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Related to Hasidic Judaism: Chasidim


see HasidimHasidim
or Chassidim
[Heb.,=the pious], term used by the rabbis to describe those Jews who maintained the highest standard of religious observance and moral action. The term has been applied to movements at three distinct times.
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As a Jew who made similar choices by leaving the world of my youth, entering (less reflectively and far more superficially than Merton) into the "monastic" world of Hasidic Judaism, I was taken by the way Merton was boldly unapologetic and surprisingly critical.
He learned about the body's planes and virtual versus real space from Hasidic Judaism -- how to shape the contrast between the vertical and horizontal in an anatomically sound way.
In the case of Levinas, his fear stems in part from his being steeped in a tradition that is an outgrowth of a nineteenth-century quarrel between Lithuanian Hasidic Judaism and Mithnagdic Judaism, which is geared to the study of texts rather than to prayer.