The cultural historical origins of the Eastern European Hasidism Cover Image

The cultural historical origins of the Eastern European Hasidism

Author(s): Zoya Markovskaya-Shunkova
Subject(s): Anthropology, Sociology, Religion and science , History of Judaism, Sociology of Religion
Published by: Національна академія керівних кадрів культури і мистецтв
Keywords: mysticism; Judaism; Kabbalah; hasidei Ashkenazi; Luryanskaya Kabbalah; Eastern European Hasidism;

Summary/Abstract: The impact of Hasidism on the history and culture of the Jewish is great. Since its appearance in the Talmudic times this concept has been transforming, carrying the various semantic connotations. In the Middle ages, the Ashkenazi Jews chose to concentrate on the understanding of the universe, Hasidism and mysticism of this period are the kinds of systems, including theosophy and ethics. Ethical ideal of German Hasidism is connected with intersocial contacts of the Jewish community, with the dominant Christian environment. But the principle of isolation allowed widely to develop already existing religious doctrine, avoiding the creation of something new on the existing basis. Iechuda Hasid developed a system of mystical views containing various aspects of relations with the world and the perception of the divinity. Hasidic mysticism filled with different topics ranging from theosophy and ending with the concept of irregularities. New interpretations of traditional values at the forefront of a new ideal of the man, who lives according to certain rules – chasidut. Iechuda renounces the old ideal of the learned Rabbi, introducing new priority feelings over the mind. The main features of the Hasid – altruism, asceticism, and detachment from the world, and unselfishness.Further the teachings of Hasidim are based on traditional law and Kabala, mainly lurian Kabala, all religious building is saturated with mysticism. Lurian Kabala is inextricably linked with the book of books – the Torah, and that's adherence to its provisions helps to correct imperfect world and to attain eternal bliss and oneness of all creation of the God and the approximation of the Messianic era. Kabbalah evolved over a long period, which indicates its relevance in the Jewish religious-mystical circles.The Eastern European Hasidism is transforming according to the ideas of the Teachers. It differs from the Middle ages. The spiritual leader and founder of the Eastern European Hasidism is Besht (Israel Ben Eliezer). He refuses from excessive pettiness in ceremonies because they only harm on the path to God, rejects the system of traditional understanding of the Judaism ideals of the learned Rabbi. So now the teaching serves as a means of cognition of God but not as a way to rise above the other members of the community. Besht develops the principle of piety, you receive an example to follow – tsadik. The tsadik is the man who embodies all the rules and norms characterized the Hasidism, using the technique of introspection and concentration, comes to the possibilities of constant communication with the Creator, through ecstatic prayer and leading a God-pleasing life becomes a carrier and a hero of faith. The another rule for followers of Hasidism was mentioned, it was in solitude and contemplation, but loneliness should be temporary and not to turn into the solitude of the wilderness to be alone and a few people, the main thing is the process of concentration, which can develop the gift of clairvoyance and prophecy, divine revelations.In the future, one of the trends of Hasidism becomes HABAD. Its founder is Shneur Zalman Ben-Baruch (alter Rebbe). HABAD is the largest trend among the followers of Hasidism. The name of the movement HABAD made up of the initial letters of the three highest of the ten Sefirot, in accordance with the teachings of Kabbalah, are emanations of God. it is Hochma-wisdom, Bina-mind, Daat -knowledge. And if your thoughts and principles of the new Hasidism Besht did not record, for him, the disciples did Shneur Zalman issues in the light of the book "Tania" (Doctrine). "Tania" is the Foundation of HABAD, the very name of the movement (mind-understanding-knowledge) emphasizes the knowledge of God and begins with the awareness of the doctrines of rationalism. But the movement is based not only on the rationalism, the book underlines the limitations of the mind and it is impossible to understand God. A man cannot understand the process of creation of the material world from the spiritual matter. It is also noted that the beginning of the realization of the principle of permanent creation and the principle of unlimited divine Providence are primary and the work of the Creator, which is also a basis of fear and love. Zalman returns Hasidim in the old medieval traditions, the dominance of rational over sensual. In this period there were strict requirements to the society than in Beshta times. The idea of mysticism and lurian Kabala spread rapidly in Jewish communities in various countries, especially their impact in the future on the emergence, establishment and development of the Eastern European Hasidism in the XVIII century. Moreover, getting the secret influenced the development of all religious thought in the future they had a significant impact on the development of the entire world philosophy and culture.