1st Edition

Jewish Hungarian Orthodoxy Piety and Zealotry

By Menachem Keren-Kratz Copyright 2024

    Beginning with the informal establishment of Jewish Orthodoxy by a Hungarian rabbi in the early nineteenth century, this book traces the history and legacy of Jewish Hungarian Orthodoxy over the course of the last 200 years.

    To date, no single book has provided a comprehensive overview of the history of Hungarian Orthodoxy, a singularly zealous, fundamental, and separatist faction within Jewish circles. This book describes and explains the impact of this strand of Jewish Orthodoxy – developed in Hungary in the second half of the nineteenth century – across the Jewish world. The author traces the development of Hungarian Orthodoxy in the “new” Jewish territories created in the wake of Hungary’s dismantlement following its defeat in World War I. The book also focuses on Hungarian Orthodoxy in the two spheres where it continued to develop after the Holocaust, namely Israel and the United States. The book concludes with a review of Hungarian Orthodoxy’s legacy in contemporary communities worldwide, most of which are known for their radical anti-Zionist and anti-modernistic strands.

    The book will prove vital reading for students and academics interested in religious fundamentalism, Hungarian history, and Jewish studies generally.

    Introduction  Part I: Up Until World War I  1. Politics, Migration Patterns, and the Formation of Hungarian Jewry  2. Extreme Orthodoxy: Hungary’s Singular Religious Strain  3. Jewish Orthodoxy in Hungary Before World War I  4. Hungarian Orthodoxy and Agudat Israel  Part II: The Interwar Period  5. Orthodoxy in Interwar Hungary  6. Hungarian Orthodoxy in Transylvania, Romania  7. Hungarian Orthodoxy in Czechoslovakia  8. Hungarian Orthodoxy in Austria, Yugoslavia and Italy  Part III: Hungarian Orthodoxy Outside of Europe  9. The Establishment of Hungarian Orthodoxy in America  10. The Establishment of Hungarian Orthodoxy in Eretz Israel  11. Hungarian Orthodoxy in Contemporary Haredi Society  Conclusion


    Menachem Keren-Kratz is an independent scholar from Israel. He specializes in the history of Jewish Orthodoxy, Haredi society, and Yiddish culture and has published widely on these topics, including around 80 articles. This is his fourth book.