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As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval by Eitan P. Fishbane

By Eitan P. Fishbane

As gentle prior to sunrise explores the magical considered Isaac ben Samuel of Akko, an incredible medieval kabbalist whose paintings has earlier got particularly little realization. via attention of an intensive literary corpus, together with a lot that also continues to be in manuscript, this examine examines an array of topics and questions that experience nice applicability to the comparative learn of mysticism and the wider learn of faith. those comprise prayer and the character of mystical event; meditative focus directed to God; and the facility of psychological goal, authority, creativity, and the transmission of knowledge.

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Extra info for As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture)

Example text

Ar H . ar H .

Ar H . ayyim, 13b and 85b. 71. In Isaac’s day, Catalonia was already subsumed under the Crown of Aragon. Isaac was almost certainly referring to the well-known kabbalists from Gerona and Barcelona. 39 40 Context and the context clearly indicates that Sefarad was understood by Isaac (in most cases) to connote the Castilian region in particular. In this passage, Isaac displays an acute awareness of the divide between Castilian and Catalonian Kabbalah on the issue of the “impure evil” dimensions that exist alongside the “holy and pure” sefirot.

If this estimation is plausible, then we need only solve the enigma of the first two letters of the acronym, ‫א"ב‬, and the so-called name ABNeR becomes misleading. What the letters ‫ א"ב‬may in fact signify remains a matter of speculation, but we may assume that they indicate a person who was intimately involved with Jewish-Sufi pietists, and with whom Isaac of Akko had direct oral contact. Perhaps focusing on the first half of the ‫ אבנ"ר‬acronym will aid us in identifying this mysterious figure, who clearly had a formative impact on Isaac’s thinking.

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