About the Book
You are invited to enter the new-old pathway of Neo-Hasidism—a movement that uplifts key elements of Hasidism’s Jewish revival of two centuries ago to reexamine the meaning of existence, see everything anew, and bring the world as it is and as it can be closer together.
This volume brings this discussion into the twenty-first century, highlighting Neo-Hasidic approaches to key issues of our time. Eighteen contributions by leading Neo-Hasidic thinkers open with Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s and Arthur Green’s Neo-Hasidic credos. Or Rose wrestles with reinterpreting the rebbes’ harsh teachings concerning non-Jews. Ebn Leader assesses the perils of trusting one’s whole being to a single personality: can Neo-Hasidism endure as a living tradition without a rebbe? Shaul Magid candidly calibrates Shlomo Carlebach: how “the singing rabbi” transformed him, and why Magid eventually walked away. Other contributors engage questions such as: How might women newly enter this hitherto gendered sphere created by and for men? How can we honor and draw nourishment from other religions’ teachings? Can the rebbes’ radiant wisdom guide those who struggle with self-diminishment to reclaim wholeness?
Together, these intellectually honest and spiritually robust conversations inspire us to grapple anew with Judaism’s legacy and future.
“A New Hasidism describes the renewal of Jewish life that I and so many of our colleagues have found to be meaningful. It draws us into an important conversation that will enrich our lives and the lives of those we touch as teachers and rabbis.”—Rabbi Laura Geller, CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly
“For more than a hundred years, people in search of religious renewal who are not Hasidic have found inspiration in Hasidism. Now, Green and Mayse have assembled critical texts for the fashioning of neo-Hasidism in the twenty-first century. The result is a landmark contribution to Jewish spirituality.”—David Biale, Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis
“A New Hasidism is a treasure for the heart and mind.”—Michael Fishbane, Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago
“Just when we are in such dire need of old/new tools for truth telling and loving kindness (chesed ve’emet), we receive these wise, passionate, intellectually compelling essays that continue the unfolding of the Neo-Hasidic revolution in our own times. These volumes will open minds, hearts, and even souls.”—Rabbi Lisa Goldstein, executive director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality
“Green and Mayse have masterfully crafted a living tree of neo-Hasidic worldview and practice spanning the sources of neo-Hasidic thought and their manifestations in contemporary neo-Hasidism. These two wonderfully innovative volumes reveal a creatively alive Judaism informed by a deep legacy.”—Melila Hellner-Eshed, senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute and author of A River Flows from Eden: The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar
“Arthur Green and Ariel Mayse invite us to sit more, read more, think more, and garment more of our blessings. Roots and Branches are two walking sticks with which we can walk this Creation with wonder and humility. Your mind and heart will coil and uncoil as you enter these crevices of love, faith, devotion, and challenge on a journey to the depths of your being.”—Rabbi Reb Mimi Feigelson, Mashpiah Ruchanit (spiritual mentor) and senior lecturer of Talmud and Chassidic Thought at the Schechter Institutes, Jerusalem