The Rebbes' Revolution

Radical trends in 19th century Polish Chassidic thought

LSJS January - March 2009

From the LSJS website:

19th century Chassidic Poland produced some of the great radical thinkers of modern Jewish history, including R. Simchah Bunim of Przysucha, R. Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin, and the Rebbes of Kotzk, Ishbitz, Sochaczew, Radzin and Gur. Combining the Zeitgeist, traditional scholarship and Kabbalistic knowledge with profound psychological insight, these thinkers offered a revisionist understanding of Jewish philosophy, Biblical narrative and even of Judaism itself. This course will explore these figures, their ideas, writings and the controversies surrounding them.

Rebbe Chart and bibliography

Part 1 - Introduction and early thinkers

Session 1a - From the Baal Shem Tov to the Noam Elimelech

Session 1b - The Chozeh of Lublin and the Yid HaKadosh

Part 2 - Przysucha and Kotsk

Session 2a - Rabbi Simchah Bunim of Przysucha

Session 2b - Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk

Part 3 - Ishbitz (1)

Session 3a - Rabbi Mordechai Yosef of Ishbitz and Determinism

Session 3b - Ishbitz Uncertainty and Antinomianism (1)

Part 4 - Ishbitz (2)

Session 4a - Ishbitz Antinomianism (2) and Radical Revisionsim

Session 4b - Rabbis Yaakov and Gershom Henoch of Ishbitz/Radzin

Part 5 - Sochaczew

Session 5a - Rabbi Avraham of Sochaczew in his own writings

Session 5b - Rabbi Avraham of Sochaczew in his son's writings

Part 6 - Rabbi Tzaddok HaKohen and Gur

Session 6a - Rabbi Tzaddok HaKohen of Lublin

Session 6b - Rabbis Yitzchak Meir and Yehudah Aryeh Leib of Gur