A New Hasidism: Branches


A New Hasidism: Branches

Edited by Arthur Green and Ariel Evan Mayse

496 pages


October 2019


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2019


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2019


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

You 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.


Author Bio

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. Green and Mayse’s companion volume, A New Hasidism: Roots (JPS, 2019), is being published concurrently.



"A New Hasidism describes the renewal of Jewish life that I and so many of our colleagues have found to be meaningful. It draws us into an important conversation that will enrich our lives and the lives of those we touch as teachers and rabbis."—Rabbi Laura Geller, CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly

“After reading these two intellectually informative and spiritually rich works, we ask how indeed twenty-first-century Jews living in comfort, in freedom, in modernity in an age of feminism and egalitarianism, at a time when they draw close to those who have been ‘other’ will adapt the spiritual teaching of their eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ancestors. Judaism will be much enhanced by such adaption as has been this reader.”—Michael Berenbaum, Jewish Journal

“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

“The impact of Neo-Hasidism on contemporary Jewish life cannot be overstated; its influence has penetrated farther and wider than is usually acknowledged. Yet what is Neo-Hasidism, really—what are its main teachings and where do those ideas stem from? Here, brought together for the first time, are the essential texts of Neo-Hasidism, from forebears like Hillel Zeitlin and Abraham Joshua Heschel and from recent and contemporary thinkers like Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Arthur Green. Whatever their own relationship to Neo-Hasidism, students of Jewish thought and contemporary religious life cannot afford to miss these volumes. They are a veritable feast for seeker and scholar alike.”—Rabbi Shai Held, president and dean of the Hadar Institute and author of The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion

“For more than a hundred years, people in search of religious renewal who are not Hasidic have found inspiration in Hasidism. Now Arthur Green and Ariel Mayse, both scholars of Hasidism and committed spiritual seekers, have assembled critical texts for the fashioning of Neo-Hasidism in the twenty-first century. The result is a landmark contribution to Jewish spirituality.”—David Biale, Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis, and editor in chief of Hasidism: A New History

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

“Over the past century, a number of creative spirits have reimagined Hasidism—infusing it with new energy, liberating it from its insularity and dynastic power structure, and translating its radical wisdom into a modern idiom. Now, for the first time, one of those creative spirits, together with his brilliant disciple, have chronicled that transformation and assembled its foundational documents (or ‘roots’) along with many of its recent literary ‘branches.’ Dip into these volumes to experience the renewal of Jewish spirituality.”—Daniel Matt, author of The Essential Kabbalah and the annotated translation, The Zohar: Pritzker Edition

“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 

“Arthur Green and Ariel Mayse invite us to sit more, read more, think more, and garment more of our blessings. Roots and Branches are two walking sticks with which we can walk this Creation with wonder and humility. Your mind and heart will coil and uncoil as you enter these crevices of love, faith, devotion, and challenge on a journey to the depths of your being.”—Rabbi Reb Mimi Feigelson, Mashpiah Ruchanit (spiritual mentor) and senior lecturer of Talmud and Chassidic Thought at the Schechter Institutes, Jerusalem

Table of Contents

Part I. Ahavat ha-Shem, The Love of God: Theology and Faith
1. Zalman Schachter-Shalomi–The Thirteen Aspirations of Faith
2. Arthur Green–A Neo-Hasidic Credo
3. Nehemia Polen–Touches of Intimacy: Leviticus, Sacred Space, Torah’s Center
4. Don Seeman–The Anxiety of Ethics and the Presence of God
5. Or N. Rose–Hasidism and the Religious Other: A Textual Exploration and Theological Response
6. David Seidenberg–Building the Body of the Shekhinah: Re-enchantment and Redemption of the Natural World in Hasidic Thought
Part II. Ahavat Torah, The Love of Torah: Practice and Devotion
7. Ariel Evan Mayse–Neo-Hasidism and Halakhah: The Duties of Intimacy and the Law of the Heart
8. Nancy Flam–Training the Heart and Mind Toward Expansive Awareness: A Neo-Hasidic Journey
9. James Jacobson-Maisels–Neo-Hasidic Meditation: Mindfulness as a Neo-Hasidic Practice
10. Jonathan Slater–Neo-Hasidism for Today's Jewish Seeker: A Personal Reflection
11. Estelle Frankel–Sacred Narrative Therapy: Hasidism, Storytelling, and Healing
Part III. Ahavat Yisra’el, The Love of Israel: Leaders and Communities
12. Ebn Leader–Does A New Hasidism Need Rebbes?
13. Shaul Magid–Shlomo Carlebach: A Trans-National Jew in Search of Himself
14. Arthur Green–A Rebbe for Our Age?: Bratslav and Neo-Bratslav in Israel Today
15. Naama Zifroni, Bambi Sheleg, Arthur Green, and Ariel Horowitz–Spiritual Awakenings: An Interview with Haviva Pedaya
16. Elhanan Nir–The Turn to Hasidism in the Religious Zionist Israeli Yeshiva
17. Jordan Schuster–A Closing Conversation with the Editors
Contributor Biographies

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