Hasidism originated in southeastern Poland, in mystical circles centered on the figure of Israel Ba’al Shem Tov, but it was only after his death in 1760 that a movement began to spread. Today, Hasidism is witnessing a remarkable renaissance around the world. This book provides the first comprehensive history of the pietistic movement that shaped modern Judaism. Written by an international team of scholars, its unique blend of intellectual, religious, and social history demonstrates that, far from being a throwback to the Middle Ages, Hasidism is a product of modernity that forged its identity as a radical alternative to the secular world.
Awards and Recognition
- One of Choice Reviews' Outstanding Academic Titles of 2018
David Biale is the Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis. David Assaf is professor of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University. Benjamin Brown is professor of Jewish thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Uriel Gellman is lecturer in Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University. Samuel Heilman is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Moshe Rosman is professor of Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University. Gadi Sagiv is senior lecturer in Jewish history at the Open University of Israel. Marcin Wodziński is professor of Jewish studies at the University of Wrocław.
"This remarkable volume will find its rightful place as a veritable landmark in the historiography of Hasidism."—Ada Rapoport-Albert, University College London
"A monumental scholarly achievement and a great contribution to the understanding of one of the most important movements in Jewish life in the modern period."—Moshe Halbertal, New York Review of Books
"Enormously informative."—George Prochnik, Los Angeles Review of Books