Its Meanings in Biblical, Rabbinic and Medieval Jewish thought
By Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson
Jewish Studies, Jewish Thought, Religion
Publish date: February 2019
Format: 15x22.5 cm
Weight: 600 gr.
This study is the first monograph on the meanings given to the divine name YHWH in the Jewish tradition. It seeks to trace the interplay between the motivation to speak about God and the wish to speak to Him through the meanings given to the name YHWH, in three central stages of Jewish thought: the Hebrew Bible, rabbinic literature, and medieval philosophy and mysticism. From a textual perspective, the current study offers a close reading in a variety of Jewish texts and genres, including the Old Testament, Mishna, Midrash, Philo’s writings, Jewish medieval philosophy, biblical exegesis and various mystical texts. There is hardly an exegetical or contemplative Jewish text that does not in some way deal with the name YHWH. Accordingly, almost every scholarly field related to Judaism discusses it in some capacity. However, despite the immensity of the literature, YHWH and its status as a proper name have not been the focus of a comprehensive scholarly work. None have yet attempted to paint a picture of YHWH’s meaning over a spectrum of periods and genres, while offering conceptual and textual discussion. This study seeks to fill that gap
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