Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism (Robert & Arlene Kogod by Moshe Idel

By Moshe Idel

Moshe Idel more and more is noticeable as having accomplished the eminence of Gershom Scholem within the research of Jewish mysticism. Ben, his e-book at the notion of sonship in Kabbalah, is a rare paintings of scholarship and imaginitive surmise. If an highbrow Judaism is to outlive, then Idel turns into crucial studying, no matter what your personal non secular allegiances.—Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities, Yale collage whereas many facets of sonship were analyzed in books on Judaism, this ebook, Moshe Idel's magnum opus, constitutes the 1st try and handle the class of sonship in Jewish mystical literature as an entire. Idel's goal is to show the various circumstances the place Jewish thinkers resorted to thoughts of sonship and their conceptual backgrounds, and hence to teach the lifestyles of a wide selection of understandings of hypostatic sons in Judaism. via this survey, not just can the paranormal sorts of sonship in Judaism be higher understood, however the proposal of sonship in faith in most cases can be enriched.

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184 In the following analyses I prefer therefore to resort to the term 'embodiment' as the result of the divine dwelling within human beings, rather than to the more specific and theologically loaded term 'incarnation', with the exception of one instance related to Sabbatai Tzevi. 185 Since the term incarnation is not only terminologically problematic in the Jewish contexts to be discussed below, in which the term 'flesh' is premeditatedly avoided (and the constellation of ideas which incarnation is so intimately related to, including major stages like the immaculate conception, virgin birth, uniqueness of the event, vicarious suffering and atonement), I consider its use in the following discussions as irrelevant, especially because in the instances to be discussed below, neither the precise conceptual nor the terminological aspects covered in the sense that incarnation is used are present.

E medieval constructs of sonship in the speculative branches ofJudaism, more indebted to Neo-Aristotelianism, as we are going to see in more detail in Chapter 3. From this point of view, the earliest Christian syntheses differ substantiaIIy from most of the Patristic interpretations influenced by a variety of Platonisms as well as from medieval Jewish syntheses, though, as we shall see in Chapter I, R. Banina was often compared to the other famous Galilean figure, Jesus. We shall attempt to show, especially in two sections of Chapter 4, the similar reception of this figure within the complex metaphysical structures of Hellenistic extraction that emerged in medieval Judaism.

The pietistic groups that were active in the medieval Rhinelands, widely referred to as Basidei Ashkenaz, offered a wider variety of different syntheses than those forged by their Spanish contemporaries living in Islamicate environments. Their syntheses between preceding angelologies and theories related to the manifestation of the divine as glory or Kavod, sometimes articulating complex doxologies and doxophanies. 155 Yet their intricate theologies integrate linguistic speculations, especially extensive speculations about divine names, in a more significant manner than prior theories.

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