Conclusion—Rabbinic Asceticism: Alternative, Not Aberration

Eliezer Diamond

in Holy Men and Hunger Artists

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780195137507
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849772 | DOI:
Conclusion—Rabbinic Asceticism: Alternative, Not Aberration

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It has been argued that asceticism is part of the fabric of rabbinic Judaism. In its incidental and instrumental forms, rabbinic asceticism stemmed from two sources. The first was an intense devotion to Torah study; whereas, accordingly to the second, the travails and delights of this world are a mere prelude to the soul's true recompense in the next world. It is also argued that the sense of dislocation that affected Jews from late antiquity onward, combined with a preoccupation with scholarship and spiritual perfection, were powerful factors in making asceticism an attractive option for Jewish elites.

Keywords: rabbinic asceticism; Judaism; Torah study

Chapter.  2042 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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