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Sabbath in the Classical Kabbalah, The

Elliot K. Ginsburg

Publication Year: 1989

This book is a critical study of the mystical celebration of Sabbath in the classical period of Kabbalah, from the late twelfth to the early sixteenth centuries. The Kabbalists’ re-reading of the earlier Jewish tradition has been called a model of “mythopoeic revision,” a revision rooted in a world-view that stressed the interrelation of all worlds and levels of being. This is the first work, in any language, to systematically collect and analyze all the major innovations in praxis and theology that classical Kabbalah effected upon the development of the Rabbinic Sabbath, one of the most central areas of Jewish religious practice.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Front matter

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Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xi

The nature of ritual and mythological symbols has been a major topic of discussion in the fields of religion, folklore, and anthropology in recent years. Within the study of Judaism new attention has been drawn to the tradition of the Kabbalists, the Jewish mystics of the ...

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Acknowledgements

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pp. xiii-xiv

It is a pleasure to be able to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to the many people who have contributed to this work, who have challenged and encouraged me, and brought me to this season. An earlier version of the present study, here substantially ...

Illustrations

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pp. xv-

Abbreviations

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pp. xvii-xviii

Note on Transliteration and Orthography

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pp. xix-xx

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INTRODUCTION: Classical Kabbalah, Its History and Symbolic Universe

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pp. 1-58

In recent years our view of Judaism has been significantly transformed, in no small measure due to the rediscovery and reappraisal of the Kabbalistic tradition. The great historians of Judaism who wrote in the second half of the nineteenth century tended to ...

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CHAPTER ONE. The Symbolism of the Kabbalistic Sabbath: Motif Studies

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pp. 59-185

Over a period of several centuries, the classical Kabbalists developed a rich body of myth and ritual which articulated a new vision of the Sabbath. Several outstanding examples of this are the re-imaging of the Sabbath as a mystical marriage ceremony, a day ...

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CHAPTER TWO. Aspects of Meaning in Kabbalistic Ritual: With Special Reference to the Case of Shabbat

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pp. 186-216

In recent years anthropologists and historians of religion alike have devoted much energy to the study of ritual: its symbolic structure, societal function, and the reasons for its powerful ability to mobilize desire and create belief. For it is through such concrete acts ...

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CHAPTER THREE. Rituals of Preparation

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pp. 217-255

In recent years anthropologists and historians of religion alike have devoted much energy to the study of ritual: its symbolic structure, societal function, and the reasons for its powerful ability to mobilize desire and create belief. For it is through such concrete acts ...

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CHAPTER FOUR. Rituals of Separation: The Drama of Sabbath's Departure in Zoharic Kabbalah

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pp. 256-284

The Kabbalist seeks to prolong the Sabbath-cosmos both before and aft, welcoming the Sabbath-Bride while it is still Friday (from the vantage point of "profane-solar-time") and not letting Her go until well into Saturday night. Following the Rabbinic tradition "of ...

Appendix I

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pp. 285-288

Appendix II

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pp. 289-296

Bibliography

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pp. 297-318

Index

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pp. 319-341


E-ISBN-13: 9781438404110
E-ISBN-10: 1438404115
Print-ISBN-13: 9780887067785
Print-ISBN-10: 0887067786

Page Count: 341
Publication Year: 1989

Series Title: SUNY series in Judaica: Hermeneutics, Mysticism, and Religion
Series Editor Byline: Michael Fishbane