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Rescue the Surviving SoulsThe Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the Seventeenth Century$
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Adam Teller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161747

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161747.001.0001

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Facing the Refugee Experience

Facing the Refugee Experience

Chapter:
(p.51) Chapter Four Facing the Refugee Experience
Source:
Rescue the Surviving Souls
Author(s):

Adam Teller

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161747.003.0004

This chapter examines how the refugee experience had a huge significance in the lives of those who survived it and had to be dealt with in one way or another. In particular, it explores how the Polish–Lithuanian Jewry came to terms with the terrible events in Ukraine. Looking at all the attempts to make sense of the tragedy together, it seems clear that the religious thinkers did not develop any kind of unified conceptual framework to allow the survivors—and the rest of Polish Jewry—to work through their traumatic experiences. That would be done not in the spiritual realm but in the public sphere. From mid-March to mid-April of 1650, the Council of Four Lands, Polish Jewry's lay leadership, met in special session with leading rabbis to address some of the most important issues facing Polish Jews at that time. Foremost among them were questions of identification; another issued to be faced was that of conversion. The chapter then recounts how the memories of the Khmelnytsky uprising were preserved by the prayers composed for 20 Sivan.

Keywords:   refugee experience, Polish–Lithuanian Jewry, Ukraine, Polish Jewry, traumatic experiences, Council of Four Lands, identification, conversion, Khmelnytsky uprising, 20 Sivan

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