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Collected EssaysVolume III$
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Haym Soloveitchik

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113997

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113997.001.0001

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The Midrash, Sefer Ḥasidim, and the Changing Face of God

The Midrash, Sefer Ḥasidim, and the Changing Face of God

Chapter:
(p.135) Chapter Five The Midrash, Sefer Ḥasidim, and the Changing Face of God
Source:
Collected Essays
Author(s):

Haym Soloveitchik

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113997.003.0005

This chapter evaluates how the Pietists detached themselves from the religious mood and imaginative world of the Midrash and the significance of this change. To be sure, there is a wholly different facet to Sefer Ḥasidim, one described by Yitzhak Baer sixty-five years ago in his famous essay on German Pietism — one of 'gentility and personal sensitivity', of introspection and religious inwardness. Baer also pointed to its source. It sprung from the religious atmosphere of the twelfth-century, that is to say, from the spirituality implicit in the changed face of God, in the new sense of His humanity and of His intimacy with man. Thus, much of the ethics and spirituality of the German Pietists arose and drew sustenance from the conceptions of God that obtained in their own times, while their theosophy and notions of His workings in history were rooted in the outlook of an earlier era and rested on a wholly different view of God.

Keywords:   German Pietists, Midrash, Sefer Ḥasidim, Yitzhak Baer, German Pietism, God

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