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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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After Tau/ Where Eendings Begin

After Tau/ Where Eendings Begin

(p.156) 5 After Tau/ Where Eendings Begin
Alef, Mem, Tau

Elliot R. Wolfson

University of California Press

A zoharic text correlates death and truth through the insight that tau, the last letter of the alphabet, seals both the words mawet, “death,” and emet, “truth.” Death opens consciousness to the moment that escapes objectification and thematization, a moment that may be rendered poetically as confrontation with the face, which is most fully visible when it can be seen no more. The apparent migration at death from being to not-being should not be understood as a transition from one state to its opposite but as a suspension of the very possibility of such a transition. It can be deduced from the zoharic text the epistemic axiom that death reveals the truthfulness of time by concealing the timeliness of truth. The midrashic text's exegetical framework highlights that the trinitarian nature of time is ontologically grounded in the truthfulness of God's seal, YHWH.

Keywords:   zoharic text, God's seal, tau, midrashic text, bahiric text

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