A Severe Ecstasy

By Yehudah Mirsky

The New Republic, April 27, 1998

This review looks at The Faith of Mithnagdim: Rabbinic Responses to Hasidic Rapture by Allan Nadler. The review explains the background of Mithnagdim, a Jewish spirituality tradition, which studies figures as the supreme religious act. The piece elaborates on the tradition, which began in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century in opposition to the growth of Hasidism. As the review explains, Nadler argues that the opposition to Hasidism was based not on the rejection of mysticism but on the rejection of its popularization. The review concludes by noting how Nadler seems to portray the Mithnagdim in a more terrifying way than needed because of the strict focus on study and service without noting the exuberance exhibited by students in studying text aloud.

Topic: History, Tradition, Faith, Spirituality, Belief, Jewish Text, Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Judaism

Name of Publication: The New Republic

Page Number(s): 38-41

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Eastern Europe

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Mirsky, Yehudah. A Severe Ecstasy. The New Republic. The New Republic. 27 April 1998: 38-41. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=5248


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