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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1Poles and Jews: Renewing the Dialogue$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113171

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.001.0001

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Raphael Mahler. Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment. Translated from the Yiddish by Eugene Orenstein, translated from the Hebrew by Aaron Klein and Jenny Machlowitz Klein. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America. 1985. Pp. xiv, 331.

Raphael Mahler. Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment. Translated from the Yiddish by Eugene Orenstein, translated from the Hebrew by Aaron Klein and Jenny Machlowitz Klein. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America. 1985. Pp. xiv, 331.

Chapter:
Raphael Mahler. Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment. Translated from the Yiddish by Eugene Orenstein, translated from the Hebrew by Aaron Klein and Jenny Machlowitz Klein. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America. 1985. Pp. xiv, 331.
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1
Author(s):

Ada Rapoport-Albert

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.003.0036

This chapter reflects on Raphael Mahler's Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment (1985). This is a welcome addition to the slowly growing body of classic studies of Hasidism in English translation. The first part of the book, concerning Galicia, was first published in Yiddish in 1942. The second part, which deals with Congress Poland, appeared together with the first in an expanded Hebrew version in 1961. An avowed subscriber to ‘the method of historical materialism’, Mahler presents the clash between Hasidism and Haskalah as ‘the antithesis that reflected the conflicting interests and philosophies of two classes of the Jewish people’. The non-Hasidic Orthodoxy of Galicia is classified in this scheme as representing the same class interests as those associated with the Maskilim, an affinity which, according to Mahler, accounts for the Enlighteners' initial hope of aligning themselves with the Orthodox opponents of Hasidism in the campaign to eradicate the socially disruptive and religiously dissenting Hasidic movement.

Keywords:   Raphael Mahler, Hasidism, Jewish Enlightenment, Haskalah, Jewish people, Orthodoxy, Maskilim, Hasidic movement

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