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The Peace and Violence of JudaismFrom the Bible to Modern Zionism$
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Robert Eisen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751471.001.0001

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Kabbalah

Kabbalah

Chapter:
(p.129) 5 Kabbalah
Source:
The Peace and Violence of Judaism
Author(s):

Robert Eisen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751471.003.0005

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

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