T HE J EWISH Q UA R T E R LY R EVIEW , Vol. 106, No. 2 (Spring 2016) 165–177 Asceticism, Mysticism, and Messianism: A Reappraisal of Schechter’s Portrait of Sixteenth-Century Safed ELLIOT R. WOLFSON University of California, Santa Barbara ON ‘‘SAFED I N T HE SIXTEENTH CENTURY: A C ITY O F L EGISTS AND MYSTICS’’ (1908) ITGOESWITHOUTSAYING that the ﬁelds of Jewish mysticism and intellectual history have greatly evolved since the time that Solomon Schechter wrote ‘‘Safed in the Sixteenth Century: A City of Legists and Mystics,’’ ﬁrst published in 1908. We now have a more nuanced under- standing of the relationship of law and mysticism as it was expressed by kabbalists and pietists through the centuries and especially in the six- teenth century. We have a better grasp of the complexity of the Lurianic Kabbalah and the difﬁculty of establishing with certainty the contours of both the oral and the written dimensions of this phenomenon. Our understanding of the historical connection between the expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the ﬁfteenth century and the prolifera- tion of kabbalistic activity in the Jewish diaspora of the sixteenth cen- tury, especially in the city
Jewish Quarterly Review – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jun 22, 2016
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