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The Messianic Outlook of R. Yosef Zundel of Salant and its Historical Context / תפיסתו המשיחית של ר' יוסף זונדל מסלנט על רקע אירועי זמנו

אריה מורגנשטרן and Arie Morgenstern
Daat: A Journal of Jewish Philosophy & Kabbalah / דעת: כתב-עת לפילוסופיה יהודית וקבלה
No. 79/80, Lithuanian Kabbalah From the Vilna Gaon To Rabbi Kook / קבלת ליטא מהגר"א עד הרב קוק‎ (תשע"ה / 2015), pp. 153-161
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24718056
Page Count: 9
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The Messianic Outlook of R. Yosef Zundel of Salant and its Historical Context / תפיסתו המשיחית של ר' יוסף זונדל מסלנט על רקע אירועי זמנו
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Abstract

R. Yosef Zundel of Salant (1786-1863), the spiritual founder of the Musar Movement, is known to have been influenced by the halakhic and kabbalistic writings of the Vilna Gaon. He shared his world view, his deep commitment to ethical conduct and his belief in Building the Land of Israel and Jerusalem as a way to hasten the redemption. R. Zundel came to Israel in 1839 to lead the Perushim community in Jerusalem after two historic events were seen as proof of the success of the 'aliyah of the Gaon's students. The first event was receiving the permit to build the Hurva synagogue and courtyard in 1836 which they saw as the first sign of redemption. The second event was the tragic earthquake in the Galil in 1837 which claimed the lives of over 2000 Jews. These too was seen in a messianic context fulfilling the words of the mishna that the 'galil will be distroyed'. According to the documents we have R. Zundel saw every public event, whether positive or negative, as a step in the way of redemption. Even the plague of Cholera which afflicted Jerusalem in 1865 and claimed his own life, was said to be explained by him, though the medium of a dream to one of the kabbalists of Jerusalem, as a step on the road to redemption.

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