Benjamin Brown

Benjamin Brown
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | HUJI · Department of Jewish Thought

Associate Professor

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30
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33
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Publications

Publications (30)
Article
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During the 19th century, Hasidism underwent a deep ideological transformation. From a small circle with more or less common mystical ideals, it became a decentralized movement in which various personalities and groups had a range of different religious ideals, the vast majority of which were not mystical. In this article, I would like to present a...
Article
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The linguistic theory of discourse markers may often help us to decipher the roots of theological controversies in traditional cultures, where both of the parties declare loyalty to the same doctrines. According to this theory, if two sentences are coupled by “but,” the conjunction bears the implicature that the statement that comes after the “but”...
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A number of political theologies have emerged within modern Judaism, primarily as a reaction to the rise of Zionism but also, and to a lesser degree, to that of socialism, pacifism, and other ideological movements. Among the characteristics they shared are a father - i.e., an individual who fleshed out their tenets in more or less systematic fashio...
Article
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The common formulations of 'some say p and some say q' (and the related variations) reflect the compositional relationships between the four pragmatic premises that I initially presented: 'Some' as a formula, which diminishes the quantitative weight of those holding a position; the commutativity of 'and'; the pragmatic non-commutativity of 'but'; a...
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Kedushah (holiness) developed as a pietistic ideal for the virtuous few, encouraging married men to limit to the minimum the frequency and modes of sexual intercourse with their wives. Today, the hasidic groups of Gur, Slonim, and Toledot Aharon (Toldes Aaron) radicalize this ideal by imposing it on the community as a whole. Gur’s version is the mo...
Article
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The article suggests a simple model, based on the distinction between principles and supra-principles, as a tool for tracking the continuity that may exist between teacher and follower in spite of the apparent difference between them. The model is exemplified through a particular case study: Isaac Breuer was the grandson of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hir...
Article
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DavidAssaf. Untold Tales of the Hasidim: Crisis and Discontent in the History of Hasidism. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2010. Paperback. 336 pp. - Volume 36 Issue 2 - Benjamin Brown
Article
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My work on the subject of this article began with courses that I taught on the Hafetz Hayim at Beit Morasha (2002-3) and the Hebrew University (2003-4). I further developed ideas relating to this topic in a lecture that I delivered at the 14 th World Congress of Jewish Studies, 2005, on ''Jewish Law and Religious Ethics { Toward an Abstract Researc...
Chapter
The Term “Orthodox”HistoryThe First StageThe Second StageThe Third StageHalakhah and Religious PracticeTheology and Religious Worldview