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Neo-Hasidism and the Theology of Halakhah: The Duties of Intimacy and the Law of the Heart

March 19, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Rabbi Dr. Ariel Evan Mayse

Together we will seek a Neo-Hasidic theology of halakhah — an understanding of sacred deeds and the divine command that can redress the challenges of modernity and enliven the heart of the contemporary Jewish seeker.   We will begin with a brief turn to the teachings of the key figures presented in the companion volume to this book, whose writings are the hearthstones of contemporary Neo-Hasidism. My goal, however, is not to describe their work but to add a new voice to the conversation. I will stake the claim that Neo-Hasidism must be a movement of praxis, one affirming that the life of the spirit is embodied and expressed through concrete deeds. A sense of obligation must be central to our conversation about halakhah, just as a mandate of responsibility is integral to our covenantal relationship with the Divine.

Ariel Evan Mayse is a Research Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He holds a PhD in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har’el. He recently moved with his wife and two children to Ann Arbor from Jerusalem, where he has been teaching and studying for the past four years. In addition to authoring several scholarly and popular articles on Kabbalah and Chassidut, Rabbi Mayse is co-editor of the two-volume collection Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings From Around the Maggid’s Table (Jewish Lights, 2013) and editor of From the Depth of the Well: An Anthology of Jewish Mysticism (Paulist Press, 2014). His current research deals with the role of language in Chassidic theology, expressions of Jewish mysticism in the twentieth century, the formation of early Chassidic literature, and the relationship between spirituality and law.




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