Studies in East European Jewish Mysticism and Hasidism

Joseph Weiss, volume editor David Goldstein, and introduction by Joseph Dan

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ISBN: 9781874774327

Publication: November 1, 1997

Series: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

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Joseph Weiss (1918–69) showed a single-minded commitment to identifying and describing the mystical element in hasidism and to unravelling the spiritual and historical meaning of the hasidic movement. The studies collected here are still quoted in every serious study of hasidism. Joseph Dan’s Introduction, written specially for this paperback edition, examines Weiss’s scholarship both in the context of subsequent scholarly research and in the light of the resurgence of hasidism since the Second World War. He concludes that many of Weiss’s detailed, perceptive, and empathetic studies are as relevant to understanding developments in the contemporary hasidic world as they are for understanding the emergence and growth of hasidism in the eighteenth century.

David Goldstein, late Curator of Hebrew Books and Manuscripts at the British Library, was awarded the Webber Prize 1987 for this translation shortly before he died.

Joseph Dan is Emeritus Gershom Scholem Professor of Kabbalah, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Joseph Weiss was Professor of Jewish Studies, University College London, from 1966 until his death in 1969.

Note on sources Note on pronunciation Introduction to the paperback edition by Joseph Dan: Joseph Weiss Today Editor's introduction Publisher's note Some Notes on the Social Background of Early Hasidism A Circle of Pneumatics in Pre-Hasidism Contemplative Mysticism and ‘Faith’ in Hasidic Piety Torah Study in Early Hasidism Via Passiva in Early Hasidism The Kavvanoth of Prayer in Early Hasidism Petitionary Prayer in Early Hasidism Contemplation as Solitude Contemplation as Self-Abandonment in the Writings of Hayyim Haika of Amdura R. Abraham Kalisker’s Concept of Communion with God and Men The Authorship and Literary Unity of the Darkhei Yesharim The Saddik - Altering the Divine Will The Hasidic Way of Habad Some Notes on Ecstasy in Habad Hasidism A Late Jewish Utopia of Religious Freedom Sense and Nonsense in Defining Judaism—The Strange Case of Nahman of Brazlav Index

‘An impressive collection . . . conveys the authoritative views of one of the leading experts on Hasidism.’ Geza Vermes, Society for Old Testament Study Newsletter

‘A special strength of Weiss's scholarship is his ability to connect the specific to the general . . . All this is achieved through a skilful and judicious reading of frequently tendentious and contentious Hasidic sources. This work will be of interest to historians of religion in general, and to students of the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe in particular.’ John D. Klier, Slavonic Review

‘One can savour each essay on its own for its enduring qualities and perceptions regardless of the passing of time . . . The scholarship is profound, the notes are extensive, but it is also open to all inquiring minds and we must be grateful for its re-publication at this time.’ Albert H. Friedlander, European Judaism

Format: Paperback

Edition: 2nd Revised edition

Size: 234 x 156 x 15 mm

296 Pages

ISBN: 9781874774327

Publication: November 1, 1997

Series: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

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