Mystical songs of Bratslav Hasidim: Opening notes

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Abstract

One of the distinctive literary genres of Bratslav Hasidism is the shir yedidot (Song of Endearment), a mystical poem concerning the stature of the soul of R. Nahman of Bratslav. These poems, still sung by Hasidim today, contain esoteric traditions that reveal the multiple voices within Bratslav Hasidism. This article traces the development of this form from the beginning of the nineteenth century until the present, and argues that changes in emphasis within these songs reflect shifts in Bratslav theology over the years. The study thus presents a more complex historical picture of Bratslav Hasidism, which has usually been seen as one monolithic unit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-209
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Bratslav Hasidism
  • Hasidism
  • Jewish Mysticism
  • Kabbalah

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