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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Defender of the Faithful

The Life and Thought of Rabbi Levi Yitshak of Berdychiv

The first scholarly biography of Levi Yitshak of Berdychiv in English in over thirty-five years.
Defender of the Faithful explores the life and thought of Levi Yitshak of Berdychiv (1740–1809), one of the most fascinating and colorful Hasidic leaders of his time. This is an intellectual and religious biography, a reading of the development of his thought and career. Featuring examples of Levi Yitshak’s extraordinary texts alongside insightful analysis by scholar and theologian Arthur Green, Defender of the Faithful is a compelling study of both Levi Yitshak’s theology and broader philosophy.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

Part I: Levi Yits?ak as Hasidic Leader
1. The Life and Times of an Eighteenth-Century Rabbi
2. Levi Yits?ak in the Maggid’s Circle: The Challenge of Leadership
3. First Steps: The Evidence of Shemu‘ah Tovah
4. The Hasidic Tsaddik and the Quest for Models
5. The Mezritch Circle: A Later Look

Part II: Mystic Disciple and Teacher
6. Translating the Transcendent
7. The Mystic and the Religious Revival
8. The Question of Miracles
9. An Emerging Religious Personality
10. Power and Pleasure in Serving God
11. Defending the Commandments
12. Interpreting Torah
13. Looking into the Future?

Abbreviations Used in Notes

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