Hasidic People: A Place in the New World

By Jerome R. Mintz | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction
1.
The three principles on which the world is based as expressed by Simeon the Just in the Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), 1:2. They serve as the guiding principles of every Orthodox Jew.
2.
Gemilut hasidim refers to any act of lovingkindness which is done without thought of reward; tzedakah specifically refers to acts of charity.
3.
A large percentage of yeshivah students earn rabbinical degrees; however, very few actually serve as rabbis in the community or have any religious or ritual responsibility. A diamond setter, sewing machine operator, salesman, or computer programmer may be addressed with the general title rabbi or reb as an equivalent of mister. It is even more common to use the title in greeting those who have religious duties--a teacher of advanced students, a mashgiah (overseer of food preparation), or a mohel (circumciser).
4.
Babylonian Talmud (B.T.), general ed. Isidore Epstein ( London: Soncino Press, 1935-52), Moed Katan16b. Support for this principle lies in Gen. 18: 20ff and Exod. 23: 7-14.
5.
These powerful elements of Hasidic devotion are expressed in the doctrines of kavvanah (mystical intention or concentration toward God), devekut (devotion or communion with God), and hitlahavut (ecstasy). See Gershom Scholem , Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism ( London: Thames and Hudson, 1955), pp. 335-336.
6.
Samuel C. Heilman and Steven M. Cohen, "Ritual Variation among Modern Orthodox Jews in the United States," in Studies in Contemporary Jewry, ed. Peter Y. Medding, vol. 2 ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), p. 167.
7.
When quoted in the text, informants are identified by initials. Full names or descriptions appear in the list of Informants Cited. Real names and initials are employed whenever possible, but for informants who requested anonymity, pseudonyms or the initials AI are substituted.
8.
Martin Buber termed the Hasidic tale "a valid form of literature, which I call legendary anecdote." Martin Buber, Hasidism and Modern Man, ed. Maurice Friedman ( New York: Horizon Press, 1958), p. 25.

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