Definition of Hasidism in US English:


(also Chasidism, Hassidism, Chassidism)


  • An influential mystical Jewish movement founded in Poland in the 18th century in reaction to the rigid academicism of rabbinical Judaism. The movement declined sharply in the 19th century, but fundamentalist communities developed from it, and Hasidism is still a force in Jewish life, particularly in Israel and New York.

    • ‘Many think that the Jewish emphasis on joy dates back to the 18th century advent of Hasidism.’
    • ‘People continue to be afraid and uninformed or misinformed about the mystical side of Judaism, both in terms of Kabbalah and Hasidism.’
    • ‘In his translations and writings on Hasidism, Buber criticized not only what he considered the deadening effects of rabbinism on Jewish culture, but also German - Jewish liberal reformers.’
    • ‘The eastern European Diaspora created Hasidism, the Hebrew Haskalah, and Zionism.’
    • ‘Modern Hasidism evolved in 18th-century Poland, where its leader, Ba'al Shem Tov, taught a return to faith and piety.’