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Lecture 3

Lecture Three

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York University
HUMA 1865
Aviva Goldberg

Judaism: Medieval Period: Philosophy • Ashkenazim Jews lived in minority under Christian rule but under Muslim rule, they often flourished. th • In 1235 Spain, Jews were forced to wear a yellow circular patch for identification (7 century) • Tens of thousands converted “conversos” • The conversos were expelled from Spain • Many fled/left with Columbus • Many Sephardic Jews in Turkey 1492: they were welcomes by Sultan Beyazit II • Anti-Semitism – Jews blamed for black death, for abusing Christians (led to Crusaders killing Jews), killing Jesus • Despite all this, this was a great period for great medieval Jewish Philosophers o Focus on Maimonides o This was a time when the Jews and Muslims got along okay o Also composed thirteen principles of faith: doctrine of Judaism. When he wrote it, many (even today) disagreed that Judaism should have principles of doctrines • Expulsion from Spain and dispersal throughout Europe Mysticism- Experiential, theological • Abraham abulafia had teachings. He used Hebrew alphabet for meditation. Used Gematria as well. Khai means life. • Kabala centre has some of his teachings. If you focus on a letter or biblical passage then you can enter a type of healing according to them • Not just anyone could do Jewish Mysticism teachings. • Kabbalah: multiple books. Means to give. o Zohar is very hard to understand because it’s very metaphorical o If you want to have a true relationship with divine then understand that within torah there are hidden meanings and these can be revealed with great study o 10 emanations of the divine. Taught that the true teachings of this can take evil from the earth o Each of ten emanations have a name and represent colours or moods. And each are connected to a biblical figure or a patriarch o The study of Kabbalah and Zohar were only for a privileged few, initially an oral teaching. But changed with Isaac Luria o Luria came up with a system for mysticism. Had a answers to questions regarding the problems of evil in the world and gave hope to the Jewish people o If god is so infinite & great then why is there so much evil? o God contracted itself and in so doing, it allowed a vacuum to come out and poured its divine light to make room for the world and fill a finite world o According to Luria god filled this light in vessels. But the divine light was so powerful that the vessels burst and embedded selves into different vessels and they still yearn to return to their main source and become whole again o When humans do a good deed, we are awakening these sparks within our self and the universe so they can rise higher and higher and reunite. And though each generation may be horrible and evil and tyrannical we can know that th
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