Abstract

This essay deals with the defense of the Kabbalah by Triestine poet Rachel Morpurgo (1790–1871), in the context of the mid-nineteenth century controversy concerning the place of Jewish mysticism in modernity. Prominent Italian maskilic leaders in the Habsburg Empire rejected the validity of the Kabbalah and prioritized Jewish emancipation, for the sake of countering the challenge posed to Judaism by the “philosophical cast of modernity.” By defending the Kabbalah, Morpurgo struggled for her différance as a Jewish woman and poet.

In Sefer haberit by Pinḥas Hurwitz and in the popularization of the Lurianic Kabbala as presented in Ḥayim Vital Calabrese’s Sha‘arei kedushah, Morpurgo found the key to legitimating her atypical gendered path and overcoming its marginalization in patriarchal culture. In defending the Kabbalah, she conceived a direction for renewing traditional patterns of Jewish thinking.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1565-5288
Print ISSN
0793-8934
Pages
pp. 8-20
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-13
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.