Srully Abe Stein

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Srully (Abe) Stein
Srully Stein
Born Yisroel Avrum Stein
(1991-10-01) October 1, 1991 (age 30)
Brooklyn, New York
Residence Upper West Side, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater Columbia University - Current
Occupation writer
Spouse(s) Fraida Horowitz, M. 2010, D. 2013
Children David Stein

Srully Abe Stein is a blogger.[1] He is currently a student at Columbia University[2] in New York City.

Early life and education

Yisroel Stein was raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, by a Hasidic rabbinical family. His father is the tenth generation of the founder of the Hasidic movement the Baal Shem Tov and his grand father Rabbi Mordechai Stein is the Rebbe of the Fultishan Hasidic sect. Srully went to the Yeshiva of the Viznitz Monsey community in Kiamesha Lake, New York, where he was a student in the rabbinical Semikhah program. Yet, at the same time he started to quietly challenge his upbringing.[3]

Early adult life

After his divorce he slowly "came out" as an Atheist, and as being Off the derech. Then he became famousTemplate:Peacock-inline through several news articles that written about him,[4][5]Template:Fv as well as making waves in the community,[6][7] where some praised him, while some attacked him. His family kept close ties with him, even now when he moved to Morningside Heights.

He started school at Columbia University's School of General Studies in fall of 2014,[8] studying Political Science and Philosophy.


His philosophy in all his articles are strongly focused around Hasidic thought.[9] Even when he totally rejected any kind of Jewish practice, he writes that "The real way of Chassidus, is seemingly the best way in Yiddishkeit."[10] Yet at the same time he rejects it as being false. He wrote two of his articles "My Ailing Soul"[11] and "Infinite and Finite"[12], doubting the basics of the Jewish Hasidic thought. "The subject of "feelings", emotions, excitement, etc. and God. In other words, to understand if feelings and becoming emotional or "feeling" that we're speaking to a Creator means that there really is a Creator, or it's just a natural feeling. In other words, understanding the difference between spirituality and God." he writes, and goes on to explain how all the Hasidic concepts of God and "The Tzadik are "no more than a feeling." and "Because (one) he believes, he perceives it as God."

In year 2013 he start moving closer to the Jewish Renewal movement, after being exposed to "Romemu"[13] - a Jewish Renewal congregation in Manhattan.[14] He started to study the teachings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, especially his book Jewish with Feeling: a guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice, that he is quoting a lot. When Reb Zalman passed away he wrote "In our generation, I don't know on how many people we can point and say: they implanted a movement that will bloom and grew, and keep up for many generations to come. Reb Zalman did. Jewish renewal is (that's how I feel it) doing to the Jewish world what Hassidus did 250 years ago. A long lasting spirit, to help every human being get to the greatest satisfaction and achievements in life."[15] Through that he developed a Neo-Hasidic approach to Judaism, to a point that he claims that the Hasidic movement is like a Modern enlightenment movement. Although it is commonly accepted that the Hasidic movement was just the opposite, strongly pious and religious, he writes as a note on Gershom Scholem's book Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941): "We own to credit the Baal Shem Tov and the Hasidic movement for the Jewish enlightenment and Haskalah that we have today. Like Sabbatai Zvi and Sabbatianism, it triggered the need of redefining and reinventing Judaism and religion. Hasidism took it even further by actually teaching us many of the basic ideas; how to stand up against the ‘accepted’ Jewish norms and traditions for what we feel Judaism is really all about. Once again, I am starting to feel kind of proud to be a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov - the founder of Hasidism."[16] At Romemu he became a student of Rabbi David Ingber[17].

Right now he mostly writes on his Facebook page,[18] where he has hundreds of followers.[19] His views are attracting a very interesting and odd crowed, of religious and secular people that follow his posts, and the comments on his writings often go into deep philosophical and theological arguments.


  2. "Yisroel Abe Stein Title: Student, SCHOOL OF GENERAL STUDIES" - Columbia University Directorey of Students
  3. Sent upstate as an older teen to yeshiva in remote upstate New York Kiamesha Lake, Stein began to read widely, teaching himself modern Hebrew in order to understand books bought at through Judaica store. His crisis of faith grew acute. “On my exams, I always did perfect. But there were days I wasn’t able to cope. Wasn’t able to pray,” he said. “I thought something was wrong with me.” - Debra Nussbaum Cohen, Nov. 29, 2013 Haaretz
  4. "Srully Stein, before and after" - Haaretz
  5. "Formerly Orthodox, and Struggling for Parental Rights" - Wall Street Journal
  6. See: Kava Shtiebel
  7. See: Freemogen forums, here, here, and here
  8. "Now, Mr. Stein, who plans to attend Columbia College in the fall, said his biggest challenge is navigating campus housing with a toddler."
  9. My Torah-based outlook on a "true" life, according to the ways of my holy ancestor Rebbe Yisroel, the Baal Shem Tov, and my ancestor Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the Arizal, and according to Chassidic and Kabbalistic teachings." -
  14. Srully Stein at Romemu, Yom Kippur 2014
  15. On his Facebook page, July 3, 2014 the day Reb Zalman passed away.
  16. On his Facebook page, November 8, 2014

External links