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from the August 2004 issue: Chapters And Verse: Religious Literature, Part II

Seclusion (from the poem “Kotzk”)

When the decadent genius of Chasidus
Comprehended what the secret of the Jew is,
He lived by himself for many years.


The Jew is loneliness. His sole belovèd is
The world's alone one, the Creator. Who
Can comprehend their twin aloneness?


Chasidus: Chasidism.
The Kotzker Rebbe, Menachem Mendel of Kotzk (1787-1859), secluded himself in his chambers for twenty years, refusing all contact. The Kotzker (as he was known) was famous for his strict judgment and as a denouncer of hypocrisy and falsehood.

August 2004
Chapters And Verse: Religious Literature, Part II
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