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HasidismKey Questions$
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Marcin Wodzinski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190631260

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190631260.001.0001

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(p.165) 5 Geography

Marcin Wodziński

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the borders of Hasidism, showing its halt on the Polish–German and Lithuanian–German border and factors responsible for this halt. This was unfavorable to Hasidism professional and social structure, language barrier, and, most importantly, the pressure of the autostereotype of anti-Hasidic, German–Jewish culture. The chapter also analyzes the basis of the popular image of Hasidism’s regional divisions, showing their essential dependence on nineteenth-century political divisions. It also traces patterns of interrelation between Hasidic groups’ types of spatial organization as well as their types of spirituality and leadership, demonstrating a correlation between the type of spatial organization of the group and the type of leadership and spirituality of a given group.

Keywords:   boundaries of Hasidic expansion, Lithuania, Bielsko–Biala, charismatic leadership, center and periphery, expansion, Aron Halberstam, urbanization, diffusion patterns

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