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Lecture 15

Introduction to Judaism - Lecture 15

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Religion & Culture
Holly Pearse

 Pre-Modern Era o Exhaustion and renewal into late middle ages o Continuity with the middle ages  Solidification/codification of the ways of the Talmud  Continuity from early to modern Judaism through the Talmud o Continual growth of rabbinic Judaism  Absorption of:  Philosophy and ethics  Mysticism  Growth through absorption o Diversification of rabbinic Judaism  Multiplication of trends and traditions  Some forms of sectarian rivalry, competing visions of rabbinic Judaism o Dawn of modernity  Reason and explanation  Kabbalah o Esoteric texts, practices and teachings of Jewish mysticism, from ancient times and those developed from middle ages  Textual, practical  Practical kabbalah considered white magic  Golem – protector of Prague nd o Sefer ha-zohar: mystical commentary on the Torah, attrthuted to 2 c. rabbi Simeon ben Yohai; published by Moses de Leon in 13 c. Spain  Sefer ha-zohar – main mystical text published  Understood to be considered Torah by those who embrace, not just considered commentary  Considered to be oral Torah  Another testament handed to humanity from God  Reading of Torah with a certain level of mysticism involved  Marriage between study of Torah and mystical practice  Attempting to understanding and knowing God, can create feelings similar to enlightenment o Through kabbalah which offers allowance for “magic” in Judaism o Kabbalah mainly refers to middle age mysticism or mysticism that reaches into ancient Judaism  Apocalyptic sects focused on kabbalah o Middle age kabbalah influenced by Islam, moves away from the supernatural towards the spiritual o Luria – mixed pre Zohar kabbalah with Zohar kabbalah to create modern kabbalah  Sense of how it fits in the bigger picture  Baal Shem Tov o Founder of Hasidic movement; master of the good name o Emphasized personal relationship with God over regulation and study; purely devoted, joyous religious spirit matter more than scholarship  Emphasized the joys of devotion, spiritual relationship with God  Scholarship of God was not as important o Legal study does not feed the spirit o Critic of Kabbalah esotericism, that joy/celebration is just as important o  Hasidism o Love of God; love of Israel; love of Torah  Not the knowledge of God  Responsibility to Israel  Strict following of Torah  Tzaddikim (teacher)  Love of the teacher  God desires the heart, o Hitlahuvut & Joy  Enthusiasm and joy o Posh-Besht  The Tanya  Chabad o Melding of faith and knowledge  Mystical text of the Hasidic movement  Remerging of intellectualism with faith  Persecution  Dispute with th
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