Imagining Holiness: Classic Hasidic Tales in Modern Times
In Imagining Holiness Justin Lewis offers a radical reappraisal of how we think of Hasidic tales, calling into question received notions of authenticity. He focuses his study on the neglected Hasidic literature of the early twentieth century - primarily the work of Israel Berger and Abraham Hayim Michelson - and the literary and historical dynamics of its emergence, posing questions about its place in Hasidic society, the attitude of the Hasidim towards this literature, and orality in Hasidic tradition as manifested in these Hasidic books. Berger and Michelson wrote in the decade before the First World War, a time of loss and decline for Hasidism. Their books resisted modernity and positioned Hasidism as authentic Judaism but also reflected modern literary trends, expressed tensions within Hasidism itself, and depicted struggles between the soul and body.
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Aqiva Atarot Baal Shem Tov Belz Berdichev Berger’s and Michelson’s blessed memory books of hasidic Buber chapter circumcision cited compilations context culture depicted disciple Dover Shalom eating edited Elimelech Eser Orot Eser Qedushot Eser Tzahtzahot example Eydele Eydl Eydl’s father ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁrst gender halakhah halakhic hasidic rebbes hasidic stories Hasidic Tale hasidim Haskalah Hayim of Tsanz Hebrew holy rebbe honour Jacob Jerusalem Jewish Jews Judaism kosher Kozienice Levi Isaac literature Maggid male Malkah Menahem Mendl Meqor Hayim Michelson’s books Nakhmen Naphtali narrator Nigal non-hasidic Ohel Naftali oral praise prayer published Rabbi Rabbi Moses Rebbe Hayim rebbe’s Rebbetzin reﬂect Ropczyce Rubin Ruzhyn Sabbath Sadan sages scholar Scholem Seer of Lublin Shalom of Belz Shemen HaTov Shivhe HaBesht Shmelke Shmelke of Nikolsburg Sipure Solomon Leyb soul sources speciﬁc spiritual storytelling Talmud teachings told Torah traditional translation Tsanz tzaddik Tzadiqim Tzvi Hersh woman women words Yiddish