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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 2.12:
What other forms of Chasidism?

Answer:

So far, the FAQ has mentioned Lubavitch, Breslov, and Satmar. However, there are lots of forms of Chasidism (and, alas, before the Shoah, there were even more). Some of the better known forms not discussed so far include: Amshinov, Alecsander, Belzer, Bobover, Bostoner, Boyaner, Ger (Gur), Karlin-Stoliner, Kloisenberger, Lalover, Modzitzer, Muncatz, Pupa, Radziner, Skvirer, Slonimer, Spink, Tauscher, and Vizhnitzer. In Israel the Gerrer Hasidim are probably the most numerous, followed by the Belzers, Vizhnitzers, and Lubavichers. In addition, there are small sub-groupings like the Toldos Aharon haredim, who share many traditions with Satmar. Quite a few of these follow the Satmar position on not recognizing the Zionist state, such as Spink, Pupa, Toldos Aharon/Toldos Avrohom Yitzchak, Tseihelm, etc. as well as non-Chassidic communities such as Brisk and many 'Yerushalmi Litvish'.

Chasidism was founded by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, who lived in Poland and Ukraine in the early 1700's. He travelled from village to village, having different students in each. These students later founded schools... and over time, these various schools became the different forms that we see today. Each form is centered on the teachings of a particular Rebbe. The forms are usually named after the Rebee's town. The differences among the forms can be in worship style, customs, dress, philosophy, or political views.


The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to questions@scjfaq.org. The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at maintainer@scjfaq.org.

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <maintainer@scjfaq.org>