Emanation et création: le motif du manteau de lumière revisité

in Journal for the Study of Judaism
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Abstract

In many texts, the rabbis of Antiquity interpreted Ps 104:2 (“He covereth Himself with light as with a garment”) with reference to the first light. Three great scholars were interested by these commentaries: V. Aptowitzer, A. Altmann and G. Scholem. Hovewer, none of them has taken into account all the texts concerned. A comparison of all existing versions makes possible a reevaluation of the already proposed models and shed new light on four essential topics: a double structure which explains the origin of light in two different ways (the garment explanation and the place of the Temple explanation), two groups of texts, one which deals with the apparition of light, the other with the creation of the world from light, the relation between emanation and creation and the esoteric/mystic dimension of the texts. The articulation between emanation and creation which characterizes explicitly the latest versions and maybe also the ancient ones, comes from Hellenistic Judaism. It anticipates the similar concerns of the medieval Jewish philosophers and mystics or may be contemporary with them.

Journal for the Study of Judaism

In the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period

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