What conditions in Eastern Europe made it possible for Hassidism to emerge? Were there differences between the various rebbes and the emerging groups. What differences among the founders were there regarding study, prayer, meditation? What were the differences between the Hassidic movement and the Mitnagdim? These questions and more will be explored in this course. (Cross listed in both History and Kabbalah / Hassidut)
This course examines Hasidic approaches to the major ideas and pathways of Judaism. We will explore the central themes in Hasidism through studying selected texts authored by great Hasidic masters from the 18th century to the present. This journey will lead to an in-depth understanding of the unique Hasidic approaches to Jewish values and practices and an appreciation of Hasidism’s profound theological and psychological insights.