Abstract

The present study maps the main forms of messianic views, what I call the constellation of the messianic ideas, found in early Kabbalah, their sources in philosophy and astrology, and their impact on Safedian Kabbalah and on early Hasidism in Eastern Europe. The leading hypothesis is that already in Kabbalah, under the impact of philosophical sources, it is possible to discern conspicuous instances of individual redemption, as well as more complex concatenations of diverging forms of redemption, that parallel in part the early Hasidic understandings of these topics. Of special importance is the claim that early Hasidism combined individual redemption with other forms of redemptions, including the national one that is conceived of as the peak of a broader process that started with the achievement of individual perfection. Likewise, the dominant vision articulated by Gershom Scholem, that the Lurianic Tikkun as part of redemption was related to a national aim and was then rejected by 18th century Hasidism, is questioned on both the ground that this ideal was sometimes related to individual perfection already in Lurianic Kabbalah on the one hand, and with national redemption in early Hasidism, on the other hand. Subsequently, a much more continuous and integrative picture of the development of Jewish mysticism insofar as these topics, is suggested.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-0604
Print ISSN
0021-6682
Pages
pp. 27-70
Launched on MUSE
2011-02-10
Open Access
No
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