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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15Focusing on Jewish Religious Life, 1500-1900$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774716

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774716.001.0001

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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: 25 September 2021

Holy Men in their Infancy: The Childhood of Tsadikim in Hasidic Legends

Holy Men in their Infancy: The Childhood of Tsadikim in Hasidic Legends

(p.169) Holy Men in their Infancy: The Childhood of Tsadikim in Hasidic Legends
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15

Susanne Galley

Liverpool University Press

This chapter deals with two different types of hasidic tale which, even if they do not impart hasidic Torah, fulfil their respective religious roles within the hasidic theological system. The focus of the chapter is on the hagiographic type of hasidic tale. For the purposes of this chapter ‘hagiography’ — or, to introduce the Hebrew term, ‘shevaḥ (lit. ‘praise’) literature’ — refers to those legends that are aimed at praising a holy person. Thus the initial problem is to determine the place of hasidic legend within Jewish hagiography. The chapter asks if there are innovations in hasidic hagiography compared to its predecessors and which of the models provided by Jewish religious literature could, on the other hand, be used by the east European shevaḥ literature. In addition, the chapter considers the question of what it is that the hagiographic stories impart if not theology.

Keywords:   shevaḥ literature, holy men, tsadikim, hasidic legends, hasidic tales, hagiography, hasidic hagiography, hagiographic stories, theology, holy person

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