Reclaiming His Past

Reclaiming His Past T HE J EWISH Q UA R T E R LY R EVIEW , Vol. 106, No. 2 (Spring 2016) 145–149 ARTHUR GREEN Brandeis University ON ‘‘THE C HASSIDIM’’ ( 1887) I N T H E HIS T OR Y OF Western Jewish treatments of Hasidism, Solomon Schechter’s 1887 essay ‘‘The Chassidim’’ has a unique place. It stands at a firm distance from the great disdain for Hasidism evinced by Heinrich Graetz and other key figures in the German-centered Wissenschaft des Judentums, in which Schechter himself was regarded a key figure, indeed its leading proponent in the English-speaking world. It is also not yet the romantic recreation of Hasidism to be undertaken by Martin Buber, Y. L. Peretz, and others a decade later. Schechter is writing contemporane- ously with the early studies by Simon Dubnov, the first historian to ex- amine the Hasidic movement with a dispassionate scholarly eye. But Dubnov saw Hasidism primarily as a social movement and had little interest in the specifics of its teachings. The first impression one gets from reading Schechter 128 years later is that of his deep concern for inward religion, or matters of the spirit. He goes beyond caring about abstract http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Jewish Quarterly Review University of Pennsylvania Press

Reclaiming His Past

Jewish Quarterly Review, Volume 106 (2) – Jun 22, 2016

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania.
ISSN
1553-0604

Abstract

T HE J EWISH Q UA R T E R LY R EVIEW , Vol. 106, No. 2 (Spring 2016) 145–149 ARTHUR GREEN Brandeis University ON ‘‘THE C HASSIDIM’’ ( 1887) I N T H E HIS T OR Y OF Western Jewish treatments of Hasidism, Solomon Schechter’s 1887 essay ‘‘The Chassidim’’ has a unique place. It stands at a firm distance from the great disdain for Hasidism evinced by Heinrich Graetz and other key figures in the German-centered Wissenschaft des Judentums, in which Schechter himself was regarded a key figure, indeed its leading proponent in the English-speaking world. It is also not yet the romantic recreation of Hasidism to be undertaken by Martin Buber, Y. L. Peretz, and others a decade later. Schechter is writing contemporane- ously with the early studies by Simon Dubnov, the first historian to ex- amine the Hasidic movement with a dispassionate scholarly eye. But Dubnov saw Hasidism primarily as a social movement and had little interest in the specifics of its teachings. The first impression one gets from reading Schechter 128 years later is that of his deep concern for inward religion, or matters of the spirit. He goes beyond caring about abstract

Journal

Jewish Quarterly ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Jun 22, 2016

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