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Article
Messianic Activism in the Works of Chaim Elazar Shapira, the Munkacz Rebbe, between Two World Wars
Cathedra (2013)
  • Motti Inbari, Dr., University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Abstract

The article discusses messianic tension that developed in the Hasidic court of Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapira (1871 – 1937), the Munkaczer Rebbe. In his lifetime, Shapira was the leader of radical ultra-Orthodoxy, and he completely rejected modernity, especially modern Jewish politics. Therefore, the Rebbe was one of the greatest opponents to Zionism within Orthodox circles. He also opposed the modernization of Jewish education. The messianic tension that started in the period following the First World War and remained for the rest of his life, included eschatological calculations; sermons of a supernatural nature intended to expedite the End of Days; a visit to the Land of Israel during which Shapira hoped to crown the King Messiah (and which ended in failure and disgrace); and a fierce and public dispute with the Gerrer Rebbe, Avraham Mordechai Alter, which I believe can also be attributed to tension regarding the identification of the messiah. Analyzing messianic tension in the Munkacz Hasidic court can shade light into a wider phenomenon of messianic expectations in Jewish Orthodoxy prior to the Second World War.

Disciplines
Publication Date
Fall 2013
Citation Information
Motti Inbari. "Messianic Activism in the Works of Chaim Elazar Shapira, the Munkacz Rebbe, between Two World Wars" Cathedra Vol. 149 (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/motti_inbari/26/