The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Miracles of the Rebbe: Written and Oral Sources about the Rybnitser Rebbe

The paper will be focused on the index of motifs and plots about wonders and miracles of Rebbe which are circulated in different Jewish communities. Some of them appeared inside the Orthodox kehilot of American and Israeli Haredim groups. They published several hagiographic books about Rebbe in Hebrew, Yiddish and English languages. Another realm of narratives comes from oral interviews with Soviet Jews from Rybnitsa, who knew Rebbe as their neighbor and un-formal religious leader. We indexed the basic motifs about Rebbe’s miracles. I’m going to examine and to find out why some motifs appears only in written publications or only in oral interviews. For example, we may see clear parallels between some written sources with another Hassidic hagiographic collections of miracle stories, such as “Shivhey ha-Besht” and others (bloody footprints of Rebbe in the snow after mikvah, rebbes visions, meetings of the Rebbe with wild beasts etc.). On the other hand, the oral interviews contain huge amount of Soviet realities and details missing in the published sources.