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A New Hasidism: Branches

Arthur Green

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: The Jewish Publication Society
Published: 10/2019
Pages: 512
Subject: Social Science
eBook ISBN: 9780827617957


You are invited to enter the new-old pathway of Neo-Hasidism—a movement that uplifts key elements of Hasidism's Jewish revival of two centuries ago to reexamine the meaning of existence, see everything anew, and bring the world as it is and as it can be closer together. This volume brings this discussion into the twenty-first century, highlighting Neo-Hasidic approaches to key issues of our time. Eighteen contributions by leading Neo-Hasidic thinkers open with the credos of Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Arthur Green. Or Rose wrestles with reinterpreting the rebbes' harsh teachings concerning non-Jews. Ebn Leader assesses the perils of trusting one's whole being to a single personality: can Neo-Hasidism endure as a living tradition without a rebbe? Shaul Magid candidly calibrates Shlomo Carlebach: how "the singing rabbi" transformed him and why Magid eventually walked away. Other contributors engage questions such as: How might women enter this hitherto gendered sphere created by and for men? How can we honor and draw nourishment from other religions' teachings? Can the rebbes' radiant wisdom guide those who struggle with self-diminishment to reclaim wholeness? Together these intellectually honest and spiritually robust conversations inspire us to grapple anew with Judaism's legacy and future.               


Arthur Green is rector of the Rabbinical School and Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion at Hebrew College. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including The Heart of the Matter: Studies in Jewish Mysticism and Theology (JPS, 2015). Ariel Evan Mayse is an assistant professor of religious studies at Stanford University and editor of From the Depth of the Well: An Anthology of Jewish Mysticism. Green and Mayse's companion volume, A New Hasidism: Roots (JPS, 2019), is being published concurrently.    


"In two sequential volumes, the diamonds of Hasidic spiritual teaching have been skillfully recut and set to offer seekers of all backgrounds entry into a challenging and soul-expanding opportunity. You are invited to enter a multigenerational conversation, deeply engage with the most inspiring teachings of Hasidic and contemporary teachers, build upon these insights, and carry them forward."—Rabbi Marcia Prager, director and dean of the ALEPH Ordination Program and author of Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Abundance of the Divine    

"The impact of Neo-Hasidism on contemporary Jewish life cannot be overstated; its influence has penetrated farther and wider than is usually acknowledged. Yet what is Neo-Hasidism, really—what are its main teachings and where do those ideas stem from? Here, brought together for the first time, are the essential texts of Neo-Hasidism, from forebears like Hillel Zeitlin and Abraham Joshua Heschel and from recent and contemporary thinkers like Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Arthur Green. Whatever their own relationship to Neo-Hasidism, students of Jewish thought and contemporary religious life cannot afford to miss these volumes. They are a veritable feast for seeker and scholar alike."—Rabbi Shai Held, president and dean of the Hadar Institute and author of The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion

"For more than a hundred years, people in search of religious renewal who are not Hasidic have found inspiration in Hasidism. Now Arthur Green and Ariel Mayse, both scholars of Hasidism and committed spiritual seekers, have assembled critical texts for the fashioning of Neo-Hasidism in the twenty-first century. The result is a landmark contribution to Jewish spirituality."—David Biale, Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis, and editor in chief of Hasidism: A New History