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Haskalah and Hasidism in the Kingdom of PolandA History of Conflict$
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Marcin Wodzinski

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113089

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113089.001.0001

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Between Marginalization, Demonization, and Nostalgia

Between Marginalization, Demonization, and Nostalgia

Chapter:
(p.249) Conclusion Between Marginalization, Demonization, and Nostalgia
Source:
Haskalah and Hasidism in the Kingdom of Poland
Author(s):

Marcin Wodziński

, Sarah Cozens, Agnieszka Mirowska
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113089.003.0010

This concluding chapter explains that the development of the attitude of the Haskalah to hasidism in the Congress Kingdom is important to understanding the history of Jewish society, not only in this part of Poland but in the whole of eastern Europe. The example of the Kingdom of Poland demonstrates that the struggle with the hasidic movement was not an obsession inherent to the entire east European Haskalah and an essential element of its ideology, but rather that it was the result of a confluence of many factors of an ideological and social, internal and external, nature. The breakthrough in attitudes towards hasidism associated with Eliezer Zweifel's views advocating reconciliation with the hasidic movement gains a completely new meaning in the context of similar declarations by Polish integrationists in the early 1860s. However, the significance of this breakthrough lies not so much in where it first occurred historically as in its usefulness as an analogy from which to draw lessons about the wider process taking place in modernizing Jewish circles in the Russian empire and the Kingdom of Poland. The similarities and differences in attitudes towards hasidism may be treated as a convenient starting point for more general studies of the Haskalah and hasidism in eastern Europe, the factors shaping them, and the characteristics that resulted from them. The chapter then summarises this book's findings.

Keywords:   Haskalah, hasidism, Congress Kingdom, Jewish society, Kingdom of Poland, hasidic movement, Polish integrationists, modernizing Jewish circles

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