Chasidim and Misnagnim

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    Sam l Am

    1. What taaina’s did the misnagdim have on the early Chasidim?

    2. What were the Chasidim’s response and point of view of why the Misnagdim were wrong?

    3. What happened to the Misnagdim? The Chasidim are here and flourishing — while no one calls themselves a Misnagid anymore (or almost no one anyways)?

    4. How did the Chasidim win the conflict with the Misnagdim (see point 3)?

    5. Why were the Chasidim called Chasidim? (I believe the Misnagdim gave them the name Chasidim.) Why did the Misnagdim have such a negative name?


    1. i can tell ur lubavitch

    2. do not call them misnagdim. call them litvish bec misnagdim is a negative and deragatory word(that i hate)

    3. the only reason why the chasidim(mainly lubavitch) call them misnagdim is bec when the Alter Rebbe was spreading Chassidus a Liitvisher guy reported to the police how this guy is spreading chassidus around the world thru Poland. so the Alter Rebbe went to jail at the age of 3 that is why Litvishers are called Misnagdim. Bec the Lubavitch were trying to spread Yiddishkeit and the Litvishers didnt like it. (When i see the Alter Rebbe I mean the First Lubavitcher Rebbe.)

    Are you Lubavitch? or what are you?


    First, there are no more “misnagdim” because we Litvish got used to the Chassidim when the Chassidim calmed down and started learning Gemara like everyone else. Nobody “won” anything.

    Second, We Litvish never called ourselves “misnagdim.” That was a label which Chassidim coined in order to differentiate themselves from us. Before two hundred years ago there were no Chassidim. “Litvish” was the mainstream. Chassidism was an innovation by the followers of the Baal Shem Tov, and was regarded with skepticism until it had proven itself kosher and not a cult like Shabtai Tzvi or Frankel’s followers.

    Some Chassidic outreach people in their zeal to be mekarev people like to set up an “us lovable Chassidim versus those straightlaced Misnagdim” dichotomy to show that they’re hip and not the old fogeys most non-frum assume Orthodox to be. As one person once tried to tell me: “We [X] Chassidim start with the laws of Simchas Torah and those ‘misnagdim’ start with the laws of Tisha B’Av” in an attempt to show how upbeat he was compared to me 🙂 This attitude is unfortunate, but then again many proper Litvish types I know were mekareved by these Chassidic outreach people, and then moved over to the mainstream when they knew more.

    So, there never was a “war” to be “won” in the sense you’re worried about. Eilu v’eilu divrei Elokim Chayim.


    There are no more misnagdim because the chassidim have stopped doing the things they were mostly criticized for. With the exception of Lubavitch, which is still criticized.


    What prompted the Baal Shem Tov to form Chassidus (from his perspective)? I understand it may have been due to the great general dislusionment stemming from the Shabsai Tzvi saga.


    For answers to some of your questions, read Allan Nadler’s The Faith of the Mithnagdim

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