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Men of SilkThe Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society$
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Glenn Dynner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195175226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195175226.001.0001

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Hasidism in Central Poland, 1754–1830

Hasidism in Central Poland, 1754–1830

(p.25) 1 Hasidism in Central Poland, 1754–1830
Men of Silk

Glenn Dynner (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights the regional distinctiveness of Polish Hasidism and attempts to quantify its regional expansion. Polish Hasidism shared the broader theological and experiential features of Hasidism in other regions. But the impact of the unique Central Polish context is reflected in its more urban, cosmopolitan, and economically adept leaders and adherents, as well as in its meritocratic tendencies during leadership succession. In estimating the size of the Hasidic community in Central Poland by the early 19th century, we must account for the considerable proportion of women and adolescent men whose participation seldom registered in official estimates. The chapter concludes with a mapping of Hasidism's geographical spread in the region during this period.

Keywords:   Jews, Hasidism, Poland, Eastern Europe, zaddik, urban

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