This is the title of the pamphlet that contained the Gaon’s first condemnation of the Hasidim
Just this morning I found a few books on the Gaon I haven’t seen before. We do lots of “finding and seeing” here don’t we?
The Gaon had the early Hasids put in pillories and whipped. Unfortunately they were a tenacious bunch.
The founder of Chabad likened the Gaon to Eliezer from the Talmud who was excommunicated for not following the will of the majority. It was an elitist vs. popular movement.
I’m more interested in the “war of ideas”
Not to be rude but jews today do seem to have a tendency to defend the “rights” of people who are pretty similar to inanimate objects.
Maybe I might concede this is a third-eye of theirs, as much as it is a vice. It’s fine and good to have that perception as long as it’s not at the expense of the “animate objects” AND God. If everything is God then nothing is God.
I almost would have to say that there’s a “superstitious” quality to Equalism. In other words it’s like the opposite of a third-eye. Let’s look at a symptom of superstitious behavior in the early days of Hasidism
It seems the Gaon was the “real deal” version of the Besht who performed intellectual “miracles” and the masses preferred this mythical fantasy-figure.
The founder of Chabad even used the Gaon’s greatness against him, saying that since he is indeed the “one” of his generation he couldn’t possibly represent broader jewry.
The victors write history. Today you will often see the Gaon portrayed as a backward reactionary who tried to impede the revolutionary spirit of the Hasidim. I think the following piece of evidence puts that into doubt
The Gaon wrote books on mathematics and astronomy, and studied engineering for a half hour everyday. He wasn’t a medieval, anti-science type of person.
Strauss believed that Mendelssohn was the founder of modern Judaism, and I wonder if Scholem is closer to the truth in giving Zevi that title. Probably a mixture of both. Mendelssohn wrote a book in opposition to the materialism of his day, so that alone kind of rules him out.
I digress- I want to know more about the theological debate between the two in question
for the Hasidim, statements on the Simple Unity of God… while the Mitnagdim place statements on the multiplicity in which it appears in our world.
Here is Scholem’s view of Hasidism
God’s holiness resides within nature… God’s immanence meant that He was accessible at all times through any medium.
One of the MANY ways that Deleuze was just a stereotypical Jew. Or at least non-Gaonian Jew.
So, God is one, God is in everything. One can “cleave” [dvekut] to God through something as ordinary as eating or idle talk. What’s the alternative to this? For the Gaon study of a religious text was the prime way of “cleaving” to God, and clarifying it. Clarifying it was redeeming it for him. Somewhere around 70 books he wrote.
Again, like they said at shekina.mybb, if you’re a goy the Gaon is not your friend. I’m only showing how atheism ultimately set-in to Judaism. The severing from tradition, the severing from God.
Here’s the Gaon himself
it is impossible for one to comprehend God independently
It seems like connection to the wisdom of millennia was replaced by a type of idol worship
And more, for emphasis
Yessss here is a mystical interpretation of the conflict
Was ChaBaD (chokhmah-binah-da’at) in fact lower than those three sefirot? The Gaon seems to think they were.
Disciples of the Besht countered the Gaon with the example of Moses who saw God face to face. The Gaon thought Moses was an exception in history. So the messianism of Hasidism is part of what led to today’s atheism. “I can be Moses, I don’t need to study those books.”
It was a Promethean movement
The Hasidim believed prayer could facilitate one’s ascension to the Atzilut realm of Moses. Now, the “cladistic Hasidim” don’t even pray. No wonder so many jews seem somewhere around Malkhut. And the bovine goyim mimic their proud lack of ascent. Today’s jews are so worldly and godless they’re probably reading this with smug disdain. “Ascent? God? What are we, back in the Medieval Age now?”
Ahh I just saw the “cherry on top” here. God is in everything- guess what a consequence of that is? Well, there are reports the Hasidim were into bestiality.
There is no limit to their sins, and even after maturing they are not able to repent because in the days of their youth their souls became attached to this worldly pleasure.
Do you think it’s a type of “daimon” that was contacted through dvekut (cleaving)? A “direct line to God” – that can be dangerous for people who are immature.
All this reminds me of back in the day when a few of my friends tripped and developed messianic-complexes. Some of the dumbest stuff, too, they believed in. As dumb or bad for society as it was, they believed they were sent by God to spread the message. I think that was the case of Zevi and some of these Hasidim. The erudite Maimon observed that they were not true men of learning. So, superficial knowledge of the religious texts matched with “bong rip” mystical experiences, and voila, God is in everything, morality is conventional, bang animals, relieve yourself in public, I don’t need to read those books, I’m Moses.
The more I learn about the Gaon’s perspective on Hasidism the more the latter does seem like a merely less crazy version of Frankism. And… this was only recently “secularized”.
The Gaon believed these Hasidim were in cahoots with the financial establishment too. He referred to them all collectively as the erev rav, the mixed multitude, the chaff of the wheat, the rabble.