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Hasidism - Writings on Devotion, Community, and Life in the Modern World

Ariel Evan Mayse Sam Berrin Shonkoff Sam Berrin Shonkoff Sam Berrin Shonkoff

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Brandeis University Press
19 September 2020
Hasidism has attracted, repelled, and bewildered philosophers, historians, and theologians since its inception in the eighteenth century. In Hasidism: Writings on Devotion, Community, and Life in the Modern World, Ariel Evan Mayse and Sam Berrin Shonkoff present students and scholars with a vibrant and polyphonic set of Hasidic confrontations with the modern world. In this collection, they show that the modern Hasid marks not only another example of a Jewish pietist, but someone who is committed to an ethos of seeking wisdom, joy, and intimacy with the divine.

While this volume focuses on Hasidism, it wrestles with a core set of questions that permeate modern Jewish thought and religious thought more generally: What is the relationship between God and the world? What is the relationship between God and the human being? But Hasidic thought is cast with mystical, psychological, and even magical accents, and offers radically different answers to core issues of modern concern. The editors draw selections from an array of genres including women's supplications; sermons and homilies; personal diaries and memoirs; correspondence; stories; polemics; legal codes; and rabbinic response. These selections consciously move between everyday lived experience and the most ineffable mystical secrets, reflecting the multidimensional nature of this unusual religious and social movement. The editors include canonical texts from the first generation of Hasidic leaders up through present-day ultra-orthodox, as well as neo-Hasidic voices and, in so doing, demonstrate the unfolding of a rich and complex phenomenon that continues to evolve today.
By:   Ariel Evan Mayse, Sam Berrin Shonkoff, Sam Berrin Shonkoff
Edited by:   Sam Berrin Shonkoff, Ariel Evan Mayse
Imprint:   Brandeis University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 236mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 27mm
Weight:   568g
ISBN:   9781684580163
ISBN 10:   1684580161
Series:   Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   19 September 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ariel Evan Mayse is assistant professor at Stanford University and holds a rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har'el in Israel. He is the author of From the Depth of the Well: An Anthology of Jewish Mysticism and coauthor of A New Hasidism: Branches. Sam Berrin Shonkoff is assistant professor of Jewish studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He is the editor of Martin Buber: His Intellectual and Scholarly Legacy.

Reviews for Hasidism - Writings on Devotion, Community, and Life in the Modern World

In this latest addition to the beloved Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought, Mayse and Shonkoff address the distinctive modernity of Hasidic thought. In their inclusive vision, letters, memoirs, and responsa speak alongside homilies and works of theology. So, too, do they open the field of Hasidism to a strikingly diverse set of voices: women, neo-Hasidic thinkers, and ordinary Hasidim. --Naomi Seidman, author of Sarah Schenirer and the Bais Yaakov Movement Mayse and Berrin Shonkoff have presented a historically contextualized cross-section of Hasidic literature, each with a brief introduction, including relevant annotations and notes. Especially welcome is the attention to gender, and the role of women, in Hasidic life and letters. An indispensable resource for those interested in Hasidism and its role in modern Jewish thought and a significant addition to the Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought. --Shaul Magid, Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College The editors have done an extraordinary thing. Succinctly framed by recent scholarship, they have nevertheless allowed some of the most consequential thinkers in the history of Hasidism to speak for themselves. Their selection is impressive, the translations are always lucid and sometimes strikingly beautiful. Mayse and Shonkoff have demonstrated the sheer phenomenological range of this movement and, significantly, made more space for Hasidic women's voices than any previous collection. This will be the indispensable volume for teaching and research at every level. It deserves all the praise I can heap on it. --Don Seeman, Emory University This dazzling collection will stimulate and enlighten its readers. In addition to displaying gems of famous Hasidic masters, the editors include women's voices, memoirs, anti-Hasidic polemics, and theological responses to the Holocaust and the State of Israel. A superb resource for intellectual and spiritual exploration. --Daniel Matt, author of the multi-volume, annotated translation, The Zohar: Pritzker Edition


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