<i>Qedûšâ</i> and <i>Perîšût</i>: The Language of Rabbinic Asceticism

Eliezer Diamond

in Holy Men and Hunger Artists

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780195137507
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849772 | DOI:
Qedûšâ and Perîšût: The Language of Rabbinic Asceticism

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This chapter discusses instrumental asceticism as a means to achieve some greater spiritual end. It begins with a discussion of essential asceticism within rabbinic Judaism. Through an examination of the rabbinic use of the terms qedusa and perisut, the two rabbinic terms whose meanings seem to appropriate most closely that of asceticism, it is first discovered that many of the rabbis considered certain forms of self-denial praiseworthy; and second, unsurprisingly, that most self-denial was expressed in the realms of food and sex. It surveys the interpretations of PT and BT, and then turns to the observations of modern scholarship. It has been seen that asceticism is part of the rabbinic vocabulary, particularly in the rabbinic use of the terms qedusa and perisut.

Keywords: qedusa; perisut; essential asceticism; rabbinic Judaism

Chapter.  8574 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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