This week David examines the beginnings of Chassidism, one of the most influential Jewish spiritual movements to emerge in the modern Jewish world. He discusses key individuals who launched – and developed – this extraordinary revolution and explores the central ideas and contributions of Chassidism to Jewish history, practice, religion, and life. As part of this fascinating Jewish history lecture, David focuses on the lives and ideas of:
- The Baal Shem Tov – Shivchei HaBesht
- Avraham Gershon of Kitov
- Maggid of Mezeritch
- Yaakov Yosef of Polnoyye
- Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev
- Shneur Zalman of Liadi
- Nachman of Breslov.
He examines remarkable concepts developed by early Chassidic leaders, including:
- the sparks of love
- the light of the intellect
- conversations with G-d.
as well ideas like:
- hashgachah pratit
- exile of the soul and raising the sparks
- prayer over study
- the ecstatic service of the heart
- the spiritual importance of joy
- love of every Jew
- the idea of the tzaddiq.
David also maps out the historical context of this remarkable phenomenon. He discusses opposition that emerged in large parts of the Jewish world to Chassidic ideas and practice and the destructive nature of some of these conflicts. He also considers a number of interesting developments that resulted in Jewish history in the wake of Chassidism.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:40:48 — 97.6MB)
Continue reading “#75 Revelation & Revolution: Jewish History of the 18th Century (2)”