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Safed Spirituality: Rules of Mystical Piety, The Beginning of Wisdom (1984 Paperback)


£15.00

Very good used condition 1984 Edition Paperback.

Published by Paulist Press, Ramsey, NY, USA.
Author: Lawrence Fine.
ISBN: 0809126125.
Approx dims: 230mm h x 150mm w x 15mm d.

1 in stock


Safed Spirituality (CWS): Rules of Mystical Piety, The Beginning of Wisdom

(Classics of Western Spirituality Series)

Condition and Description:

Very good used condition 1984 Edition Paperback.

Published by Paulist Press, Ramsey, NY, USA.
Author: Lawrence Fine.
ISBN: 0809126125.
Approx dims: 230mm h x 150mm w x 15mm d.

Intact clean condition pictorial covers with slight rubbing and signs of handling. Intact, slightly rubbed spine. 205 clean pages of English text, no inscriptions. Image shown is actual book for sale.

Synopsis of Safed Spirituality (CWS): Rules of Mystical Piety, The Beginning of Wisdom:

The renaissance of Jewish mystical life that took place in the Galilean city of Safed in the sixteenth century is one of the most significant and remarkable chapters in the history of Judaism. The ideas that developed there, the rich literature that was produced, the stunning array of teachers it nurtured, established Safed as one of the great centres of Jewish creativity.

Safed spirituality had no qualms about reinventing the symbols, practices and traditions of Judaism, and in that has an interesting modern sensibility to it. However, the Safed community was careful not to push beyond the boundaries of `orthodox’ Judaism, and so remains firmly a part of the greater Jewish communal experience. The Safed community benefited from a convergence of historical events, including the expulsion of Jews from various European kingdoms, most particularly the Spanish expulsion of 1492, and from tolerance and trade within the Ottoman Empire at the time. Fine describes the Safed community of the 1500s as having five primary features that constituted innovations in Judaism:

– messianic fervour
– organised brotherhoods
– ascetic behaviour
– ritual innovations
– contemplative practices

Fine has selected two types of literature from the Safed community to present in this text. First, there is the Hanhagot, codes and practices of religious behaviour. Second, there is the Resh-it Hokhmah, which translates as The Beginning of Wisdom, an ethical-mystical text written by Elijah de Vidas.

There are six sets of texts presented here, by Moses ben Jacob Cordovero, Abraham ben Mordecai Galante, Abraham ben Eliezer ha-Levi Berukhim, Joseph Karo, and Isaac Luria. These include instructions as well as reflections, hymns and brief biographical statements of each spiritual leader. The instructions range from how to pray, how to observe Sabbath, how to conduct interpersonal relationships, and much more.

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