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The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon Maimon: Judaism, Heresy, and Philosophy (review)

The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon Maimon: Judaism, Heresy, and Philosophy (review) At the start of his analysis of modern Judaism and Kabbalah's role in it, Dan offers a startling insight. He contends that both sectors of ultra-Orthodoxy, the Hasidim and their opponents, i.e. the Mitnagdim, are rooted in the Kabbalah. "While the Opponents are essentially loyal to the Lurianic kabbalistic concepts, the Hasidim introduced some new concepts, especially concerning mystical leadership and messianism" (p. 93). In his overview of Hasidism, Dan naturally focuses on the role of the Zaddik, the righteous spiritual leader of each Hasidic community. He contends that as such it is a "microreflection of the messianic theory of Nathan of Gaza" (p. 98). This also ties in well with his discussion of Chabad Hasidism's messianic fervor of the 1980s and 90s. Towards the end of his survey Dan addresses New Age spirituality. In a non-judgmental fashion he mentions the Center for the Study of Kabbalah founded by Rabbi Philip Berg and its widespread influence. He even notes that Madonna adopted the name Esther, "one of the kabbalistic appellations of the shekhinah, thus representing a physical union between the Virgin and the Jewish feminine divine power" (p. 110). It would also have been appropriate for Dan to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon Maimon: Judaism, Heresy, and Philosophy (review)

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Publisher
Purdue University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Purdue University
ISSN
1534-5165
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Abstract

At the start of his analysis of modern Judaism and Kabbalah's role in it, Dan offers a startling insight. He contends that both sectors of ultra-Orthodoxy, the Hasidim and their opponents, i.e. the Mitnagdim, are rooted in the Kabbalah. "While the Opponents are essentially loyal to the Lurianic kabbalistic concepts, the Hasidim introduced some new concepts, especially concerning mystical leadership and messianism" (p. 93). In his overview of Hasidism, Dan naturally focuses on the role of the Zaddik, the righteous spiritual leader of each Hasidic community. He contends that as such it is a "microreflection of the messianic theory of Nathan of Gaza" (p. 98). This also ties in well with his discussion of Chabad Hasidism's messianic fervor of the 1980s and 90s. Towards the end of his survey Dan addresses New Age spirituality. In a non-judgmental fashion he mentions the Center for the Study of Kabbalah founded by Rabbi Philip Berg and its widespread influence. He even notes that Madonna adopted the name Esther, "one of the kabbalistic appellations of the shekhinah, thus representing a physical union between the Virgin and the Jewish feminine divine power" (p. 110). It would also have been appropriate for Dan to

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Feb 13, 2009

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