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New Social Foundations for Education

Education in 'Post Secular' Society

Edited By Philip Wexler and Yotam Hotam

There has been growing scholarly attention to questions about the revival of religion and religiosity on global social, cultural and political fronts and the emergence of a ‘post-secular’ society. New Social Foundations for Education is dedicated to the drawing of the implications of the contemporary ‘post-secular’ social transformation for education. Though the question of the ‘post-secular’ stands at the focal point of a wide range of academic debates and discussions, within educational discourse it has not received close scholarly attention. This volume aims to correct this lack by presenting groundbreaking works of leading scholars from Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. Contributions discuss such topics as the mystical tradition and its social and pedagogic implications; transformative and ecological education; ‘new age’ spiritualism and its educational implications; and the relations between secular and religious education in different local contexts.
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9. Post-Secular Ethnography: Religious Experience and Political Individualism among Neo-Hasidic Religious Zionists in Israel and the West Bank


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9. Post-Secular Ethnography: Religious Experience and Political Individualism among Neo-Hasidic Religious Zionists in Israel and the West Bank


Introduction: The Prayer of the Scream

Rabbi Menachem Froman, the Chief Rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, sat in the front of his small prefabricated synagogue. It was a wintery Sunday night in 2012, and a sizable crowd had gathered for a weekly lesson in Jewish mysticism. The rabbi with his large white knitted kippa was wearing slippers and white socks and had one swollen leg propped up and resting on a plastic chair. His once full long white beard was now short and scraggly, his white side locks that once flowed down his shoulders had largely disappeared. He was pale and gaunt, his body wracked with the stomach cancer that would later take his life.1 Despite his terminal illness, he still had the ability to enthrall crowds with his short, pithy, and mysterious interpretations of the Zohar, a classic text of Jewish mysticism.

On this particular evening the Rabbi was commenting on the different kinds of prayer experiences that were common within Israeli religious Zionist educational institutions. Surrounded by two of his sons at his side, and musical accompaniment behind him, he leaned into the black microphone.

“There are three methods of prayer,” he said “the prayer of a Gushnik, the prayer of a Mercaznik, and the prayer of the ‘scream.’” [Tefillah...

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