'מקוה ישראל ה": טבילה בראשית החסידות

Translated title of the contribution: Ritual Immersion at the Beginning of Hasidism

T. Kauffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The paper deals with the central importance of ritual immersion in the teachings and practice of the Besht - Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. Through analysis of narratives regarding the centrality of the ritual immersion for the Besht and the Kavvanot (religious intentions) for ritual immersion attributed to the Besht, the uniqueness of this practice in the early stages of Hasidism becomes clear. As opposed to its meaning as rite of passage, or at least a preliminary ritual before prayer, Torah study etc., ritual immersion according to the Besht is in itself a special moment of prayer, revelation or religious insight. In light of the narratives and the Kavvanot, the article claims that through (voluntarily) immersion, the Jewish man can experience devotion to God and feel as if he were dying and being born anew. This new perspective on immersion echoes other main issues that were significantly important for the Besht, for example, God's immanence (the Mikve's water as a symbol for God).
Translated title of the contributionRitual Immersion at the Beginning of Hasidism
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)409-425
Journalתרביץ: רבעון למדעי היהדות
Volume80
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Ritual Immersion at the Beginning of Hasidism : טבילה בראשית החסידות'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this