Major Hasidic centers, 1740–1815. (Based on a map prepared for the exhibition "Time of the Hasidism." by Elżbieta Długosz, The Historical Museum of Kraków—Old Synagogue)

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To treat the historical rise, beliefs, and practices of the movement known as Hasidism, this entry includes five articles. The first is a historical overview that describes the development of the movement and its geographic expansion from the late eighteenth century to the present. The second article surveys Hasidic teachings and literature. It is followed by a description of the distinctive features of everyday life among Hasidim and successive articles on music and dance in Hasidism. For further and related discussion, see also entries on specific Hasidic dynasties and leaders; Misnagdim; Mysticism and Mystical Literature; and Piety.