Monday, November 16, 2020


"You'll grow up, you'll see," my grandfather had said."You'll find that it is more difficult, more rare to find a Hasid than a Rebbe,  To induce others to believe is easier than to believe. To give, easier than to receive. And," added grandfather, "a Hasid is more to be envied than his Master." Elie Wiesel, Souls on Fire 1972.


Douglas2 said...

From Wikipedia The literal meaning of "Hasid" derives from Chesed ("kindness"), the outward expression of love for God and other people. This spiritual devotion motivates pious conduct beyond everyday limits. The devotional nature of its description lent itself to a few Jewish movements in history being known as "Hasidim". Two of these derived from the Jewish mystical tradition, as it could tend towards piety over legalism.

I'm reminded of the conclusion that I came to in my early 20s when people were encouraging me, an introvert, to go into paid Christian work:

Parallel to Upton Sinclair saying "“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”, I thought that in my case I could never be personally certain of my belief if I my paycheck depended upon my espousing it.

Jonathan said...

A bit off topic, but it is getting easier to find hasidim than it is to find secular Jews, given that religious Jews tend to have many more children than secular Jews do. The resulting demographic shift among Jews towards religious orthodoxy is obvious if you look for it, and within a few years should be obvious to everyone.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

It is fascinating. The type of antisemitism that each faces is different. The various Orthodox are unpopular with their neighbors because they believe they abuse public services and create inconveniences for the public. Secular Jews are sometimes denounced because their religion is now liberalism, or because Israel is perceived as an oppressor. Old-line antisemites, of which there are still a few, believe that Jews run all banks, media, and financial institutions and are thus have too much power in the world in general.