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Major discovery in Breslov: confirmed picture of Rav Shimshon Barsky zt”l

There is a specific photo from the year 1908 that shows Breslov Chassidim on Erev Rosh Hashanah in Uman davening at Rebbe Nachman’s kever. It has been long-rumored that one of the people in the picture is Rav Shimshon Barsky zt”l but it has never been officially confirmed. He was the fourth generation from Rebbe Nachman and the leader of a group of Breslovers in Uman.

Rav Shimshon was born in the year 1874. His father was Rav Yisroel Mandel who was the son of Rav Shimshon “from the forest”. His mother was the daughter of Rav Ephraim who was the son of Rebbe Nachman’s daughter Sarah.

The picture which was taken in 1908 has some writing on it which is from Rav Yitzchok Meir Korman z”l who writes “This picture was made and taken on Erev Rosh Hashanah. I was there and saw all this”. The photo which is very known to Breslover Chassidim was even sold a few times in the store of Rav Noson Barsky in Poland. Rav Noson was the son of Rav Shimshon but even then they could not confirm if he was in the picture or not.

This week, Rav Chaim Gelbach took the picture to his mother – Rebbetzin Sarah Gelbach. She is from the 7th generation from Rebbe Nachman and she immediately recognized his tall figure. She pointed at him in the picture and said “Yes he is tall and this is him. He was tall and handsome”. She also recognized a certain Rav Yechiel who is standing next to Rav Shimshon in the picture but she didn’t know his last name. The Rebbetzin lived in Uman at the time that Rav Shimshon was alive and she said that he lived across from the Kloyz and she remembers him translating Likutei Eitzos into Yiddish. She was also at his levaya.

This is very exciting news for Breslov Chassidim because this is the only known photo of Rav Shimshon and also that it is very possible that he looked similar to the way Rebbe Nachman appeared.

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