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  • Author or Editor: Gadi Sagiv x
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Rituals have always been a characterizing and significant aspect of Hasidism. Although ritual practices are often considered rigid and conservative, Hasidism showed tremendous flexibility in composing, reviving, and disseminating old rituals in novel religious settings. Highly visible, easily deliverable, not requiring intellectual background, and embedded in Jewish tradition, rituals and ceremonies were the perfect means by which to popularize pietism and esoteric knowledge among large audiences, while maintaining the prestige of their performers.

In: Zutot
In: IMAGES
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The color blue is thought to protect against the evil eye in Mediterranean cultures. This article unfolds the yet-unstudied role played by kabbalistic theology, symbolism, and myth in the construction of the color blue as a protective color for Jews. It traces particularly the development of a medieval kabbalistic myth of a dazzling blue garment of the feminine aspect of the godhead, protecting her from contact with evil forces. The article shows how this myth became the foundation for various practices against the evil eye among Jews in the modern period and contextualizes this myth within theories about the evil eye.

In: Numen
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Egodocuments constitute valuable sources for the study of Hasidism. Yet those penned by hasidic leaders are relatively rare. This article explores egodocumentary material written by hasidic leader Joshua Heschel Rabinowitz of Monastyryshche (1860–1938), who was persecuted in Russia, migrated to America in 1923, and settled in New York. In contrast to the previous scholarship that focuses on Rabinowitz’s public opinions, this article centers on his personal notes. Moreover, rather than read Rabinowitz’s personal writings as reflecting his life and worldview in Eastern Europe from decades earlier, the egodocuments will be read as highlighting the challenges he faced during the years he wrote most of his works, namely, after migrating to the United States. Rabinowitz’s egodocuments not only teach us about him as an individual, but also shed light on the challenges that many admorim faced upon arrival to America between the two world wars.

In: Zutot