Rabbi Ḥayyim of Volozhin’s Response to Hasidism

Immanuel Etkes

in The Gaon of Vilna

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780520223943
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925076 | DOI:
Rabbi Ḥayyim of Volozhin’s Response to Hasidism

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter discusses the controversy between Mitnagdim and Hasidim focusing on Rabbi H. Hayyim of Volozhin's response to Hasidism. Hayyim waged the struggle against Hasidism in a style entirely different from that initiated and led by his teacher and master, Vilna Gaon. It explains that while Vilna Gaon waged an unrelenting war to eliminate the deviant sect, Hayyim chose to struggle against Hasidism on the plane of ideas and education. It also discusses Hayyim's realization that Hasidim were not heretics and their motives were pure and his establishment of the Volozhin yeshiva.

Keywords: Mitnagdim; Hasidim; Rabbi H. Hayyim of Volozhin; Vilna Gaon; education; heretics; Volozhin yeshiva

Chapter.  23139 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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