חב"ד היא בין החסידיות המוכרות בעולם. את חסידי חב"ד אפשר לפגוש במרחב הציבורי במקומות שונים כדוגמת דוכני הנחת תפילין ברחוב ובתי חב"ד ברחבי העולם. בקובץ ארבעה מאמרים על חסידות חב"ד בסוף המאה ה-19ובמאה ה-20. מחברי המאמרים – חוקרים בכירים מן התחום בארץ ובעולם – בוחנים את החסידות מנקודות מבט היסטוריות, תאולוגיות, סוציולוגיות ופוליטיות.
Habad (Lubavitch) is among the best known hasidic communities in the world. One is indeed likely to come across a “Lubavitcher” at a wide range of occasions: Hanukkah menorah lightings on the main squares of countless towns and cities; official Jewish ceremonies hosted by non-Jewish public figures; and at one of the thousands of Habad Houses, where “emissaries” cater to the religious needs of Jews.
However, readers wishing to expand their knowledge of Habad’s special nature would be hard-pressed to find an accessible, up-to-date, and balanced scholarly exposition on this topic. For the most part, we are currently forced to make do with research on the group’s luminaries or biased works by its members and admirers.
The present anthology, which consists of four articles on Lubavitch in the twentieth century (as well as the end of the nineteenth century), endeavors to chip away at this scarcity of information. The authors of the articles are well known as leading scholars of Habad from various perspectives: history, theology, sociology, and politics. As Habad perpetuated its theological, organizational, and political characteristics during its entire history, this collection is a fine representative of Habad as a whole.
Jonatan Meir is a professor of Modern Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He has published monographs and many articles on is Jewish Enlightenment, Hasidism and Modern Kabbalah.
He is the author of Imagined Hasidism: The Anti-Hasidic Writings of Joseph Perl (2013), Kabballistic Circles in Jerusalem (2016); Literary Hasidism: The Life and Works of Michael Levi Rodkinson (2016).
Gadi Sagiv is a senior lecturer at the Open University of Israel. He is the author of Dynasty: The Chernobyl Hasidic Dynasty and Its Place in the History of Hasidism (2014) and a co-author of Hasidism: A New History (2017).