the movement, exactly 210 years ago, on the fifth day of the month of Av in 1806, to two disciples during a long carriage ride in Ukraine.
Some of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings were recorded by his students in hints and code, though he forbade them from passing on his words, and collected into the first manuscript of Megillat Setorim. After death of the rabbi’s disciples, the manuscript was allegedly lost, though many believe it was purposefully hidden in order to prevent it being sought after and revealed.
“Rebbe Nachman did not want the Megillat Setorim publicized,” Rabbi Gedalia Fleer, who plays an important part in the history of the scroll, told Breaking Israel News. “Reading it is not enough. Interpreting it is another issue entirely.”
In 1963, Rabbi Fleer became the first Western Jew to visit the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman in Uman, Ukraine, where a Russian Jew entrusted him with the manuscript.
Rabbi Fleer brought the coded manuscript to a rabbi in Jerusalem who knew the secrets of how to read and translate the encrypted text. After initial reluctance, the rabbi taught the secret writings to Rabbi Fleer, forbidding him from taking notes or recording the lessons. Since then, and very slowly, the hidden writings have spread.
Rabbinical interpretation of what Megillat Setorim says about Messiah will upset most preconceived ideas about the man who will bring redemption.
Though “Rebbe Nachman says very little about the Messiah,” said Rabbi Fleer, “What he does say in Megillat Setorim is that when he comes, he is not going to appear like we think he will. People are going to look at him and say, ‘That’s the Moshiach (Messiah)?!’
“It seems to be that he is not going to dress in a rabbinic manner, and he is going to be a young man and not an old man with a long beard.”
Rabbi Fleer went on to warn that Rebbe Nachman’s disciples did not believe anyone should anticipate or try to guess at the coming of the Messiah.
“Messiah is going to come by hesech ha’daat (inadvertently). If you think he is going to come at a certain time in a certain way, then he won’t come. That’s why Breslov Hasidut (Hasidism) doesn’t delve into the subject very much,” he explained.
Dr. Zvi Mark, chairman for the study of Hasidism at Bar-Ilan University, became the first person to make the Megillat Setorim accessible to the general public when he published The Scroll of Secrets – The Hidden Messianic Vision of R. Nahman of Bratslav.
According to Dr. Mark, the Messiah is described in the teachings as a man of enlightenment and art. The secret scroll even sheds light on the sequence of events in the Messiah’s lifetime.
“Megillat Setorim describes the Messiah as conquering the world without firing even a single bullet,” Dr. Mark explained to Breaking Israel News. “He is described as an innovator of wisdom, medicine, and music. A character who deals in making peace between Israel and embodies religious leadership also to the nations of the world.
“Although initially the Messiah will not be acknowledged, Megillat Setorim is writing about when he is young, less than 12 years old,” Dr. Mark continued. “But later, when he is older, he will be recognized by all of Israel as a rabbi and scholar, and then he will begin to act as the Messiah.
“Not in Megillat Setorim, but in other places, Rabbi Natan writes that he understood from his teacher Rebbe Nachman that the War of Gog and Magog would not be a physical war, but a spiritual and cultural war.
“The Megilla itself is a wonderful vision of the order of the coming of the righteous redeemer, whose influence is spiritual rather than military, and the revolution he brings to the world will be spiritual, increasing wisdom, and empowering the place of music in human culture.”