Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 311 items for :

  • Philosophy of Religion x
  • Jewish Studies x
Clear All
Author: Ansgar Martins
Ansgar Martins’s The Migration of Metaphysics into the Realm of the Profane is the first book-length study focusing on Adorno’s idiosyncratic appropriation of Jewish mysticism in the light of his relationship to Gershom Scholem and their shared intellectual contexts.

Rather than merely posit vague associative connections, as previous authors have often done, Martins’s close reading of specific references in published and private texts alike allows him to highlight both commonalities and differences between Adorno’s and Scholem’s understanding of Kabbalistic tropes and the issue of metaphysics in the modern world, and to demonstrate the extent to which similarities resulted from mutual and/or third-party influences (especially Benjamin). Martins throws the specifics of their respective idiosyncratic appropriations of (Jewish) tradition into sharp relief.
Author: Aviram Ravitsky

Abstract

This study analyzes the attitude toward the conflict between halakhah and science in the thought of two halakhic authorities of fifteenth-century Spain who developed the ideas of their master, R. Nissim of Gerona, in different directions. R. Isaac bar Sheshet Perfet (Rivash) privileged halakhah over science for epistemological reasons because of its basis in revelation and tradition, but it appears that R. Ḥasdai Crescas stressed faith in the halakhic authority of the sages, even in cases of an erroneous ruling, as a way to increase the believing Jew’s motivation to serve God.

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Author: Elad Lapidot

Abstract

This essay examines the relation between Heidegger’s thoughts on technology and his anti-Jewish passages in the Black Notebooks. Going beyond the debate on anti-Semitism, the essay proposes a reading of these passages in their immediate context, which is Heidegger’s earlier critique of modern technology. To frame and further contextualize this reading, the first part of the essay introduces the broader horizon of Heidegger’s work on technology, tracing its internal development from the mid-1930s to his final words.

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Author: Nathan Wolski

Abstract

This article presents an analysis of Aaron Zeitlin’s Metatron: Apokaliptishe poeme, published in Warsaw in 1922. Written at the height of the Yiddish avant-garde, the book-length poem represents the highpoint of Zeitlin’s “neo-kabbalistic” phase. Focusing on the mythopoesis and mystical messianism in the composition, I situate Zeitlin’s thought in the context of Uri Tsvi Greenberg’s Mefisto as well as Hillel Zeitlin’s messianism and ruminations on duality and evil. Paul Tillich’s writings about the divine-demonic provide another lens. Uncovering Zeitlin’s kabbalistic sources reveals the depth of his mythopoetic imagination, which I locate amidst divergent attitudes to myth in Yiddish literature in the early 1920s.

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Author: Tzahi Weiss

Abstract

The Babylonian Talmud contains a tale about the creation of an artificial calf by two sages who dealt with hilkhot yetzirah, or laws of formation (b. Sanhedrin 65b). Already in the eleventh century CE the phrase “Laws of Formation” was being used to refer to the short, enigmatic, and influential treatise Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation), which depicts the creation of the world by means of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The connection between hilkhot yetzirah and Sefer Yetzirah is of great consequence in determining the period in which the latter was edited, as well as its reception history.

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Author: Rachel Adelman

Abstract

This paper compares the Babylonian and Palestinian talmudic traditions on the fate of the ark of the covenant—either lost before or during the Babylonian conquest, or buried in the Temple precincts (b. Yom’a 53b–54a; y. Sheqalim 6:1–2, 49c). In the Babylonian Talmud, the ark and the cherubim are described in highly erotic, feminized terms, blurring traditional gender categories of Israel and God. The feminization of the ark serves as a “survival strategy” to counter the defiling gaze of the gentile conqueror, but also preserves the sacred center as a locus of longing for Jews in diaspora.

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Author: Jonatan Meir

Abstract

One of the distinctive literary genres of Bratslav Hasidism is the shir yedidot (Song of Endearment), a mystical poem concerning the stature of the soul of R. Naḥman of Bratslav. These poems, still sung by Hasidim today, contain esoteric traditions that reveal the multiple voices within Bratslav Hasidism. This article traces the development of this form from the beginning of the nineteenth century until the present, and argues that changes in emphasis within these songs reflect shifts in Bratslav theology over the years. The study thus presents a more complex historical picture of Bratslav Hasidism, which has usually been seen as one monolithic unit.

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy

Abstract

This essay interrogates the legal discourse of Shulḥan ha-Tahor, a curious—and curiously understudied—work of Hasidic halakhah written by Rabbi Yitzḥak Ayzik Yehudah Yehiel Safrin of Komarno. The book is, at heart, a systematic reformulation of Jewish law in light of Kabbalah, Hasidism, and the quest for personal mystical experience. Shulḥan ha-Tahor offers a rare case study for the interface of mystical experience, Hasidic devotional values, and kabbalistic doctrine as they explicitly shape the codified forms—and norms—of halakhah. The essay reveals a different side of Jewish modernity through a close reading of an exceptional nineteenth-century legal code.

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Theology of Finitude
In The Veiled God, Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft offers a detailed portrait of Friedrich Schleiermacher’s early life, ethics, and theology in its historical and social context. She also critically reflects on the enduring relevance of his work for the study of religion.
The book analyses major texts from Schleiermacher’s early work. It argues that his experiments with literary form convey his understanding that human knowledge is inherently social, and that religion is thoroughly linguistic and historical. The book contends that by making finitude (and not freedom) a universal aspect to human life, Schleiermacher offers rich conceptual resources for considering what it means to be human in this world, both in relations of difference to others, and in relation to the infinite.

Abstract

Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption culminates in an aesthetic configuration of simultaneous presences: world, man, God, creation, revelation, and redemption are viewed in a metahistorical side-by-side, connected by the “factualizing power of the And.” But the idea of simultaneity, which is central to Rosenzweig’s configurative thinking, belongs to the historical imagination as much as it belongs to the theological “breaking through the shackles of time.” Rosenzweig’s “and” belongs to both a tradition of cosmic-aesthetic historicism (Meinecke) and the philosophical reconstitution of time as a simultaneous perception. In the co-presence of all historical moments, history’s hidden Gestalt, which only a people that is at once old and young can envision, connects the “and” of history with what Hegel considered history’s end—its ultimate self-recognition. Eternity, then, means neither flight from, nor resistance to, history’s naked fact, but the recognition of history’s Gestalt as an image that “does not tolerate epochs.”

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy