‘A New History’ Provides Insights, Realizations About Hasidism

52 min
at 10:00 AM
Hasidic Rabbis prepare to pose for a group photo, part of the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, in front of Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters November 19, 2017 in the Crown Heights neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images)

The eight authors of “Hasidism: A New History,” provide a comprehensive look at the traditions and influence of the Orthodox Jewish sect founded in the 18th century. Years of research led the authors to part with some myths about the pietistic movement, such as its supposed 19th century decline. The book also provides fresh insights into the life of Ba’al Shem Tov, who is often credited as the movement's founder. David Biale, one of the authors, joins Forum to discuss the origins of Hasidism, its influence on Judaism and how Hasidism manages to thrive today.

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