Nathan (Noson) Sternharz was the son of a Jewish Talmudic scholar and businessman in the Ukraine. He received a traditional Jewish education and also learned his father's business. As was the custom in that era, he was married at age 13. Both his father and father-in-law were staunch opponents of the Hasidic movement. However, in 1802, he met and became the disciple of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a Hasidic leader. Noson Sternharz acted as the official scribe for his mentor, and carefully preserved the rabbi's teachings and stories. After the rabbi's death in 1810, Noson Sternharz became known as Nathan of Breslov, and served as the leader of the Breslov Hasidim. He bought a printing press and published all of Rabbi Nachman's writings, as well as the conversations he and others remembered. Nathan Sternharz also wrote many original discourses and teachings, some of which were published during his lifetime.