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HasidismKey Questions$
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Marcin Wodzinski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190631260

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190631260.001.0001

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The End and the Beginning

The End and the Beginning

Chapter:
(p.243) 7 The End and the Beginning
Source:
Hasidism
Author(s):

Marcin Wodziński

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190631260.003.0007

This chapter asks what we know about the golden/classical period of Hasidism and when it ended. It demonstrates that long before the Holocaust, it was the First World War that brought a major crisis, from which Hasidism in the Old World never recovered. It discusses in turn the human and material losses suffered by the Hasidim, changes in the movement’s geography and their consequences, and ideological and political transformations Hasidism experienced after 1918. The chapter thus shows how the golden age of Hasidism in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries differed from what emerged in the wake of the First World War and from what we know as Hasidism today. More generally, this chapter provides a model of the interrelation between the geopolitical, economic, or cultural context of the outside world and the ethos, doctrine, and cultural models of Hasidism.

Keywords:   Hasidism, East-European Jews, urbanization, politicization, refugees, First World War, à la carte Hasidism, fundamentalization

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