Can the World Be Redeemed? Geʾulah versus Pidyon: Toward a Mundane, Non-Eschatological Approach to Redemption

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
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  • 1 Tel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
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In this essay, I juxtapose two conceptions of redemption, as expressed by the Hebrew terms geʾulah and pidyon. I contend that today, the non-eschatological conception of redemption that animates the term pidyon is more politically salient than traditional cautions against geʾulah-inspired apocalypticism. Indeed, restoring the more mundane understanding of redemption suggested by pidyon – as release from inherited narratives and obligations – may help us break the stalemate that has descended upon Israeli politics.

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