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NahmanidesLaw and Mysticism$
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Moshe Halbertal

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300140910

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300140910.001.0001

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Nahmanides’s Conception of History

Nahmanides’s Conception of History

(p.201) Chapter 6 Nahmanides’s Conception of History

Moshe Halbertal

Yale University Press

This chapter this explores Nahmanides's conception of history that reflects a profound departure from the linear model in favor of a cyclical one. It looks into the cyclical model of time as the doctrine of cosmic cycles or torat ha-shemittot, in which the seventh millennium, the World to Come, will be followed by a new cosmic cycle. It also talks about the linear model, in which the End of Days represents a stable period of the ultimate redemption and the World to Come marks the end of the twists and turns of history. The chapter highlights the cyclical model where the End of Days morphs into the beginning and the World to Come signals the end of a divine movement that is reborn with the obliteration of the World to Come. It also mentions the cyclical paradigm of history in R. Abraham b. Hiyya's thought as a reasonable corollary of Nahmanides's astrological worldview.

Keywords:   Nahmanides, cosmic cycle, torat ha-shemittot, World to Come, End of Days, divine movement, R. Abraham b. Hiyya's, astrological worldview

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