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Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Derived by the author from interviews and oral histories, these eighty-nine original Hasidic tales about the Holocaust provide unprecedented witness, in a traditional idiom, to the victims' inner experience of "unspeakable" suffering. This volume constitutes the first collection of original Hasidic tales to be published in a century.

"An important work of scholarship and a
Paperback, 267 pages
Published October 26th 1988 by Vintage (first published October 1st 1982)
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265th out of 529 books — 2,238 voters
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Kressel Housman
Jul 03, 2008 Kressel Housman rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone, especially Jews
The author of this book is not Hasidic herself, but in producing it, she interviewed many Chassidim about their experiences in the camps. She also stuck to the main concept of a Hasidic story, which is that it must end on a positive note. How is that possible with the Holocaust? Leave it to Hasidic Jews to remember G-d in the darkest of circumstances. Especially inspiring are the stories of Rebbetzin Bronia, who later married the Bluzhover Rebbe, and his words of Torah introducing the book liter ...more
A little gem of a book of very short stories. Aside from piercing looks at Holocaust experiences I got an even better glimpse of not only some Hasidic culture but more importantly, philosophies regarding how anyone explains or absorbs this horror with their faith still intact and this is a subject I'm very interested in.
Leora Wenger
You might think a book called Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust would make you incredibly sad. Perhaps. Well, most probably. But perhaps also it will give strength, hope, inspiration. In the forward to the book, Yaffa Eliach explains how she gathered these tales. They are based on interviews and oral histories, compiled with the help of her Brooklyn College students. She begins by relating the history of Hasidism, a movement founded by the Baal Shem Tov (1700 – 1760). From the foreword: “The main t ...more
Arthur Gershman
The gold standard by which Holocaust literature is judged is Elie Wiesel's Night/Dawn/Day trilogy. If that is 24k this is 22k gold. Does that mean 4 or 5 stars? I'm no mathematician, only a humble mechanical engineer, so I gave it 4 stars, on the grounds that predicted I would!
These tales are mostly short and so, emminently readable. Above all, one remains in my mind. It is the story of little Shachne Hiller, Mr. and Mrs. Yachowitch, and a young Polish priest. Schachne is 4 years old
These stories range from the heartbreaking to the humorous, from the affirming to the grotesque. It won't tell you much about Hasidism itself, but it will tell you some things about the Hasidim.
This is so much better than Elie Wiesel's Night.
Read this book. The "tales" are very brief, yet powerful, and so important as testimonies of the unbelievable events, both horrible and miraculous, that occurred in the lives of Hasidic Jews in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust. Every story touched me; many of the stories moved me. And there are a few that I know I will never be able to forget.
I don't enjoy reading books about the Holocaust, as my book group well knows. But, 20 years ago a good friend loaned me this book and assured me that, hard as it may be to believe, these were uplifting stories. And it's true. This book is one-of-a-kind--a collection of testimonies to faith and miracles despite terrible adversity.
Joel Kleehammer
To read the tales from the Hasidic world, which almost disappeared entirely during the Holocaust, is both uplifting and saddening at the same time. These tales show you how even the victims of the most heinous human rights crimes can have a positive outlook when all is over.
wonderful "stories"... collected from survivors and beautifully embellished by the author,... inspiring... a great counterpart to the no-hope angle of other Holocaust literature (notably Borowski,..)
if you are doing holocaust studies at any point, read a tale from here every night to inoculate yourself from complete despair. this pulled me out of a slump while i was doing just such a study.
I had never read about the Holocaust from a Hasidic perspective before, and was glad I found this book. Moving, healing, and not the usual way accounts from the Holocaust are told.
Courtney Stirrat
This is a wonderful book. Reading the story involving Pope John Paul II when he was a priest in Poland made me sob.
I really enjoyed this book. It includes spiritual experiences of Jews who survived the Holocaust.
gut-wrenching personal stories recounted through filters of magic realism and hasidic mysticism.
Great stories but heavy on the devine explanation.
Wendy Hawkins
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