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        The Rise of Chasidism

        This video from the PBS series The Story of the Jews examines the circumstances under which the Jews of 18th century Russia embraced a new form of observance known as Chasidism. Living under the constant threat of brutal persecution, this ecstatic and joyful expression of Judaism was a welcome alternative to hopelessness. Informed by mystical texts, like the Kabbalah, that revealed profound truths about God and the universe, and an observance characterized by song and dance, life became a spiritual journey. Leaders were believed to have godlike powers, surrounded by tales of wonder, healing and resurrection.

        Chasidism


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