Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Jewish Community, Religious Observance and Practice, Post-1989, Post-War Jewish History
Abstract: Through conflicts of opinions inside the Bratislava Jewish religious community, the author monitors changed relations toward Judaism after the Holocaust. The current form of the community was due to Regulation 231-1945 concerning “the arrangement of the conditions of the Jewish faith members in Slovakia”. This resulted in religious, economic, and organizational centralization. After the 1968 occupation, those who stayed behind in Bratislava concluded that due to the emigration of the young and middle generations, the community lost its future and under the newly established conditions it was losing its past too. The Velvet revolution helped to overcome passivity existing until then. An informal gathering called Jewish forum helped to build and revive the Jewish identity. The status of the present-day Judaism can be illustrated by the fact that 36.6 percent of funerals in the course of 2001–2013 were done by cremation prohibited in Orthodox Judaism. It has been a manifestation of solidarity with the “burials” of those killed in concentration camps; but it is also a kind of revolt against God who did not prevent the Shoa. Today both individuals and families create their own model based on the traditions that they choose for themselves. Practicing such customs does not follow from Judaism, but it is an expression of one’s affiliation with the community and its traditions.
Abstract: To be a Jew in communist Hungary between 1948-1989 was to be a person carrying a stigma. Jewish identity was suppressed in public and in many cases in private. Since the demise of the communist regime Hungarian Jews have begun to proclaim their identity publicly. In short Jews are “coming out”. In this paper I describe the ways in which Jewish identity is expressed and I analyse the factors, both internal and external that have facilitated such expression.
Pilgrimages in Jewish Folk Religion in Hungary - from the Chassidic Courts to the Virtual Communities
Topics: Hassidim, Haredi / Strictly Orthodox Jews, Pilgrimage, Memorial, Folklore, Tourism, Virtual Community, Main Topic: Culture and Heritage
Abstract: The Jewish pilgrimages in Hungary belong in the context of expansion of the 18th century Chassidic movement of the Ashkenazic Jews of Poland. The differing forms are connected to the charismatic figures of the communities, to the so-called righteous men. Pilgrims visited them at the time of individual crises or at major feasts. The news of their travels attracted thousands of pilgrims. This pilgrimage could be repeated for their funeral and on the anniversaries of their death. Places of pilgrimage with very large areas of attraction arose. Societies and Talmudic schools were often associated with these persons, which became the germs for the organisation of virtual communities forming again after the Holocaust. Today these graves are important mnemotechnical places for the Chassidic virtual communities, and the pilgrimages are mnemotechnical occasions and compensatory rites. They can provide new knowledge for history of mentality studies of the religious practice of rural Jewry, and for research on sacral communication, the organisation of virtual communities and on pilgrimages.