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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16Focusing on Jewish Popular Culture and Its Afterlife$
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Michael C. Steinlauf and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774730

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774730.001.0001

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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: 28 September 2021

The Badkhn in Contemporary Hasidic Society: Social, Historical, and Musical Observations

The Badkhn in Contemporary Hasidic Society: Social, Historical, and Musical Observations

(p.279) The Badkhn in Contemporary Hasidic Society: Social, Historical, and Musical Observations
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16

Yaakov Mazor

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the badkhn in contemporary hasidic society. Hasidic society does not approve of radical innovations in relation to religious custom, and this is certainly true of the activities of badkhonim at weddings. Nevertheless, the hasidic leadership has been able to channel such activities into preferred directions, in accordance with its own conceptions and usages. Earlier practices that clashed with hasidic customs and beliefs have been discarded. On the other hand, mystical interpretation has invested some traditional values with new meanings. The badkhn's position has thus been strengthened, thanks to the legitimization of his activity from a religious point of view. The same is true of the badkhn's verses and the accompanying music. It would appear, however, that the shift of emphasis from form to content, to the inner meaning of the badkhn's activities, has resulted in the formation, on one hand, of rigorous new constraints and, on the other, of new possibilities for the creation of local or even individual, personal styles, depending on the relative involvement of the tsadikim in such activities.

Keywords:   badkhn, hasidic society, religious custom, badkhonim, Jewish weddings, hasidic leadership, hasidic customs, hasidic beliefs, tradikim

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