With over ninety synagogues and several yeshivas, Minsk was a center for the misnagdim
, rabbis who opposed the mysticism of the Hasidic movement and favored a more established, rabbinical approach to Torah study and rationalist interpretations of Jewish teachings.
Religious and irreligious, Chasidim and Misnagdim
, rabbis and laymen, rich and poor ...
"Tell them about the lonely years we spent for our ideals in Siberia or in the prisons of Poland, tell them about our revolt against a reactionary world with no more than a few torn pamphlets, talk to them about our revolt against the might of the Czar and against our very own parents, and they will nod politely and tell you that they know all about it; we are 'radicals of the East European shtetl.' A specific type indexed along with other types such as the Hasidim and the Misnagdim
. The revolutionaries of other peoples have been accorded places of honor in the histories of their nations.
It seems likely, however, that at least some of the tunes were already common repertoire to both Hasidim, misnagdim
(the orthodox groups who opposed Hasidism), and other Jews in Eastern Europe.
"Haredi" is an umbrella term that includes two groups: Hasidim and misnagdim
. "Haredi" is often called "ultra-Orthodox" in English, but this term is considered derogatory.