Download Concealment and Revelation: Esotericism in Jewish Thought by Moshe Halbertal PDF

By Moshe Halbertal

During the 12th and 13th centuries, nice new tendencies of Jewish notion emerged whose commonly diversified representatives--Kabbalists, philosophers, and astrologers--each claimed that their specific figuring out published the particular mystery of the Torah. They provided their very own readings in a coded type that has turn out to be appeared via many because the very essence of esotericism. Concealment and Revelation takes us on a desirable trip to the depths of the esoteric mind's eye. rigorously tracing the increase of esotericism and its functionality in medieval Jewish inspiration, Moshe Halbertal's richly exact ancient and cultural research progressively builds conceptual-philosophical strength to culminate in a masterful phenomenological taxonomy of esotericism and its paradoxes.

one of the questions addressed: What are the interior justifications that esoteric traditions supply for his or her personal lifestyles, particularly within the Jewish international, during which the unfold of data was once of serious significance? How do esoteric teachings coexist with the published culture, and what's the connection among some of the esoteric teachings that compete with that exposed tradition?

Halbertal concludes that, in the course of the medium of the hid, Jewish thinkers built-in into the center of the Jewish culture assorted cultural impacts similar to Aristotelianism, Neoplatonism, and Hermeticisims. And the production of an extra hid layer, unregulated and open-ended, grew to become the resource of the main bold and radical interpretations of the tradition.

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Extra info for Concealment and Revelation: Esotericism in Jewish Thought and its Philosophical Implications

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Both concepts of esotericism may be found in the variant manuscripts of a single talmudic text describing the attempt of the angels to harm Rabbi Akiba: “And Rabbi Akiba too the ministering angels sought to thrust away. The Holy one, blessed be He, said to them: ‘Let this elder be, for he is worthy to make use of (l’hishtamesh) my glory’” (Hagiga 15b). The verb 32 • Chapter Four l’hishtamesh in this context has a clear magical significance. Thus the restrictions determine who is worthy of magical power.

10 This esoteric Mishna is not destined for those individuals who understand of their own knowledge. The opposite is the case—it is the constant repetition of this Mishna which transforms the reader into an exceptional individual. CHAPTER 4 Concealment and Power: Magic and Esotericism in the Hekhalot Literature In the hekhalot literature, as we mentioned earlier, there is one focus that deals not with the image of God, but with His names; this theme has its own esoteric logic. The esotericist transmits the names designating the essence of God and His powers.

94). 8 Messianic revivals are often accompanied by the opening of the gates of secrecy. 9 In the Hekhalot literature, we thus find a link between the weakening of the limits of secrecy and the two opposing poles of historical consciousness—severe crisis and redemption. This relationship is a first expression of a commonly recurring theme in the history of esotericism, as we shall explain further below. CHAPTER 5 Esotericism and Commentary: Ibn Ezra and the Exegetical Layer The earliest source dealing with the attitude of rabbinic authorities to the Hekhalot literature is the discussion in the tenth century between Rav Shrira Gaon and his son Rav Hai Gaon and the community of Fez on the nature of the composition Shi’ur Komah.

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