In the great modern spiritualistic movement of Judaism, Hasidism was an alternative response to Sabbatean messianism, and continued previous trends of esoteric spiritual messianism.
As the most contemporary form of spiritual Judaism, the nuances and rhythm of Hasidism are the underlying tone of most of today’s Jewish spirituality, messianism included. To have a feel for these, one must be familiar with the basic tenets of Hasidic spirituality and messianism.
Hasidism is a diverse religious worldview and community. It definitely is not as consequential as a messianic movement the likes of early Christianity. There are, however, some significant components and developments of messianism surrounding three figures: Israel Ba’al Shem-Tov, who sparked the movement, his great grandson the eccentric Rabbi Nachman of Breslev, and the Chabad dynasty culminating in the career of the seventh leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
The condition of the Jewish people in Eastern Europe was grim. They were poor and lacked power. In the middle of...
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