Chapter

The Curse, the Cossacks, and the Messiah

Nathaniel Deutsch

in The Maiden of Ludmir

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520231917
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927971 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520231917.003.0005
The Curse, the Cossacks, and the Messiah

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Ludmir remained an important spiritual center for the Russian Orthodox Church. The central event in its economic and social transformation during the sixteenth century was its participation in the Council of the Four Lands or, as it was known in Hebrew, the Vaad Arba Aratsot. Only a few years after Heller's expulsion from Ludmir, the town's Jewish community was devastated by Bogdan Chmielnicki's Cossacks. Just several decades before the Maiden's birth, according to Hasidic tradition, the messiah came to Ludmir. Shlomo Karliner gained fame as one of the Hasidic movement's first “wonder-working” rebbes. His martyrdom struck a profound chord in his fellow Hasidim, who saw the terrible events in Ludmir as the fulfillment of a messianic prophecy. This chapter, which reveals the knowledge of Ludmir's Jewish community before 1800 in general and of its female members in particular, is limited by the narrow range of available sources.

Keywords: Ludmir; Cossacks; messiah; Shlomo Karliner; Bogdan Chmielnicki; Jewish community; Russian Orthodox Church

Chapter.  6671 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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