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A mystical Jewish movement founded in Poland in the 18th century in reaction to the rigid academicism of rabbinical Judaism. The movement, which emphasized the importance of religious enthusiasm, had a strong popular following. Denounced in 1781 as heretical, the movement declined sharply in the 19th century, but fundamentalist communities developed from it, and Hasidism is still influential in Jewish life, particularly in Israel and New York.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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