Cite: Sharabi ‘Teshuvah Baskets’ in the Israeli Teshuvah Market

Sharabi, Asaf. “‘Teshuvah Baskets’ in the Israeli Teshuvah Market.” Culture and Religion 13.3 (2012): 273-93.





As opposed to the approach that makes a dichotomous distinction between ‘rigid religiosity’ and ‘soft religiosity’, I would like to point to a reality in which these boundaries are blurred. I shall do so by examining the case of the religious revival movement in Israel (the ‘teshuvah movement’), which offers a broad range of teshuvah styles, out of which hozrim beteshuvah (penitents) select ‘teshuvah baskets’, which they fill and pack themselves, according to their own personal preferences. These ‘teshuvah baskets’ are dynamic, in that their owners can fill, empty and modify their contents, while they conduct an ongoing critical ‘market survey’. This dynamism creates a reality, accompanied by a discourse, which continuously blurs the symbolic boundaries separating the various types of religious ‘supply’ sources. It demonstrates how practices and beliefs related to ‘soft religiosity’ are expressed also by those participating in what is generally referred to as ‘rigid religiosity’.

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