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A Hasidic View of Dreams, Torah-text, and the Language of Allusion

A Hasidic View of Dreams, Torah-text, and the Language of Allusion Abstract: A conception of dreams found in a hasidic text, Or Yiẓḥak , by Isaac of Radville (d. 1825), explaining the phenomenon of dreams in terms of the soul's leaving the body and roaming through the world while the body is asleep, can be found in rabbinic sources (reflecting very similar notions in other cultures) and also in the Zohar. Isaac of Radville, however, added his own elaboration to that conception, adding that while the soul experiences its nocturnal journey on its own higher level, upon the body's awakening, the soul conveys its experience to the body in a way that the body can understand, making for a distinction between the dream-as-experienced and the deeper meaning of the same dream, a distinction recalling later Freudian theory. Though never explicitly stated, the real significance of the Radviller's conception of dreams lies in an implicit parallel with his view of the Torah as he viewed the surface-meaning of the Torah-text—like the scenario in a dream—as a garment of its deeper and truer meaning. And furthermore, also foreshadowing later psychological theory, he held that the dream-as-experienced contains allusions to its real meaning and, similarly, the pshat (surface-level) of the Torah is to be read as a network of allusions to the Torah's deeper and truer meaning. Both dreams and Torah (like poetry) speak in a language of allusion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hebrew Studies National Association of Professors of Hebrew

A Hasidic View of Dreams, Torah-text, and the Language of Allusion

Hebrew Studies , Volume 52 (1) – Feb 5, 2011

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Publisher
National Association of Professors of Hebrew
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Copyright © National Association of Professors of Hebrew
ISSN
2158-1681
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Abstract

Abstract: A conception of dreams found in a hasidic text, Or Yiẓḥak , by Isaac of Radville (d. 1825), explaining the phenomenon of dreams in terms of the soul's leaving the body and roaming through the world while the body is asleep, can be found in rabbinic sources (reflecting very similar notions in other cultures) and also in the Zohar. Isaac of Radville, however, added his own elaboration to that conception, adding that while the soul experiences its nocturnal journey on its own higher level, upon the body's awakening, the soul conveys its experience to the body in a way that the body can understand, making for a distinction between the dream-as-experienced and the deeper meaning of the same dream, a distinction recalling later Freudian theory. Though never explicitly stated, the real significance of the Radviller's conception of dreams lies in an implicit parallel with his view of the Torah as he viewed the surface-meaning of the Torah-text—like the scenario in a dream—as a garment of its deeper and truer meaning. And furthermore, also foreshadowing later psychological theory, he held that the dream-as-experienced contains allusions to its real meaning and, similarly, the pshat (surface-level) of the Torah is to be read as a network of allusions to the Torah's deeper and truer meaning. Both dreams and Torah (like poetry) speak in a language of allusion.

Journal

Hebrew StudiesNational Association of Professors of Hebrew

Published: Feb 5, 2011

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