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Alef, Mem, TauKabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death$
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Elliot Wolfson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520246195

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520246195.001.0001

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Linear Circularity / (A) Temporal Poetics

Linear Circularity / (A) Temporal Poetics

(p.55) 2 Linear Circularity / (A) Temporal Poetics
Alef, Mem, Tau

Elliot R. Wolfson

University of California Press

Time has played a significant role in the history of world religions. Numerous opinions, geographical localities, intellectual influences, and literary genres, in Judaism specifically, have been expressed about time. The widely proclaimed epistemological insight that human thinking is circular is perceived as a weakness by those who conceive the path of thinking as a journey commencing at a point of departure and terminating at a point of arrival. Time is linked to the ebb and flow of divine energy, the vital force that generates the polarities of motion and rest, light and dark, life and death. The time in which the Torah is given, the time of revelation, reveals something axiomatic about the revelation of time. Ergas mentions that time in its triune division, is not applicable to God. Ergas believes that that time is an accident of a substance that is subject to coming-to-be and passing away. God is impervious to change and hence temporal qualities cannot be attributed to him.

Keywords:   Judaism, divine energy, human thinking, Jewish piety, kabbalistic approach to time

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