Hasidic Art and the Kabbalah presents eight case studies of manuscripts, ritual objects, and folk art developed by Hasidic masters in the mid-eighteenth to late nineteenth centuries, whose form and decoration relate to sources in the Zohar, German Pietism, and Safed Kabbalah. Examined at the delicate and difficult to define interface between seemingly simple, folk art and complex ideological and conceptual outlooks which contain deep, abstract symbols, the study touches on aspects of object history, intellectual history, the decorative arts, and the history of religion. Based on original texts, the focus of this volume is on the subjective experience of the user at the moment of ritual, applying tenets of process philosophy and literary theory – Wolfgang Iser, Gaston Bachelard, and Walter Benjamin – to the analysis of objects.
Batsheva Goldman-Ida, Ph.D. (2008), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is Curator of Special Projects at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and specializes in visual culture, especially in the early modern period. Born in Boston, MA, she studied Decorative Arts in New York at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and Parsons School of Design. Her latest exhibition and catalogue
Alchemy of Words: Abraham Abulafia, Dada, Lettrism (2016) juxtaposes the medieval mystic with early modern innovators of linguistic mysticism and contemporary performance artists.
Hasidic Art and the Kabbalah sets up a visual feast that recalls the ancient Tabernacle or Temple vessels while, at the same time, expanding our notion of the sacred." -
Glenn Dynner, Jewish Review of Books (Fall 2018).
Table of contents
Acknowledgements List of Figures Introduction
Part 1: Manuscripts
Hasidic Prayer Book Continuity and Change
Part 2: Ritual Objects
Hasidic Wine Cup Continuity and Change
Hasidic Sabbath Lamp Continuity and Change
The Hasidic Prayer Shawl Ornament Continuity and Change
Part 3: Folk Art
The Hasidic Pipe and Snuffbox Continuity and Change
Hasidic Talismans Continuity and Change
The Hasidic Rabbi’s Chair Continuity and Change
Worship through Corporeality
The Nature of Hasidism
New Directions in Research
All those interested in Hasidism, Jewish mysticism, decorative arts, and Judaica, will welcome this book that brings together original texts and rare Hasidic objects with new methodological tools of process philosophy.