Thursday, August 30, 2012

#BlogElul Day 12: Image

And who best to contemplate the issue than Art Green?

If the Maimonidean seeks to purify one's thinking about God by questioning and progressively removing all anthropomorphic and anthropopathic images, the Kabbalist seeks to mentally flood the reader with an overwhelming excess of images, leading to the conclusion that the divine reality must ultimately transcend them all. Virtually everything, almost any noun encountered in Scripture and any object within the natural realm, becomes an image term that leads back to contemplation of some aspect of God. If the same element or stage of self-revelation within the Godhead may be called by a diverse set of names (the third sefirah, for example, is “mother,” “womb,” “jubilee,” “fountain,” “repentance,” “upper Eden,” “heart,” “understanding,” “palace,” and a host more), it becomes clear that all of these are somehow pointing beyond themselves and that no single name, image, or symbol fully expresses just what this sefirah (or symbol cluster) is. “You are the One who fills all names,” as the Tiqquney Zohar famously expresses it, “but You Yourself have no specific name.”

Green, Arthur (2010-02-18). Radical Judaism: Rethinking God and Tradition (The Franz Rosenzweig Lecture Series) (p. 64). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.

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