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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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(p.129) 5 Kabbalah
The Peace and Violence of Judaism

Robert Eisen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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