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Publication Detail
From Woman as Hasid to Woman as "Tsadik" in the Teachings of the Last Two Lubavitcher Rebbes
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Rapoport-Albert A
  • Publication date:
    01/12/2013
  • Pagination:
    435, 473
  • Journal:
    Jewish History
  • Volume:
    27
  • Issue:
    2-4
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    0334-701X
Abstract
The paper deals with some of the ways in which the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menahem Mendel Schneerson, radicalized the legacy of his predecessor, Yosef Yitshak Schneersohn, who was the first hasidic leader to mobilize women as active members of the Habad constituency. In the teachings of Menahem Mendel Schneerson, women were invested for the first time with the sense of being full-fledged female hasidim in their own right. Moreover, unlike his predecessor, whose mobilization of women never became an integral element of his apocalyptic messianism, Menahem Mendel Schneerson consistently framed the empowerment of women in terms of kabbalistic eschatology, anticipating in the present the inverted gender hierarchy of the messianic future, which was, as he declared, just about to unfold. In this context, he applied to women some of the classical hasidic formulations of the doctrine of the tsadik, depicting them as a channel that mediates between Heaven and earth, and as the trigger that releases from Heaven the flow of material prosperity expressed in terms of the traditional tsadik's blessing for sons (offspring), life (health), and food (secure livelihood). © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
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