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Hasidism In Buber's Thought: Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter informs that this part of the book attempts to present Buber's dialogical thought in light of his interpretation of Hasidism and through Hasidic sources, and to clarify the manner in which he internalized Hasidic principles in his thought, starting with their most general aspects and continuing with a detailed discussion of Buber's use of Hasidic-Kabbalistic terms. In general, it presents his thought as an additional stage in the development of Jewish spirituality and of Jewish hermeneutics. The book demonstrates how Buber's understanding of the uniqueness of the Baal Shem Tov and of his life-work occupied a central place in his worldview and in his own intellectual project. It then examines the implied correspondence created by Buber between the idea of devekut in Hasidism, and the I-Thou relation, and the manner in which these interrelations take shape against the background of typologies of devekut in Hasidism.

Keywords: Baal Shem Tov; Buber's dialogical thought; devekut; Hasidism; I-Thou relation; Jewish spirituality; Kabbalistic term



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