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The Messianic Idea In Judaism - Gershom Scholem

The Messianic Idea In Judaism

Paperback Published: 1st May 1995
ISBN: 9780805210439
Number Of Pages: 400

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Gershom Scholem was the master builder of historical studies of the Kabbalah. When he began to work on this neglected field, the few who studied these texts were either amateurs who were looking for occult wisdom, or old-style Kabbalists who were seeking guidance on their spiritual journeys. His work broke with the outlook of the scholars of the previous century in Judaica—die Wissenschaft des Judentums, the Science of Judaism—whose orientation he rejected, calling their “disregard for the most vital aspects of the Jewish people as a collective entity: a form of “censorship of the Jewish past.” The major founders of modern Jewish historical studies in the nineteenth century, Leopold Zunz and Abraham Geiger, had ignored the Kabbalah; it did not fit into their account of the Jewish religion as rational and worthy of respect by “enlightened” minds. The only exception was the historian Heinrich Graetz. He had paid substantial attention to its texts and to their most explosive exponent, the false Messiah Sabbatai Zevi, but Graetz had depicted the Kabbalah and all that flowed from it as an unworthy revolt from the underground of Jewish life against its reasonable, law-abiding, and learned mainstream. Scholem conducted a continuing polemic with Zunz, Geiger, and Graetz by bringing into view a Jewish past more varied, more vital, and more interesting than any idealized portrait could reveal.
from the Foreword by Arthur Hertzberg, 1995

Industry Reviews

"These major essays of historical synthesis provide a probing and challenging overview of Jewish history still pertinent to contemporary concerns." --Robert Alter "Gershom Scholem earned international renown as a brilliant interpreter of esoteric religious texts as well as a trenchant contributor to many of the central intellectual debates of his day. At a time when apocalyptic impulses are intensifying with the approach of a millennial moment in the Christian calendar, we can only welcome Scholem's soberly presented and scrupulously researched account of their Jewish counterparts." --Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

"Having had the privilege of knowing Gershom Scholem and having learned much from him, I am delighted to see this collection made available once more. I am especially fond of the essay on "Revelation and Tradition," which is vintage Scholem--learned, sharp, witty, and adorned with delightful anecdotes from the Talmud. In juxtaposition with the essay that follows, on Wissenschaft des Judentums, it documents the subtle relationship between rational and nonrational elements in the Jewish tradition, the very relationship that Scholem both described so incisively and embodied so vividly." --Jaroslav Pelikan, Yale University

Foreword
Preface
Toward an Understanding of the Messianic Idea in Judaismp. 1
The Messianic Idea in Kabbalismp. 37
The Crisis of Tradition in Jewish Messianismp. 49
Redemption Through Sinp. 78
The Crypto-Jewish Sect of the Donmeh (Sabbatians) in Turkeyp. 142
A Sabbatian Will from New Yorkp. 167
The Neutralization of the Messianic Element in Early Hasidismp. 176
Devekut, or Communion with Godp. 203
Martin Buber's Interpretation of Hasidismp. 228
The Tradition of the Thirty-Six Hidden Just Menp. 251
The Star of David: History of a Symbolp. 257
Revelation and Tradition as Religious Categories in Judaismp. 282
The Science of Judaism - Then and Nowp. 304
At the Completion of Buber's Translation of the Biblep. 314
On the 1930 Edition of Rosenzweig's Star of Redemptionp. 320
The Politics of Mysticism: Isaac Breuer's New Kuzarip. 325
The Golem of Prague and the Golem of Rehovotp. 335
Notesp. 341
Sources and Acknowledgmentsp. 365
Indexp. 367
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780805210439
ISBN-10: 0805210431
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 1st May 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.2 x 13.4  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1
Edition Type: New edition

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