A Phenomenology of Hasidic Mysticism

in Aesthetics of Renewal

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226842707
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226842738 | DOI:
A Phenomenology of Hasidic Mysticism

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Buber regards hitlahavut as “the primal principle [Urprinzip] of Hasidic life.” Ekstase, Wonne (“bliss”), and Inbrunst (“fervor,” “ardor”) are synonyms employed to translate the term hitlahavut. Indeed, the words derived from the Hebrew root l-h-v (burning, flame, to be inflamed) evoke several of the central features attributed to Hasidic mysticism. Although hitlahavut “is the burning,” it is not to be confined to the ardor of ecstasy, but is the value denoting the enthusiasm that “unlocks the meaning of life.” For Buber, burning devotion rather than the peak experience of mystical communion (devequt) is at the core of Hasidic worship.

Keywords: Martin Buber; hitlahavut; Hasidic life; ecstasy; spirituality; worship

Chapter.  18142 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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