A neo-Hasidic "Starter Pack"
We put together this “starter pack” (made up of lectures, interviews, and podcasts) as an alternative to solely the written word. It is meant to give a brief overview of what neo-Hasidism is/was/can be and not a comprehensive history. Our hope is that once folks are equipped with this background, they will get more out of Gashmius and can go on to do their own learning.
1) Neo Hasidism: Origins and Prospects
Rabbi Arthur Green
In this 2014 lecture at Middlebury College, Rabbi Green maps out a broad, yet comprehensive, outline of the history of neo-Hasidism, starting from 18th century traditional Hasidism, through 20th century Poland, and up until his own theology today.
2) Central Concepts in Hasidism
Rav James Jacobson-Maisels
Central to engaging with neo-Hasidism is to learning traditional Hasidic texts. Rav James takes us through three central concepts (pantheism, ayin-dekevus, and avodah b'gashmius) in short snippets that pull from primary sources and give us a taste for Hasidic text study.
4) Music as a Spiritual Practice
Chana Raskin grew up in Chabad-Lubavtich community and just released an album called Kapelya under the name RAZA. It is "a deeply moving recording of twenty-two women singing Hasidic nigunim, [and] is a love letter to the songs Raskin grew up with, and an inspired addition to the wild and sacred history of efforts to preserve and expand Hasidic musical traditions."
5) Spontaneous Yiddish Prayer
Rabbi Noam Lerman
This interview explores the practice of tkhines, which were traditionally recited by Ashkenazi women and "men who were like women" (this traditionally meant illiterate men, but Noam Lerman argues that this includes gender non-conforming people). Tkhines is one of the central avenues through which we can learn about the spiritual lives of non-male Hasidim, since most of their lives were not recorded and are therefore integral to an egalitarian neo-Hasidism.
6) Progressive neo-Hasidism
The founders of Gashmius Magazine are interviewed by Judaism Unbound about how "progressive Neo-Hasidism has the potential to uplift and heal the Jewish community and the world." They discuss the term "gashmius," tell Hasidic stories, talk about God, and much more.