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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Jewish meditative tradition is a diverse collection of techniques and practices, originating at different eras and exhibiting varying characteristics. In the following a summation of the major trends of Jewish meditation is attempted, following a chronological scheme and aiming to underline the shifts in emphasis displayed by different Jewish meditative paths, from the Bible, through the Merkabah literature, to Kabbalah, Hasidism, and ending with contemporary spirituality circles. Special consideration will be given to the effects of modern subjectivity and secularization on the development of Jewish meditative practices and to the inherent tension they exhibit with the Halakhic tradition.

Keywords: Judaism, Kabbalah, Hasidism, Neo-Hasidism, prophecy, internalization, spirituality, Halakha, Hekhalot, Merkabah

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