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Hasidism and Modernity. Study This: where did the Hasidic movement emerge? what were the main characteristics that made this a new movement in the Jewish.

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Presentation on theme: "Hasidism and Modernity. Study This: where did the Hasidic movement emerge? what were the main characteristics that made this a new movement in the Jewish."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hasidism and Modernity

2 Study This: where did the Hasidic movement emerge? what were the main characteristics that made this a new movement in the Jewish community? what is the difference between Hasidic Jews (from 17th-19th century) and today's ultra- orthodox, or haredi, Jews, who are descendants of Hasids but are actually ultra-orthodox? how do haredi Jews practice Judaism today? what is a yeshivah? what do they study there? how is it different than how we are studying Judaism in academic circles?

3 Contents FRAME: Medieval vs Modern vs Post Modern Origins of Hasidism Controversy I Effects of the Holocaust Hasidic Diaspora and Renewal Present-day Hasidim Controversy II

4 Contents FRAME: Medieval vs Modern vs Post Modern Origins of Hasidism Controversy I Effects of the Holocaust Hasidic Diaspora and Renewal Present-day Hasidim Controversy II

5 Characteristics MedievalModernPost Modern Dates400 – 1600 CE present Political SystemFeudal monarchy, urbanization Democracy, nation states Globalization, corporations Economic SystemfeudalismcapitalismInternational capitalism Manufacturehandcraftindustrialservice-based Spirit of the AgeCatholic churchSecular/rationalDistrust of collectivization PhilosophyOne God, one church; regional variations caused problems Humanist/unifying/ Enlightenment/Has kalah deconstruction EventsFall of Roman Empire; Crusades; urbanization Protestant Reformation, Fascism, WWII, Holocaust

6 Christians and Jews MedievalModernPost Modern Dates400 – 1600 CE present Some defining events Disputations; Islam harbored Jews expelled from other countries; Sicut Judaeis (forbade forced conversion, theft of property, disruption of ritual & desecration of cemeteries on pain of excomncat’n. ) Shabbtai Tsvi Chmielnitsky massacre (Ukraine)[1] Pogroms Holocaust [1] Stories about massacre victims who had been buried alive, cut to pieces, or forced to kill one another spread throughout Europe and beyond. These stories filled many with despair, and resulted in a revival of the ideas of Isaac Luria, and the identification ofSabbatai Zevi as the Messiah. [17]Isaac LuriaSabbatai Zevi [17]

7 MedievalModernPost Modern Dates400 – 1600 CE present Some defining events Disputations; Islam harbored Jews expelled from other countries; Sicut Judaeis (forbade forced conversion, theft of property, disruption of ritual & desecration of cemeteries on pain of excomncat’n. ) Shabbtai Tsvi Chmielnitsky massacre 1648 (Ukraine)[1] Hasidism 1730 Pogroms Holocaust [1] Stories about massacre victims who had been buried alive, cut to pieces, or forced to kill one another spread throughout Europe and beyond. These stories filled many with despair, and resulted in a revival of the ideas of Isaac Luria, and the identification ofSabbatai Zevi as the Messiah. [17]Isaac LuriaSabbatai Zevi [17] Christians and Jews

8 Contents FRAME: Medieval vs Modern vs Post Modern Origins of Hasidism Controversy I Effects of the Holocaust Hasidic Diaspora and Renewal Present-day Hasidim Controversy II

9 Origins Israel ben Eliezer

10 Born 1698 in village of Okopy times a Polish/Ukrainian/Russian] 70 miles W of Warsaw

11 Bio Orphan Daycare worker Shammes Married – wife died Teacher/arbitrator Ephraim of Brody/Chana Secret studies of mystical texts Mysterious stranger Laborer clay and lime - Carpathian Mountains – peasants and plant lore Shochet, innkeeper

12 Miracle Workers - 1 Talmud – Honi the Circle Drawer (Rain) – Hanina ben Dosa (Prayer) Middle ages and into early modern period – Miracle workers by the hundreds – Healing the sick, casting out demons. – Journeying from lower realm (where we live) to upper realm to intercede with heavenly powers (courts, God as King)

13 Miracle Workers - 2 THE Master of the Good Name BeSHT Kabbalists use the names of God, the names of the angels, and significant passages of Torah for practical magic: to protect women during childbirth, or to drive away demons that cause illness.

14 Bio - 2 Home-base Brody; a healer & preacher, wandering from town to town Moved to ‘urban’ medzribozh Change in tactics “court,” disciples, scribes

15 What the BeSHT preached To the rural populations of Poland, the BeSHT preached a story-based Torah, rather than a study based-Torah: – God is in everything – Duty to Cleave to God (Dveikut) – Ecstatic (Hitlahavut) prayer – Union with God; ever growing recognition of God – Joy

16 Aphorisms of the BeSHT Your fellow is your mirror. If your own face is clean, so will be the image you perceive. But should you look upon your fellow and see a blemish, it is your own imperfection that you are encountering - you are being shown what it is that you must correct within yourself.

17 Aphorisms of the BeSHT Cleave with devotion to your words. Slander murders 3: the person slandered, the teller, and the listener. This is all in spiritual terms, which is more severe than physical murder.

18 Aphorisms of the BeSHT Every single thing that a person sees or hears, is an instruction to him in his conduct in the service of G ‑ d.

