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The Place of Politics

The Notion of Consciousness in Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh's Political Thought

Assaf Tamari

The notion of consciousness change as a political concept has re-emerged as a central issue in recent Israeli political discourse in diverse and seemingly remote groups. The following is a study of some of the contexts and implications of according primacy to consciousness change in political thought, through the tensions between the highly individualistic character of this discourse and its collective language and aims. I focus on one study case, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, a key figure in both extreme settler groups and current New Age Hasidic revival. Analyzing his political writings, I explore his notion of consciousness as the true place of politics. Finally, I return to the question of the context in which Rabbi Ginsburgh's binding of the political to consciousness should be read, and propose liberal individualism, and the direct line it draws between the individual's consciousness and that of the state, as an alternative hermeneutical perspective.

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Esther Seidel

When I heard what the subject chosen for me tonight was, namely, ‘The concept of Jewish philosophy in the sixteenth century’, I was at first not a little worried. Were there any Jewish philosophers in the sixteenth century, and if so, did they produce a Jewish philosophy? I must admit that for me and other historians of Philosophy, the Kabbalah or Jewish Mysticism does not qualify as philosophy and therefore would have to be excluded from my talk.

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Book Reviews

Jewish Secularism on the March

David J. Goldberg, Stephen Berkowitz, Frank Dabba Smith, and Marc Saperstein

The Origins of Jewish Secularization in Eighteenth-Century Europe, Shmuel Feiner, translated by Chaya Naor. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, 330 pp.

Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought, David Biale, Princeton University Press, 2011, 228 pp.ISBN 0812242734

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea?: French Jewry and the Problem of Church and State, Zvi Jonathan Kaplan, Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 2009. 148 pp. ISBN 1930675615

Rediscovering Traces of Memory: The Jewish Heritage of Polish Galicia, Jonathan Webber, and Chris Schwarz, Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2009.200 pages ISBN 1906764034

Secret Judaism and the Spanish Inquisition, Michael Alpert, Nottingham: Five Leaves Publications, 2008.ISBN: 1905512295, 262 pages

Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Israel: ‘Finding their Voice’, Sharon Kangisser Cohen, Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2005.

The Scandal of Kabbalah: Leon Modena, Jewish Mysticism, Early Modern Venice, Yaacob Dweck, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011, 280 pp. £?? ISBN 978–0–691–14508–2.

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Jewish Secular-Believer Women in Israel

A Complex and Ambivalent Identity

Hagar Lahav

connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. The Talmud is studied as well, although it is accorded only marginal attention. Later writings, such as rabbinic literature, Kabbalah, Hasidism, and Jewish philosophy, are ignored. This approach

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Moisés Orfali

megorashim as well, and there are some who prepared ketubbot in the customary way. 44 Spanish Kabbalah in Morocco Among prominent Spanish and Portuguese kabbalists who reached Morocco were Rabbis Judah Ḥayat and Abraham Saba, who settled in Fez

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Hilary Pomeroy

avoid excessive ostentation. Orfali also discusses the extent of Spanish Kabbalah in Morocco and the role of Spanish in defining the Sephardim. Shalom Sabar's detailed discussion examines the survival of various forms of Iberian material and visual

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Jeremy Schonfield, Alinda Damsma, and Marc Saperstein

are quoted a few times in the book. The historical overview is, understandably, mostly devoted to the origin, development and doctrines of the Kabbalah. The author offers a clear and succinct exposition of the complex concept of the ten sefirot , the

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Dissenting from Redemption

Judaism and Political Theology

Alana M. Vincent

that might otherwise have provided a model for wrestling with belief in the face of catastrophe. 17 The mystical concept of the world fractured at the point of creation, as presented in the creation myth of Lurianic kabbalah – an elaboration on the

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Ruth Langer, Charles Middleburgh, and Rabbi Amanda Golby

). A selection from Naḥmanides’ commentary appears not in ‘Moses ben Naḥman’ (ch. 60), but in chapter 78, ‘Kabbalah’. Thus, this element of Jewish intellectual life is better represented. Normalizing Jewish mystical movements also means giving them

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Placing Time

The Diasporic Journey to Beulah

Brian Klug

a prominent theme in Kabbalah, as it evolved over centuries in the medieval period into modern times. 10 In the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria (1534–1572), exile is seen not only as ‘a terrible and pitiless state permeating and embittering all of Jewish