About the Book
Publication Date: October 2019
In A New Hasidism: Branches, seekers of a Judaism that cultivates spiritual awareness, discovers divinity everywhere, and elevates the everyday into a life of service are invited to enter the new-old pathway of Neo Hasidism—a movement that retools and uplifts the great elements of Hasidism’s Jewish revival of two centuries ago to penetrate into the meaning of existence, see everything anew, and go about lessening the gap between the world as it is and it can be.
Branches is the very first volume to diverge from the classical Hasidic path in modernizing influential writings from bygone eras for our times. The eighteen offerings by leading neo-Hasidic thinkers opens with Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and then editor Arthur Green’s respective neo-Hasidic credos. Or Rose wrestles with teachings of the rebbes concerning non-Jews—which to embrace, to reinterpret, to leave aside. Ebn Leader weighs 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. There is more: How is Jewish mindfulness deeper—more valuable—than Buddhist mindfulness in a tallit? How might women newly enter this gendered universe of God-aspects created by and for men? Can the rebbes’ radiant wisdom guide those who struggle with self-diminishment to reclaim wholeness?
Together, these intellectually honest and spiritually robust conversations will inspire us to grapple anew with Judaism’s legacy and future.