QUEST FOR AUTHENTICITY: The Thought of Reb Simhah Bunim By Michael Rosen

QUEST FOR AUTHENTICITY: The Thought of Reb Simhah Bunim By Michael Rosen

Code: 978-965-524-003-0



Product Description

Hardcover, 415 pages (including a 9 page index)

The Przysucha (Yiddish: Pshiskha, pronounced Pe-shis-kha) school of Hasidism believed in a service of God that demanded both passion and analytical study. There was little or no study of kabbalah in Przysucha, and the emphasis was not on trying to understand God, but on trying to understand the human being. It was clear to them that one could not stand with any sense of integrity before the Divine Presence unless one first had some clarity of who one really was.

Directly or indirectly, Przysucha had declared an internal war upon the hasidic leadership of its time. It simply refused to accept anything that smelled of falseness and self-deception, be it the honor due to a zaddik or a particular religious practice. Przysucha equated pretension and self-deceit with idol worship.

During the early part of the nineteenth century, when the center of the hasidic world was in Poland, R. Simhah Bunim transformed Przysucha Hasidism into a movement and thus rose to become a, if not the, dominant personality in the Hasidic community.

About R. Simhah Bunim of Przysucha: 
Przysucha began with the Yehudi (1766- 1814), was continued after his death by his disciple R. Simhah Bunim (1765-1827), and was led in the third generation by R. Menahem Mendel of Kotzk (1787-1859).
Przysucha challenged its rivals for the dominance of Polish Hasidism and, under R. Bunim's leadership, it became the major force in Poland, which was the main center of Hasidism at the time. R. Bunim revolutionized Hasidism in Poland, and many of the basic ideas of nineteenth-century Polish Hasidism have their source in his exegesis.

About the Author: 
Michael Rosen is the founder of Yakar (Jewish Center for Tradition and Creativity) in London, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Beer Yakov and from Chief Rabbi Unterman (Israel). Rabbi Dr. Michael (Mickey) Rosen received his Ph.D. from University College in London for his thesis entitled A Commentary on Job Attributed to Rashbam

Sayings from the Rebbes of Przysucha: 
"I could revive the dead, but I have more difficulty reviving the living."
R. Simhah Bunim and Menahem Mendel of Kotzk

"There are no rules in the service of God, and this itself is no rule."
-The Yehudi

"There are three levels of service. The highest level is that of one who performs good deeds the whole day and yet feels that he has not achieved anything. The second level is someone who, though he has not done anything, knows that he has not corrected anything in this world. This is good, and there is hope for him that he might correct his ways. However, someone who is righteous in his own eyes deceives himself all his life; his good deeds will be lost." 
The Yehudi

"The slightest [sense of] depression is clothed in pride."
R. Simhah Bunim

"All existence, other than man, can only comprehend itself. But God created human beings, who contain within themselves the higher and lower worlds, so that they can imagine everything in their souls. That is the essence of humanity - that human beings can understand and imagine something other than themselves."
- R. Simhah Bunim

"A person should have two pieces of paper, one in each pocket, to be used as necessary. On one of them [is written] 'The world was created for me,' and on the other, 'I am dust and ashes.'"
R. Simhah Bunim