The article represents an overview of the history and specificity of the teachings of the Jewish religious movement called Hasidism. In the introductory part, the foundations of the teachings and social organization of this community are considered. The main consideration is given to the most numerous and influential Hasidic groups of the modern world. Particular attention is paid to the Ukrainian origin of Hasidism in the European context of its development. The historical originality of this movement is determined, first of all, by the specificity of its creed. The Hasidic ethos is focused on the person’s inner world. Relations with God, as a rule, are determined not by the objective reality of the existing world order, but by the peculiarity of the believer’s intellectual and psychological experience. The complex teaching of the Talmudic course of study and Cabbala is continually reconsidered and transformed through its interpretation by believers in every moment. At the same time, the Lord willingly supports the human’s point of view. Accordingly, the best of people, called zaddiks, have a decisive influence on events taking place in this world, and followers unconditionally obey them. This state of affairs allows the Hasidim to respond to the challenges of our time vividly, inventively, and variably. The prevailing tradition can be substantially revised in accordance with the interests and preferences of the ruling zaddik. The variability of this is demonstrated by comparing different Hasidic sects. For example, the Hasidic group Habad successfully combines medieval mysticism with a perfect mastery of consulting, coaching, advertising, and marketing technologies. The paradoxical philosophy and musical culture of Bratslav Hasidim is popular among informal youth. The ideology of the Satmar Hasidim is close to the concepts of modern pacifists. The leader of the Chernobyl Hasidim, a group who are famous for their negative attitude towards science, became a professor at one of the leading US universities. In the modern Hasidic environment, the culture characteristic of their places of residence in Eastern Europe at the beginning of the 20th century is still preserved. The successful development of a tolerant multicultural European society requires further efforts in the field of knowledge of this branch of the Jewish civilization, which will undoubtedly contribute to the development of a dialogue with it.
Turov, Ihor and Ishchuk, Serhii
"Hasidism: Ukrainian Origins and the World Context,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 40
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol40/iss8/4