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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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Sermons, Stories, and Songs

Sermons, Stories, and Songs

Marketing Hasidism

(p.197) 6 Sermons, Stories, and Songs
Men of Silk

Glenn Dynner (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Hasidic marketing campaigns employed everything from printed sermons and tales to oral tales, songs, and dances. This chapter argues that that these methods were earmarked for specific social groups. The importance of Hasidic printing as a vehicle for reaching the male intellectual elite has been underestimated, as demonstrated through a survey of the impressive number of printed works and an analysis of their endorsements (haskamot). Tale collections formed something of a bridge between literate, semi-literate, and illiterate populations. Oral tales were designed specifically for the latter two groups, which helps explain their propensity for fantasies about social inversion. Oral tales, in addition to songs and dances, borrowed heavily from non-Jewish culture.

Keywords:   Jews, Hasidism, Poland, Eastern Europe, printing, folktales, music, dance

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