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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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“Brother Where Art Thou?”

“Brother Where Art Thou?”

Reflections on Jesus in Martin Buber and the Hasidic Master Shmuel Bornstein of Sochaczev

(p.113) 5 “Brother Where Art Thou?”
Hasidism Incarnate

Shaul Magid

Stanford University Press

The focus on this chapter is a comparison of the figure of Jesus in the thought of Martin Buber and the early twentieth-century Hasidic master Shmuel Bornstein of Sochaczev. Buber was well-known for his positive assessment of Jesus as an important figure in the history of Judaism. With others of his time (both Jews and Christians) he held that it was Pauline Christianity that ultimately drive an irreconcilable wedge between the two religions. This modern project is juxtaposed to an early twentieth-century Hasidic master Shmuel Bornstein who had fully absorbed the negative and demonic depiction of Jesus filtered through the classical Jewish tradition. Bornstein depicts Jesus as a demonic force that is necessary for redemption because only he can purge the final evil from creation by absorbing it into his own being. Thus Jesus is demonic yet is necessary precisely for redemption because he is demonic.

Keywords:   Jesus, Jewish Jesus, demonic, Buber, Sabbatei Zevi, kelippah, Esau

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