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Hasidic Typologies Of Devekut And The I-Thou Relations

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Chapter Summary

One of the central principles which Martin Buber attributed to Hasidism and which he internalized in his dialogical thought was that of devekut - attachment to God or, as Scholem defined it, "intimate communion with God". Hence, this chapter presents points of similarity between the ideal of devekut and that of the I-Thou. It discusses Buber's typologies of devekut, in comparison to those found in Hasidism, in greater detail. Buber's characterization of the difference between Kabbalah and Hasidism as analogous to that between Gnosticism and devekut, and his definition of the essence of Hasidism and its value in terms of the interrelationship between heaven and earth indicate that Buber identified devekut with the I-Thou relation.

Keywords: devekut; Hasidism; I-Thou relation; Kabbalah; Martin Buber



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