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Hasidism Reappraised$
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Ada Rapoport-Albert

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774204

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Paradigms of Yesh and Ayin in Hasidic Thought

The Paradigms of Yesh and Ayin in Hasidic Thought

(p.168) Nine The Paradigms of Yesh and Ayin in Hasidic Thought
Hasidism Reappraised

Rachel Elior

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes the paradigms of yesh and ayin in hasidic thought. At the core of hasidic thought lies the idea of the dual nature of reality. The two contradictory aspects of all existence are bound to one another dialectically. This duality applies to all dimensions of reality and mirrors the perception of the deity as a dialectic unity of oppositions. The deity is perceived as a dialectic process of reversible and variable opposites. This unity of opposites is expressed in pairs of contradictory concepts. All these concepts clearly derive from the kabbalistic heritage of hasidism. But while the kabbalistic interest in dialectic opposites relates only to the heavenly realm, the new hasidic concern encompasses all aspects of reality. The principles of yesh and ayin are thus projected in hasidism from the domain of the Godhead onto the domain of religious awareness and divine service.

Keywords:   yesh, ayin, hasidic thought, reality, duality, dialectic opposites, hasidism, Godhead, religious awareness, divine service

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