Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls


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SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Mystics, mavericks, and merrymakers : an intimate journey among Hasidic girls. Physical description xiv, p.

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Online Available online. Full view. Green Library. L49 Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview.

A Gathering of Priestesses #37 with Nicki Scully

Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Contents Introduction : what I sought, what I found The community : a cultural and psychological tour The cast Esther Estie Gutman : wild times and holy designs Rochel Lehrer : evolving, not rebelling Nechama Dina Dini Rockoff : chutzpah and holiness Chaya Jacobson : strip clubs and soul-searching Gittel Kassin : medicine and marriage Malka Malkie Belfer : miniskirts and the messiah Leah Ratner : mystic and maverick Into the future : adulthood and insights from the Hasidim. Summary From the ardently religious young woman who longs for the life of a male scholar to the young rebel who visits a strip club, smokes pot, and agonizes over her loss of faith to the proud Lubavitcher with a desire for a high-powered career, Stephanie Wellen Levine provides a rare glimpse into the inner worlds and daily lives of these Hasidic girls.

Lubavitcher Hasidim are famous for their efforts to inspire secular Jews to become more observant and for their messianic fervor. Strict followers of Orthodox Judaism, they maintain sharp gender-role distinctions.

Adult Nonfiction

Levine spent a year living in the Lubavitch community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, participating in the rhythms of Hasidic girlhood. Drawing on many intimate hours among Hasidim and over 30 in-depth interviews, "Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers" offers portraits of individual Hasidic young women and how they deal with the conflicts between the regimented society in which they live and the pull of mainstream American life.

Perhaps counterintuitively for those who envision meek, religious girls confined within very structured roles, Levine finds that on the whole, these young Hasidic women seem more confident and have a greater sense of self than many of their mainstream peers.


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Levine explores why this might be the case, and what we can learn from their example for girls' positive development more generally. Her parents reasoned that though we were using electricity, at least we were in the house on Shabbat. Her hope was to glean an understanding of the voices and experiences of young women raised in modern times in what some argue is an unabashedly patriarchal culture.


  1. About This Item.
  2. Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls — NYU Scholars?
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  6. What I found was something quite different: women who struggled with rebellion, and took it quite seriously. Women who understood what it meant to step outside of the clearly drawn lines, and occasionally risked it anyway. I also encountered women so fully supported by their community that their sense of self was strong, their resolve unshakable.

    By ERICA BROWN

    This conflict is the centerpiece of my project; every one of the girls I profile offers a variation on the theme of selfhood in the context of tight conformity. She and Levine visit a strip club where a friend — yes, raised Lubavitch — works as a waitress and spends the night trying to delve into the souls of the strippers. Gittel, brilliant and headed for medical school, chose her husband with romance in mind. Her mother is a career woman.

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    Malka is neither too rebellious nor too sacrosanct, but somewhere in the middle. And yet the miniskirts she wears rest right on the border of scandalous, among observant sectors. Rochel belongs to an underground group of Lubavitchers who get together to read secular poetry, smoke cigarettes and pot, go to lesbian bars and also kiss their boyfriends. The two who established this group of truth-seekers were forced to leave their families, and opened their home to friends and others.

    It would be easy for Levine to exploit the women, to dive into the controversy, the certain scandalousness of their lives within Chassidic confines.

    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
    Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls

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