An Author’s Guide: Authorship of Hasidic Compendia

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Authorship is an elusive concept, particularly when speaking of religious writing. This article investigates the intensive printing of Hasidic compendia starting in the second half of the nineteenth century through the first decades of the twentieth century. It attempts to show the process in which these collections were created and then became part of the movements’ heritage. In the centre of this description stands a micro-historical incident, telling the story of one Hasidic author, and an understanding of the complex relationship between oral and written traditions.


Perspectives on Jewish Culture




See Ch. Shmeruk, ‘On the History of “Schund” Literature in Yiddish’, Tarbiz 52 (1983) 325–354 (in Hebrew); I. Parush, Reading Jewish Women: Marginality and Modernization in Nineteenth Century Eastern European Jewish Society (Waltham, MA 2004) 97–132.


Cf. J. Assmann, ‘Collective Memory and Cultural Identity’, New German Critique 65 (1995) 125–133; S. Rettberg, ‘All Together Now: Collective Knowledge, Collective Narratives, and Architectures of Participation’, Digital Arts and Culture, (2005).


E. and H.Y. Yaron, ‘Epilogue’, in Sippurei ha-Besht (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv 1987) 238–244; R. Horowitz, ‘Buber’s Way to Hasidism and the Friendship between Buber and Agnon,’ Multiple Faced Judaism (Be’er Sheva 2003) 263–293 (in Hebrew); D. Laor, ‘Agnon and Buber: The Story of a Friendship, or: The Rise and Fall of the “Corpus Hasidicum,” ’ in P. Mendes-Flohr, ed., Martin Buber: A Contemporary Perspective (Jerusalem 2002) 48–86.


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