Edited Volume TOC: Hasidism: Writings on Devotion, Community, and Life in the Modern World

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The Tauber Institute at Brandeis University is pleased to announce the publication of Hasidism: Writings on Devotion, Community, and Life in the Modern World

Edited by Ariel Evan Mayse and Sam Berrin Shonkoff


August 2020/ 275 pages/Brandeis University Press

ISBN 9781684580170/ $26/Paperback


Summary: Hasidism has attracted, repelled and bewildered philosophers, historians and theologians since its inception in the 18th 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 responsa. 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.

About the Editors:

Ariel Evan Mayse, assistant professor at Stanford University, holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and 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 with Arthur Green of the forthcoming 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. His book on Buber's interpretations of Hasidic sources is forthcoming.


Table of Contents
Part I: Emergence, Challenge and Renewal (1740-1815)
The Ba‘al Shem Tov: Disciples and Descendants
Yiddish Supplications (Tkhines)
Dov Ber of Mezritsh
The Brody Proclamation of 1772
The Maggid’s Family
Chernobil and Zhitomir
Shmuel and Pinhas Horowitz, Levi Yitshak of Barditshev, and Uziel Meizels
Hasidism in Lithuania, White Russia and Tiberias
Nahman of Bratslav
Beyond the Maggid’s Circle
Early Hasidism in Poland

Part II: Ascendancy and Dominance (1815-1881)
Avraham Yehoshu‘a Heshel of Apt
The Dynasties of Ruzhin and Talna
Menahem Mendel Schneersohn
Kalonymous Kalman Epstein of Krakow
Hayim Halberstam and Sandz Hasidism
Malka Rokeah of Belz and Eydel Rubin of Brody
The Dynasties of Dinov, Zhidachov and Komarno
The Dynasties of Pshiskhe: Kotsk, Izhbits, Warka and Ger

Part III: Decline, Renaissance, and Destruction (1881-1945)
Ger in Warsaw: Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter
Sokhachev and Ger
Tsadok ha-Kohen of Lublin
Munkatsh Hasidism
Toledot Aharon
Sholom Dov Ber Schneersohn
The Hasidic Yeshivah
Sarah Schenirer
Three Hasidic Memoirs: Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, Yitshak Nahum Twersky and Malka Shapiro
The Belzer Rebbe’s Sermon
The Rebbe of Piaseczno

Part IV: Renewal and Reconstruction (1945–present)
Hasidic Theology and the Holocaust
Zionist Hasidism
Satmar Hasidism
The Seventh Rebbe of Habad
Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky
Slonim Hasidism in Jerusalem
Ruth Lichtenstein and Feige Twerski


Categories: TOC
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