This book unlocks the Jewish theology of YHWH in three central stages of Jewish thought: the Hebrew bible, rabbinic literature, and medieval philosophy and mysticism. Providing a single conceptual key adapted from the philosophical debate on proper names, the book paints a dynamic picture of YHWH’s meanings over a spectrum of periods and genres, portraying an evolving interaction between two theological motivations: the wish to speak about God and the wish to speak to Him. Through this investigation, the book shows how Jews interpreted God's name in attempt to map the human-God relation, and to determine the measure of possibility for believers to realize a divine presence in their midst, through language.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Compassionate Presence: Hwh And The Measure Of Mercy
Chapter 3: Omnipresence: Invoking The Divine Name Yhwh In Rabbinic Blessing
Chapter 4: Personal And Non-Personal Divine Presence: The Name Yhwh In The Thought Of R. Abraham Ibn Ezra And R. Judah Halevi
Chapter 5: "Silence Is Praise To Thee”: The Name Yhwh In The Negative Theology Of Medieval Judaism
Chapter 6: A Dynamic Linguistic Picture - The Name Yhwh In Sefer Ha-Bahir And In Early Provencal And Geronese Kabbalah
Hillel Ben-Sasson is a scholar of Jewish theology and political philosophy. His academic appointments include positions in Israel, Germany, and the United States.
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