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Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah$
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Jonathan Garb

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226282077

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226282060.001.0001

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:Hasidic Trance

:Hasidic Trance

(p.99) Five:Hasidic Trance
Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah
University of Chicago Press

This chapter elaborates the altered forms of perception recorded in Hasidic accounts of trance. It argues that Louise Child's evaluation that “the tantric Buddhist engagement with dreams, visions and trance states is not a peripheral activity within the tradition, but one which illuminates a number of its core tensions and concerns” is equally valid for Hasidism. Disassociative experiences of loss of sense of self in prayer were perhaps the most central Hasidic practice. Transmission in trance is associated with the classical theme of divestment of corporeality and more generally to the transformation of physical being. The ongoing interest in trance states in the Haredi world indicates the growing dialogue between hypnotic and mystical practitioners, and the essential continuity between classical and contemporary concerns in Jewish mystical life in spite of the massive changes that have taken place in the Kabbalistic world during the last century.

Keywords:   trance, Hasidism, transmission, Haredi, Jewish mystical life, Kabbalistic, Hasidic accounts

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