Chapter

<i>Siluk Ha-Shekhinah:</i> Sin, Defilement, and the Departure of the Divine Presence

Jonathan Klawans

in Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780195132908
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848850 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195132908.003.0006
Siluk Ha-Shekhinah: Sin, Defilement, and the Departure of the Divine Presence

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This chapter examines the tannaitic treatment of the idea of moral defilement. It begins by offering some general observations about the tannaitic passages that form the basis of analysis. The first general observation is that there are very few passages in the tannaitic corpus that articulate the idea of moral defilement. The second is that the bulk of the tannaitic passages which discuss moral defilement are midrashim on scriptural verses dealing with moral impurity. The third point to be made regarding the passages is that they typically articulate a rather literal reading of the biblical verses. Topics discussed include the sources of moral impurity in tannaitic literature, effects of moral impurity in tannaitic literature, the date of the doctrine of moral defilement, and the meaning of the doctrine of moral defilement. In general, a number of tannaitic traditions relating to the biblical doctrine of moral defilement are shown.

Keywords: Siluk Ha–Shekhinah; sin; moral defilement; divine presence departure; tannaitic passage; impurity

Chapter.  10619 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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