A Tale of Hasidism in the Kingdom
March 29, 2015
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By Menashe Unger, translated by Jonathan Boyarin
Co-sponsored by Cornell University Jewish Studies Program and The Congregation Emanu-El Department of Lifelong Learning.
Menashe Unger, born in Poland to a rabbinic dynasty, abandoned his birthright to become a journalist. After the Holocaust, he devoted his life to recording the colorful Hasidic world and the charismatic rebbes at its center. Now, his Yiddish-language study of the enigmatic and brilliant Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk has been translated into English, providing a revealing and intimate portrait of Hasidism.
Translator Jonathan Boyarin, Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at Cornell University, reads selections from the book, and the author’s two grandchildren, Saul Kaiserman, Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Emanu-El, and Rabbi Mark Kaiserman, tell the fascinating story of the author’s journey from rabbinic royalty to New York writer.