The Emergence of Haredic Judaism and the Shaping
The article draws new theoretical lines to characterize the rise and significance of Haredi Judaism in Europe, exploring its connections to a range of bourgeois cultural and economic ascetic trends and civilizing processes. The economic and class ideology of Jewish authors from the mid-seventeenth century is illuminated by conflicting economic trends in medieval and early modern moral (Mussar) and conduct literature; in particular, the ascetic approach which emerged in Safed, emphasizing the importance of daily religious work that denied accumulation of wealth, and the opposing Central European ascetic approach that strove for rational economic conduct and asset accumulation. These approaches influence, in various ways, Jewish economic behavior in the modern age. Through the documentation of these channels, the article defines commonalities for the various ideological and social movements that emerged in European Jewry in the second half of the eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century. These phenomena are described as leaning on a common ascetic base, from which three successive stages split and have existed synchronously and reciprocally from the nineteenth century onwards: the Ascetic phase (Haredism), the Cosmopolitan phase (Haskalah) and the National phase. At the same time, sociological and historiographical features, such as secularization and orthodoxization (or "religionification"), are not seen as conflicting but as ancillary products of religious, cultural, and economic developments that are fundamentally one.