Category: Issue 9.4: Hassidut

Issue 9.4: Hassidut

Hassidism was founded in the eighteenth century by Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer of Medzhibozh – better known as the Ba’al Shem Tov, or “Besht” – in the wake of the Khmelnitsky Massacres and Sabbateanism....

Editorial

Editorial

Hassidism was founded in the eighteenth century by Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer of Medzhibozh – better known as the Ba’al Shem Tov, or “Besht” – in the wake of the Khmelnitsky Massacres and Sabbateanism....

Tearing Water: A Hassidic-Halakhic Vort

Tearing Water: A Hassidic-Halakhic Vort

Many Torah commentators relating to the episode of Keri’at Yam Suf (the splitting of the Reed Sea) overlook a simple, yet significant question: why do Hazal, the Jewish Sages,[1] refer to the miracle as...

The Leipzig Manuscript (MS Leipzig 1) & Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s  Rules of Rashi’s Usage of Targum

The Leipzig Manuscript (MS Leipzig 1) & Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s Rules of Rashi’s Usage of Targum

I. Introduction The Leipzig Manuscript, or MS Leipzig 1, is a manuscript of the commentary of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzḥaki (known as Rashi) to the Pentateuch and five Megillot, stored in the Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig (Leipzig...

Sof Ma’aseh be-Mah’savha Tehilah: Torah Study and Actional Mitzvot in the Philosophy of Ḥabad Hassidism

Sof Ma’aseh be-Mah’savha Tehilah: Torah Study and Actional Mitzvot in the Philosophy of Ḥabad Hassidism

Human beings are blessed with many remarkable faculties.  We experience and interact with the world through our five senses and develop an internal intellectual and emotional structure through our minds and hearts.  We often...

The Fifth Maggid: Elie Wiesel and Hassidic Storytelling

The Fifth Maggid: Elie Wiesel and Hassidic Storytelling

In the aftermath of the passing of literary luminary Elie Wiesel, there has been no shortage of obituaries offered and lamentations lamented. In the 75 years following the Holocaust, the world has embraced Wiesel...

Elucidating a Selection from Tanya:  What it Means to Educate a Child ‘According to His Way’

Elucidating a Selection from Tanya: What it Means to Educate a Child ‘According to His Way’

Tanya is a philosophical treatise on some of the most important and fundamental principles of Hassidut. It was written by the founder of Habad Hassidut, R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, also known as the...

Tzimtzum, Divine and Human Constriction: A Meeting-Place Between the Divine and Human

Tzimtzum, Divine and Human Constriction: A Meeting-Place Between the Divine and Human

“Whenever I think about God, I am at first saddened, because I realize that in thinking about Him, I distance myself from Him. But then I remember that since He is all, He is...

Making a Mikdash: Classical Understanding With Hassidic Illumination

Making a Mikdash: Classical Understanding With Hassidic Illumination

Immediately following Moshe’s forty-day and forty-night stay atop Mount Sinai, Hashem instructs him to command Benei Yisrael to make a Mishkan. Hashem first tells Moshe that he should take Terumah, a monetary donation that...

A Perspective of Habad Hassidut Towards Music

A Perspective of Habad Hassidut Towards Music

The [Rebbe] noticed an old man among his listeners who obviously did not comprehend the meaning of his discourse. He summoned him to his side and said, “I perceive that my sermon is unclear...

Neo-Hassidism and Modern Orthodox Spirituality: A Reappraisal

Neo-Hassidism and Modern Orthodox Spirituality: A Reappraisal

Part I: Spiritual Climate at Yeshiva University Last year, I wrote an article[1] for this magazine that attempted to unearth, in sweeping, largely utilitarian terms, the philosophical anatomy of Modern Orthodox Neo-Hassidism. While I...

Of Obligation, Brotherhood, and Confusion: Why Did Yonah Run?

Of Obligation, Brotherhood, and Confusion: Why Did Yonah Run?

In the waning hours of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, the book of Yonah is read. A standard explanation for this practice is that Nineveh’s repentance and subsequent redemption following...