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Hasidism IncarnateHasidism, Christianity, and the Construction of Modern Judaism$
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Shaul Magid

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804791304

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804791304.001.0001

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Jewish Ethics Through a Hasidic Lens

Jewish Ethics Through a Hasidic Lens

Incarnation, the Law, and the Universal

Chapter:
(p.51) 3 Jewish Ethics Through a Hasidic Lens
Source:
Hasidism Incarnate
Author(s):

Shaul Magid

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804791304.003.0004

This chapter engages a series of texts that I determine illustrate what I call “incarnational ethics” and juxtaposes them to the larger discussion of Jewish ethics in Modern Jewish Thought. The Hasidic thinkers in question (Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk and Levi Yizhak of Berdichev) present a model of ethics that more closely resembles a Christian Orthodox ethics of “becoming divine” (theosis) and seeing the other as “divine” than the virtue or Kantian ethics that dominate modern Jewish Thought. The central point of this chapter is that this Hasidic ethics I am suggesting does not emerge from nor is it bound to, the law but is focused on the divine element on the self and other as its foundation. This would be a major departure from classical and modern conceptions of Jewish ethics.

Keywords:   Ethics, Law, Love of God, theosis, Eastern Orthodoxy, incarnational ethics

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