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As Light Before DawnThe Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist$
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Eitan P. Fishbane

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759137

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759137.001.0001

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Perspectives and New Directions

Perspectives and New Directions

Reflections on the State of Scholarship

(p.3) One Perspectives and New Directions
As Light Before Dawn
Stanford University Press

In the late thirteenth century, one of the greatest periods of creativity in the history of Judaism, both the Kabbalah of Nahmanides and the Castilian Kabbalah flourished. Although numerous examples of prescriptive mysticism can be found among the kabbalistic writings of Aragon and Castile, these pale in comparison to the writings of the eastern thinkers. Isaac ben Samuel of Akko served as a bridge between these two relatively distinct modes of Kabbalah. His work reflects the dominant influences of both the Nahmanidean Kabbalah of sefirot and the Jewish-Sufi/Abulafian-inspired Kabbalah of the East, a unique blend evident in his putative metacommentary to Nahmanides' Commentary on the Torah: Me'irat 'Einayim. This book probes the thought of Isaac ben Samuel of Akko in the context of religion and knowledge. In examining this kabbalist's creativity, the book hopes to clarify the more general nature of religious thought and practice.

Keywords:   Judaism, creativity, Kabbalah, mysticism, Isaac ben Samuel of Akko, sefirot, Nahmanides, Me'irat 'Einayim, religious thought

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