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Absorbing PerfectionsKabbalah and Interpretation$
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Moshe Idel

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300083798

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300083798.001.0001

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The God-Absorbing Text

The God-Absorbing Text

Black Fire on White Fire

(p.45) 2 The God-Absorbing Text
Absorbing Perfections

Moshe Idel

Yale University Press

This chapter first examines the lack of metaphysics about language and looks at how the Torah is composed of white fire (the divine substance) and black fire (letters). It looks at the symbolic interpretations of the white and black fire in medieval Kabbalistic treatments, followed by the main differences between the ancient theological stand and the medieval view on the white and black dichotomy. The nature of the letter yod, the concern surrounding the visual factors of text in Hasidism, the white sections of the Torah as an iconic conception of the text, and modern literary theories surrounding the significance of the text complete the discussion.

Keywords:   white fire, black fire, Torah, divine substance, letters, Kabbalistic treatments, dichotomy, yod, Hasidism, symbolic interpretations

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