Chapter

Kabbalah

Robert Eisen

in The Peace and Violence of Judaism

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751471
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894833 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751471.003.0005
Kabbalah

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According to the first reading, Kabbalah implicitly supports violence. It expresses the most negative views of non-Jews in the history of Judaism by associating them with the realm of pure evil, and it envisions the messianic era as a period in which the non-Jewish world will be destroyed. According to the second reading, medieval Kabbalah certainly has a negative view of non-Jews, but it never advocated physical violence against them. Moreover, the negative portrayals of non-Jews in Kabbalah have not stopped modern students from constructing a universalistic reading of Kabbalah that is inherently peaceful.

Keywords: Kabbalah; evil; non-Jews; messianic era

Chapter.  4843 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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