Hasidic Literature Concerning Rationales for the Commandments: Hasidism and Kabbalah in Their Cultural Context

Leore Sachs-Shmueli, Roee Goldschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article presents a first attempt to classify and present a group of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Hasidic texts as belonging to a specific literary genre: rationales for the commandments. In this category we include Sefer Toldot Ya‘akov Yosef, by Ya‘akov Yosef of Pollonye; Sefer derekh pikudekhah, by Tsvi Elimelekh of Dinov; Sefer otsar ha-@hayim, by Yitshak Eizik Yehiel Safrin; Likute halakhot, by Nathan Sternharts of Nemirov; Derekh mitsvotekhah, by Menachem Mendel Schneerson; and, finally, Sefer be’erat Miriam, by Avraham Abele Kanarfogel. We survey the works broadly and relate them to one defined literary genre. In so doing, we offer a new framework for a scholarly discussion of the Hasidic occupation with nomos and kabbalah. We demonstrate how Hasidic works discussing rationales for the commandments simultaneously employ halakhic and kabbalistic perspectives, emphasizing the punctiliousness in their fulfilment, their theurgic efficacy, and personal-spiritual completeness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-73
Number of pages33
JournalThe Jewish Quarterly Review
Volume114
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

RAMBI Publications

  • RAMBI Publications
  • Hasidism -- History -- 18th century
  • Hasidism -- History -- 19th century
  • Cabala -- Influence

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