19 How the BeSHT preached Niggunim (wordless melodies) – Niggun of the Alter Rebbe Niggun of the Alter Rebbe Magical tales and mystical stories with simple morals that showed the spiritual value of simple lives filled with God Ecstatic (Hitlahavut) prayer, filled with joy, characterized by shocklingshockling Focused Kavannah (intention)

20 Hasidic tales about the BeSHT Journey with the BeSHT (Chabad.org) Journey with the BeSHT

21 BeSHTian Time Warp 53 miles from Brody to Poznan

22

23 Died 1760 in the Ukranian city of Medzabizh [also var. Rus/Polish/Uke]

24 What the BeSHT accomplished Spiritual revolution - Democratization of Jewish spirituality (contrast with traditional Kabbalah study) Folk magic, a spiritual economy more satisfying than prayer alone and more accessible than study Simple revelation of mystical truths in the form of parables A Jew is joyful and loving in the midst of hardship because all is God.

25 Contents FRAME: Medieval vs Modern vs Post Modern Origins of Hasidism Controversy I Effects of the Holocaust Hasidic Diaspora and Renewal Present-day Hasidim Controversy II

26 Mitnagdim vs Hasidim

27 What the opponents preached Mitnagdim [“the opponents”] – Vilna Gaon, leader of Lithuanian Jews – Urban populations, yeshivas, more affluence – Divinity emanates from God to us – a filtration or trickle down theory – Rote piety, precision in prayer, asceticism – Talmud study as a way to God

28 Dynastic Diaspora

29 After the BeSHT Hasidism spread across Poland to the Ukraine and on to Russia, Romania, and Hungary.

30 After the BeSHT A lineage of powerful Rabbis who carried on his work, wrote down his words, and built up the numbers of Hasidim – R Dov Bear of Mezriz CHANGES: – Tzaddik - Charismatic Rebbe became central, rather than the theological innovations of Hasidism Tzaddik – Dynasties (and corruption …)

31 Contents FRAME: Medieval vs Modern vs Post Modern Origins of Hasidism Controversy I Effects of the Holocaust Hasidic Diaspora and Renewal Present-day Hasidim Controversy II

32 The Remnant in Diaspora 15% of all Polish Jews survived, and an even smaller number of Hasidim. Yaffa Eliach, in Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust, tells the story of the arrival in New York of Rabbi Israel Spira, the Grand Rabbi of Bluzhov, in An American G.I. translated for him into Yiddish the lines on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." The rabbi listened intently and wiped a tear from his eye. There he was, the lone survivor of his family; his beard was burnt off, his head and body still covered with open wounds from beatings... He placed his hand on the G.I.'s shoulder and said, 'My friend, the words you have just translated to me are indeed beautiful. We, the few survivors coming to these shores, are indeed poor, tired, and yearning for freedom. But we are no longer masses. We are remnants, a trickle of broken individuals who search for moments of peace in this world, who hope to find a few relatives on these shores.

33 Settling in the US Williamsburg - Satmar Klausenberg Crown Heights- Lubavitch Boro Park Bobover Munkach Ger Belz Stoliner

34 Contents FRAME: Medieval vs Modern vs Post Modern Origins of Hasidism Controversy I Effects of the Holocaust Hasidic Diaspora and Renewal Present-day Hasidim Controversy II

35 Lubavitch

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37

38 Who inherits Hasidic legacy? Modern Hasidism, also known as Ultra-Orthodox or Haredi Jews? – A present day Hasidic weddingHasidic wedding – Exclusionary, very rigid and legalistic, honoring of study, but also capable of joy, cutting loose and celebrating Pluralistic Modern Orthodoxy? – Adheres to Orthodox doctrine but allows Jews of all denominations to study in their yeshiva, with men and women together; not so much on the ‘joy’ side. Also legalistic.yeshiva – Yeshiva Jewish studies vs academic Jewish studies Jewish Renewal movement? – Cross-denominational. – Chabad outreach to students by Shlomo Carlebach and Zalman Shachter-ShlomiShlomo Carlebach Zalman Shachter-Shlomi – Shlomo reacts to the Holocaustreacts to the Holocaust

39 Contents FRAME: Medieval vs Modern vs Post Modern Origins of Hasidism Controversy I Effects of the Holocaust Hasidic Diaspora and Renewal Present-day “Hasidim” Controversy II

40 Ultra Orthodox Gender segregated prayer, learning and ritual space Unequal educational opportunities for women; secular education for all is limited In Israel, on Ultra Orthodox bus lines, women sit at the back of the bus Birth rate is high, population is growing

41 Traditional 18 th c. Sabbath garb

42 Everyday garb - Tzitzit

43 Everyday (for prayer) - Tefillin The boxes contain … … verses of Torah.

44 Everyday (for prayer) - Tefillin Ashkenazi Wrap

45 How to Lay Tefillin The Tefillin Booth

46 Jewish Renewal Unaffiliated, undisciplined, appeals to old hippies and young activists Not at all ‘observant’ in a traditional sense, but you’ll see more renewal-niks wearing tefillin than Conservative Jews. Zalman Shachter-Shalomi on the difference between a movement and a denominationmovement and a denomination

47 What’s odd about this picture?

48 Contents FRAME: Medieval vs Modern vs Post Modern Origins of Hasidism Controversy I Effects of the Holocaust Hasidic Diaspora and Renewal Present-day Hasidim Controversy II

49 Pick an issue … Gay marriage and ordination Women’s ordination Israel’s treatment of Palestinian population Ethics – Madoff ponzii scheme – Agriprocessors (Kosher meat debacle) – Sexual misconduct of rabbis; no training as counselors or pastoral caregivers

50 Review where did the Hasidic movement emerge? what were the main characteristics that made this a new movement in the Jewish community? what is the difference between Hasidic Jews (from 17th-19th century) and today's ultra-orthodox, or haredi, Jews, who are descendants of Hasids but are not "hasids" but are ultra-orthodox? how do haredi Jews practice Judaism today? what is a yeshivah? what do they study there? how is it different than how we are studying Judaism in academic circles?


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