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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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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Esotericism and Tradition

Esotericism and Tradition

(p.286) Chapter 8 Esotericism and Tradition

Moshe Halbertal

Yale University Press

This chapter clarifies how Nahmanides understands the esoteric medium itself, a medium that wrought profound changes to the meaning of Judaism in the Middle Ages. It talks about the esoteric side of Nahmanides's oeuvre that resembles the ones found in the works of Ibn Ezra and Maimonides. It also analyzes esotericism that alters the meaning of religious life, in terms of both its foundational concepts and beliefs and the structuring of the religious praxis. The chapter looks into the rise of esotericism in the twelfth century, which appeared as a prominent feature in writings as diverse as Ezra's commentaries on the Torah and Maimonides's philosophical treatise “The Guide of the Perplexed.” It also discusses Nahmanides's esoteric component, which concerns biblical secrets and so is written in esoteric code, also merited independent treatment.

Keywords:   religious praxis, Nahmanides, esoteric medium, Judaism, Middle Ages, Ibn Ezra, Maimonides, esotericism, religious praxis, Torah

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