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Historia de la secta de los Hasidim

Index: La muerte y la brújula, Ficciones, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 500, 501, 506.

Yarmolinsky study

Fishburn and Hughes: The plural of 'Hasid': Hebrew for pious, a term used for the followers of a popular religious movement which arose among Polish Jews in the eighteenth century as a reaction to rabbinical and ritual formalism. Under the charismatic leadership of their founder, Baal Shem Tov, the Hasidim, while continuing to adhere to strict observance of the Law, emphasised the joyousness of religion and the ecstasy of prayer, claiming that man's salvation lies in faith rather than religious knowledge. Their pantheistic concept of God was expressed in the belief that material objects are in reality the image of the deity. One of the distinguishing features of Hasidism was the unquestioned authority bestowed upon the Tzaddik, or spiritual leader, regarded as a mediator between man and God and endowed with supernatural powers. This personality cult, which led to much abuse and superstition, contributed to the animosity felt by orthodox Jews towards Hasidism and the persecution and even excommunication of their leaders by some rabbis, who considered them a godless sect. The idea that this animosity could lead to murder has no historical basis; yet it is not too fanciful for Scharlach to have built his masterplan on the premise that his enemy, the detective Lönnrot, might think it possible. Death and the Compass