Understanding the Culture of Hasidic Judaism Research Paper
- Length: 8 pages
- Sources: 5
- Subject: Mythology - Religion
- Type: Research Paper
- Paper: #87529744
Excerpt from Research Paper :
Hasidic Judaism Culture
Hasidic Judaism-primarily Boro Park
Literature suggests that people often refer the Jewish people as the chosen people, which is common knowledge. In fact, the bible supports this because it refers to them as the Holy people or the Holy Community. In this respect, during the provision of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, it was a requirement by God that the Jews live a holy life. In the context of holy, God required the people to conduct their personal and social life through obeying the six hundred and thirteen proscriptive and prescriptive dicta found in the Torah (Mintz, 1992). Over successive generations, the six hundred and thirteen laws evolved to become the Ol Torah or the yoke of the torah.
In the current setting, it is just to suggest that over the two thousand plus years, the Jews have tried their best to conduct their lives in accordance with the six hundred mitzvahs. This is in reference to some of the Hasidic Jewish community living in Borough Park. In this milieu, it is vital to note that the Jews, after interacting and staying in Eastern and Central Europe, they formed the Hasidic community. It was a movement, which aimed at integrating even non-Jews to join them through their spiritual appeal, which emphasized on joy, faith, ecstatic faith, followed by dance and songs (Mintz, 1992).
Borough Park, often spelt as Boro Park is a neighborhood found in Brooklyn, New York in the United States of America. Its popularity is because it harbors the largest proportion of the Orthodox Community outside of Israel. It is home to the largest proportions of Jews in the United States, including Orthodox culture, which rival many insular communities. Because of the high numbers of children in the Hasidic families, the neighborhood is experiencing a sharp growth (Kranzler, 1995). In addition, the neighborhood comprise of a rich, working class, including the poor people, who live side by side, sharing the same social amenities, such as learning institutions and synagogues.
Because of the disparity, it has achieved an economically diverse society. In addition, regardless of their present location, the Jews of Borough Park have also tried to remain true to the holiness approach. Throughout history, they struggled to remain the holy community described in the bible. Nonetheless, the threats of maintaining the way of the Torah have always existed. This is in regards to the well-known history of the Jewish Communities in terms of their economic, political, and social persecutions (Mintz, 1992). At the start of the late 18th century and the liberation during the 19th century, the threats had taken another form.
This meant that the Jews induced some of these threats due to the motivation to achieve economic success including professional achievement. This gradually enhanced the interactions of the Hasidic communities with the external people, and secularization slowly emerged (Mintz, 1992). In the beginning of the 1950s, Hasidism spread to Europe and Israel gradually replaced the initial dwellers of Borough Park who were Italians, and the less religious Jews. Hasidism was further expanded through cultural interaction, particularly through marriage among the Hasidic and couples who could not find housing in Williamsburg, including the Hasidic families that required substantial space for their increased progeny.
Although the neighborhood was achieving high numbers of orthodox Jews, it managed to ensure it is a cosmopolitan place than the other neighborhood, Williamsburg. The Hasidic community engaged in a number of economic activity such as running restaurants, and shops, which attracted shoppers adding to Borough Park's more liberal ambience (Kranzler, 1995). The Hasidic community also values education, and boys and girls attend different forms of learning institutions. In this regard, it is crucial to acknowledge that the New York Government is responsible for running Borough Park's public learning institutions. The Hasidic community took their boys to local yeshivas and the girls attended Yaakov-type schools.
This resulted to decline of the private-owned schools in the neighborhood. The neighborhood has the largest population of the Hasidic communities. This does not mean that there are no other communities living in the neighborhood, but in comparison, the Hasidic community is the largest. In addition, similar to the earlier Jewish community, the Hasidic community still observes the Jewish Law. The Sabbath day is their day of rest, which has made people perceive it as culturally and religiously orthodox in many aspects. In addition, they observe several cultural practices.
For example, adolescent girls do not leave the house without covering their knees and elbows. During funerals, women and men sit separately in accordance with the law (Kranzler, 1995). Concerning education, it is important to note that the Hasidic communities create the schools mentioned. The objective is to isolate the youth or rather their children from the other population by providing their own education and education levels. The isolation is great and the Hasidic community is not to interact with non-Jews, and, although occasionally they might be in a position to engage, they are forbidden to exchange views and philosophies.
In addition, the Hasidic community, mainly referencing their culture, bans their youth and children from engaging in college education (Orthodox Judaism, 2010). However, the ban does not mean that there is a specific rule, which discourages college education. Nonetheless, the objective is to live by the Bible, and the youth once they finish the studies, they become Torah Scholars and Rabbis, whereas women will still hold their minor position in the community. The family is the fundamental component of the community, but every individual has a different role to play.
Women and girls were to perform and always handle the house chores, such as cooking, cleaning, and washing, whereas the men were the leaders of the families, and took care of their families. In addition, similar to other cultures and people of the world, the Hasidic community's way of life was visually and musically attractive, characterized by rich textures, unusual customs, firm traditions, music and dance. They also value oral traditions, which explains the Hasidic tales, memorable paths into a complicated world of the Hasidic mentality, religious themes and humor (Humes, 1998).
Although the family is the basic unit, the Hasidic community has embraced living together in the neighborhoods, which is a strategy to ensure that they will continue with Jewish traditions and cultures. Men and women dress in unique clothing, for example, men always wear long, black garbs, black hats including long beards. In addition, men or male have curls by their side. Women also follow the strict rules of the Jewish tradition, a custom known as Tzyniyus. In this regard, the women hardly expose their body parts, except from the palm and face. Women also wear dresses and skirts alone, mainly because the law forbids them to wear pants (Orthodox Judaism, 2010).
From the analysis provided above, it is evident that the Hasidic community is one that aims at isolating their children, including the youth from engaging with the non-Jews. Even though, when they meet, maybe during work, the youth are not to engage in sharing ideas and philosophies. In addition, the Hasidic community, unlike the other communities, does not welcome the public schools provided by the state. The community has provided their own schools, which aim to teach the children about the Torah, and other relevant law issues. In this regard, once the children, particularly the male children finish their studies, they become rabbis and torah scholars (Orthodox Judaism, 2010).
The teaching of the torah to children aims at instilling virtues at the children, and once they grow up, they can interact normally in their workplace. The torah helps them to be polite and helpful, but this is in the context of Jews. Their education does not permit the use of televisions or computers. In fact, they are forbidden to use the World Wide Web, or the internet. Owing to their specifications in terms of education, the Hasidic Jewish men will often seek jobs that will not require degrees, or other forms of education (Librach, 2012). Therefore, the major fields the men venture in include real estate, business, diamonds business, and other lines of business.
However, in the current scenario, there is a special orthodox Jewish program, which is offering the potential students higher education in accounting and special education. Such progress has allowed them to become public accountants and progress with further education (Librach, 2012). Women, on the other hand, are subordinates in the community. They do not join similar schools with the male children. In their schooling, women are taught on how to become good wives, mothers, and many others in this line. Afterwards, the women can only work part time and use the other time to perform household chores.
However, similar to the male children, progress in the community, has allowed women to join schools in similar fields such as accounting, and teaching. Afterwards, they become teachers, secretaries, whereas others will pursue further education. It is evident that the Hasidic community is a strict observer of the…