New from JPS: A New Look at Neo-Hasidism

The Jewish Publication Society has recently released this two-volume work examining Neo-Hasidism, offering a look at writings by both the movement’s originators and its current scholars.

 

About Roots:

9780827613065Neo-Hasidism applies the Hasidic masters’ spiritual insights—of God’s presence everywhere, of seeking the magnificent within the everyday, in doing all things with love and joy, uplifting all of life to become a vehicle of God’s service—to contemporary Judaism, as practiced by men and women who do not live within the strictly bounded world of the Hasidic community.

This first-ever anthology of Neo-Hasidic philosophy brings together the writings of its progenitors: five great twentieth-century European and American Jewish thinkers—Hillel Zeitlin, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Shlomo Carlebach, and Zalman Schachter-Shalomi—plus a young Arthur Green. The thinkers reflect on the inner life of the individual and their dreams of creating a Neo-Hasidic spiritual community. The editors’ introductions and notes analyze each thinker’s contributions to Neo-Hasidic thought and influence on the movement. Zeitlin and Buber initiated a renewal of Hasidism for the modern world; Heschel’s work is quietly infused with Neo-Hasidic thought; Carlebach and Schachter-Shalomi re-created Neo-Hasidism for American Jews in the 1960s; and Green is the first American-born Jewish thinker fully identified with the movement.

Previously unpublished materials by Carlebach and Schachter-Shalomi include an interview with Schachter-Shalomi about his decision to leave Chabad-Lubavitch and embark on his own Neo-Hasidic path.

 

About Branches:

9780827613072You are invited to enter the new-old pathway of Neo-Hasidism—a movement that uplifts key elements of Hasidism’s Jewish revival of two centuries ago to reexamine the meaning of existence, see everything anew, and bring the world as it is and as it can be closer together.

This volume brings this discussion into the twenty-first century, highlighting Neo-Hasidic approaches to key issues of our time. Eighteen contributions by leading Neo-Hasidic thinkers open with the credos of Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Arthur Green. Or Rose wrestles with reinterpreting the rebbes’ harsh teachings concerning non-Jews. Ebn Leader assesses the perils of trusting one’s whole being to a single personality: can Neo-Hasidism endure as a living tradition without a rebbe? Shaul Magid candidly calibrates Shlomo Carlebach: how “the singing rabbi” transformed him and why Magid eventually walked away. Other contributors engage questions such as: How might women enter this hitherto gendered sphere created by and for men? How can we honor and draw nourishment from other religions’ teachings? Can the rebbes’ radiant wisdom guide those who struggle with self-diminishment to reclaim wholeness?

Together these intellectually honest and spiritually robust conversations inspire us to grapple anew with Judaism’s legacy and future.

 

A Neo-Hasidic Symposium and Festival:

Join author Rabbi Arthur Greenburg and others at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan on December 8 from 12:00 – 6:30 p.m. for a day of Neo-Hasidic teaching, conversation, meditation, and song.

More information can be found here: https://z-m-www.facebook.com/events/2353436224741099/

 

Praise for the Books:

A New Hasidism is a treasure for the heart and mind. With this superb two-volume anthology in hand, contemporary seekers and scholars have a broad spectrum of spiritual wisdom with which to contemplate the history and contemporary character of Neo-Hasidism. The first volume provides the ‘roots’ of the modern reinterpretation of Hasidism in Europe and America; the second displays the ‘branches’ spreading over Jewish life in the United States and Israel in our times. Together they mark a major moment of our Jewish religious renaissance.”—Michael Fishbane, Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago

“In two sequential volumes, the diamonds of Hasidic spiritual teaching have been skillfully recut and set to offer seekers of all backgrounds entry into a challenging and soul-expanding opportunity. You are invited to enter a multigenerational conversation, deeply engage with the most inspiring teachings of Hasidic and contemporary teachers, build upon these insights, and carry them forward.”—Rabbi Marcia Prager, director and dean of the ALEPH Ordination Program and author of Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Abundance of the Divine

“Just when we are in such dire need of old/new tools for truth telling and loving kindness (chesed ve’emet), we receive these wise, passionate, intellectually compelling essays that continue the unfolding of the Neo-Hasidic revolution in our own times. These volumes will open minds, hearts, and even souls.”—Rabbi Lisa Goldstein, executive director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality

“Green and Mayse have masterfully crafted a living tree of Neo-Hasidic worldview and practice spanning the sources of Neo-Hasidic thought and their manifestations in contemporary Neo-Hasidism. These two wonderfully innovative volumes reveal a creatively alive Judaism informed by a deep legacy.”—Melila Hellner-Eshed, senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute and author of A River Flows from Eden: The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar

 

About the Authors:

Arthur Green is rector of the Rabbinical School and Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion at Hebrew College. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including The Heart of the Matter: Studies in Jewish Mysticism and Theology (JPS, 2015).

Ariel Evan Mayse is an assistant professor of religious studies at Stanford University and editor of From the Depth of the Well: An Anthology of Jewish Mysticism.

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