Sense of place, sense of people -- Rabbinical traditions #ukraine
Michelle Frager <lulu_brooks@...>
Although rabbinical history is not my strong point, I believe there
were two very different rabbinical traditions in the two areas
(Litvak and Galitzianer). And as with any religious differences or
schisms, the conviction of unique and correct identity ran deep and
divisively between the two communities. They used different
liturgies, and the Litvak was a more intellectual approach while the
Podolian at least, if not all Galitzianer, was more mystical or
emotive. It seems to me that this, too, contributed to creating
conscientiously different cultures.
I hope someone in the SIG with better knowledge of this aspect than
mine will contribute to this discussion.
Michelle Frager NYC area
Remember that Chasidism arose around 1765 in what is now Ukraine; it's
thrust (oversimplifying greatly) was that even ordinary working people can
worship and be accepted by God if they do so with all their heart -- that
one did not have to be a scholar. This radical notion was very popular
among poor working people who didn't have time to devote to study, and was
strongly opposed by the more conservative elements, whose leader was the
Vilna Gaon (>from Vilnius, Lithuania). This led to considerable antipathy
between the Jewish Russishooks and Litvaks.