Religion: Exodus from Brooklyn

"It is said of a certain Talmudic master that the paths of heaven were as bright to him as the streets of his native town," wrote Martin Buber in The Way of Man. "Hasidism inverts the order: It is the greater thing if the streets of a man's native town are as bright to him as the paths of heaven." For nearly 40 years, the majority of Hasidic Jews in the U.S. have sought to make paths of heaven out of the streets of a grimy corner of New York City: the Williamsburg section of...

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