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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 33Jewish Religious Life in Poland since 1750$
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François Guesnet, Antony Polonsky, Ada Rapoport-Albert, and Marcin Wodzinski

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764753

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764753.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. 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 January 2022

Individualism, Truth, and the Repudiation of Magic as the Tsadik’s Prerogative

Individualism, Truth, and the Repudiation of Magic as the Tsadik’s Prerogative

Pshiskhe-Like Elements in the Theology of Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kosov

(p.77) Individualism, Truth, and the Repudiation of Magic as the Tsadik’s Prerogative
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 33

Benjamin Brown

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes Rabbi Simhah Bunem of Pshiskhe as a Polish tsadik who created an elitist, individualist, almost anarchic form of Hasidism. It discusses the Hasidism that emphasized the inner dimension of divine worship, required the individual to be true to himself, and decried the culture of miracle-work that prevailed in the courts of many other tsadikim. It also mentions Menahem Mendel, who is commonly depicted as a typical Galician-style tsadik, whose popular branch of Hasidism was centred on the tsadik’s absolute supremacy over the ordinary Hasidim. The chapter highlights how Menahem Mendel encouraged his Hasidim about worshipping simply without seeking to transcend everyday practical observance. It clarifies what inspired the elitist Simhah Bunem with the desire to visit Menahem Mendel.

Keywords:   Simhah Bunem, divine worship, Hasidism, Menahem Mendel, Polish tsadik

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