Thursday, February 05, 2015

Are these Neo-Hasidism or Christians?

Are these Neo-Hasidism or Christians? The gesticulations, huddles and hand motions all look very familiar, don't they? They're even separated by gender! The only discordant note is the music.

So what does all this mean? Well, for starters every religion has its hyper-emotional adherents, and often they break off into their own sects. What might be called "Kalte Christians" prefer chants, and ceremony and the pomp of a high Catholic or Anglican service, while their version of Neo-Hasidism affiliate pentecostal and enjoy services such as the one depicted above.

But is one style of worship better or worse than the other? Of course not. While Pentecostals and Neo-Hasidim are fond of imagining that their perspective is the only legitimate one, the reality is that different types of people can find the exact same sort of meaning and significance in very different events.

You might feel affirmed, exalted, uplifted and overwhelmed following a Carlebach drum circle, while someone else finds the same Nirvana sitting in a beautiful room, listening to a well-trained chazan perform ancient melodies in the traditional style.

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