Originally published in The Journal of Religion, 87:1 (2007), pp. 138-40. JACOBS, Louis. Their Heads in Heaven: Unfamiliar Aspects of Hasidism. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2005. x + 190 pp. $28.95 (paper). This volume is one of several recent ventures to collect and re-present the lifetime achievements of Louis Jacobs. This collection draws together published and unpublished essays, encyclopedia entries, and lectures on aspects of ... Continue Reading ➨
Sheds light on obscure corners of the Hasidic movement and the lives of the Rebbes. After a brief account of the history and rise of Hasidism in the eighteenth century to its restoration in the New World after the Holocaust, novel developments, some of them startling, are examined. The book surveys the whole question of the relationship of the Rebbe to his disciples, showing that it was not always beneficial. As a fascinating essay in the book demonstrates, the holy man could be a source of numinous power, bringing danger as well as goodwill.