Ido Harari1

Ido Harari

The ways in which orthodoxization processes of Jews with non-observant backgrounds in the German Kulturraum during the late 19th-early 20th centuries were conceptualized, enabled, and carried out, focusing on relevant aspects of the relations between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Arab/Muslim East

Ido Harari is a doctoral student in the department of Jewish Thought at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, under the joint supervision of Prof. Boaz Huss and Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin. His dissertation examines the ways in which orthodoxization processes of four Jewish men with non-observant backgrounds in the German Kulturraum (and in one case, in Holland) during the late 19th-early 20th centuries were conceptualized, enabled, and carried out, focusing on relevant aspects of the relations between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Arab/Muslim East. Three of these people became Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox): Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937), born in Vienna to immigrants from Polish Galicia; Jiří (Mordechai Gerogo) Langer (1894-1943), born in Prague to an assimilated family; and Jacob Israël de Haan (1881-1924), born in northern Holland to an observant family. The fourth became a Muslim: Muhammad Asad (1900-1992), born as Leopold Weiss in Galician Lvov and moving to Vienna in his late teens.

In the context of Da’at Hamakom Ido focuses on the different connections between place and identity, based on the fact that in all of these case studies the shift in religious identification was bound together with a geographic movement Eastward: De Haan and Asad moved to Palestine/Eretz Israel (for Asad this was only a first stage of journey throughout the Muslim East; De Haan was murdered in Jerusalem), while Birnbaum and Langer moved to Eastern Europe.

Ido Harari wrote his MA thesis at the department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University under the supervision of Prof. Benjamin Brown. His thesis was dedicated to the previous Rebbe of the Belz Hassidic court, R. Aharon Rokah zt”l, and focused on tracing the connections between suffering, asceticism, sacrifice, and the construction of charismatic Hassidic leadership. Moreover, Ido is interested in different aspects of Jewish religious and political thought in the contexts of Hasidut, the Lithuanian Mussar movement, radical Haredi thought, secularization and New Age.