Contemporary Jewry

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 155–157 | Cite as

Samuel C. Heilman: Who Will Lead Us?: The Story of Five Hasidic Dynasties in America

University of California Press, 2017, pp 336, Price: $29.95
  • David Ellenson

Who Will Lead Us?: The Story of Five Hasidic Dynasties in America constitutes a new and original contribution in the remarkable career of City University sociologist Samuel Heilman. After all, no scholar has done more to deepen our understanding of Orthodox Judaism and its part in the revival of religious traditionalism than Heilman. In grasping the significance of this book, it is instructive to remember that when Heilman began conducting his research in the 1970s, religious traditionalism in general, and Orthodox Judaism in particular, were believed to be in decline. The tale told by Max Weber was regnant among social scientists. Due to the influence and dominance of formal rationality in the West, life became demystified and progressively intellectualized. As Weber (2009, 139) wrote, this process meant “that there are no mysterious, incalculable forces that come into play, but rather, that one can, in principle, master all things by calculation. This means that the world is...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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