By Moshe Idel

During this dialogue of Kabbalah - from the magical developments of medieval Judaism to fashionable Hasidism - Moshe Idel considers diversified visions of the character of the sacred textual content and of the easy methods to interpret it. he's taking as a place to begin the truth that the post-biblical Jewish international misplaced its geographical centre with the destruction of the temple and so was once left with a textual centre, the Holy booklet. Idel argues text-oriented faith produced language-centred types of mysticism. by contrast heritage, the writer demonstrates how quite a few Jewish mystics amplified the content material of the Scriptures on the way to comprise every thing: the realm, or God, for instance. hence the textual content turns into an important realm for contemplation, and the translation of the textual content often turns into an come across with the inner most geographical regions of truth. Idel delineates the actual hermeneutics belonging to Jewish mysticism, investigates the revolutionary filling of the textual content with secrets and techniques and hidden degrees of that means, and considers intimately a number of the interpretive concepts had to decodify the arcane dimensions of the textual content.

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Needless to say, the present study hardly strives to address the immense area of Jewish hermeneutics even in general terms. ∏∂ ∞ 25 ∞ 1 THE WORLD-ABSORBING TEXT The entire Torah is not [embodied] in the world But the entire world is Torah. —R. Moses Cordovero, Shi¢ur Qomah I. Cultural Choices Although most of the following discussion will rotate around the Hebrew Bible, its various perceptions and multiple modes of interpretations, it is hard to delineate a systematic textology, namely a unified approach to the status and nature of the biblical text, or of the ways of its interpretation in the biblical literature.

From this point of view, one of the slogans of later Kabbalah shared by Hasidic writers and some of the so-called Mitnaggedim, which contends that God, the Torah, and Israel are one unit, reflects the integrative approach dominant in the relationship between author, text, and interpreter. ∂Ω Though I adopt a historical approach to the various processes to be described below, the main purpose of this book is to point out the Jewish mystics’ various attempts to locate a sense of value they imagined to be inherent in the sacred scriptures, as well as their interpretive e√orts to elicit those various ‘‘values’’ from the sacred texts.

Thus, the accent in some of the following discussions falls on what the Jewish mystics did rather than what they believed. To a certain extent, to follow Aby Warburg’s remark, ‘‘God dwells in the details,’’ but those details belong to human exegetical activity. The ‘‘upward’’ move that I propose as a methodological approach, starting with the more concrete concepts of the nature of the texts and exegetical techniques, not only strives for a less theologically oriented discourse but is based on concrete practices and their impact on lived experience and is informed by a more kataphatic attitude than that prevalent in modern scholarship concerning Kabbalistic hermeneutics.

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