BENAMOZEGH, ELIJAH BEN ABRAHAM (1822–1900), Italian rabbi and kabbalist. Benamozegh was born in Livorno (Leghorn) of Moroccan parents. His father died when he was three years old and his Jewish education was seen to by his mother's brother, the kabbalist Judah Coriat. Destined for a commercial career, Benamozegh soon revealed extraordinary intellectual ability and from 1846 could devote himself entirely to study. He served as a preacher at the synagogue of Livorno, as a professor of theology in the rabbinical school of the city, and as a member of the local rabbinical court. He also founded a printing house for Jewish religious books. Benamozegh's intellectual energy was directed mainly to the defense of the Kabbalah, and he may be considered the last important kabbalist in Italy. He considered the Kabbalah as a genuine part of Jewish dogma, paralleling the tradition of the Oral Law. Hostile to Ḥasidism (which he saw as a superstitious degradation of pure Jewish theology), Benamozegh tried to show the affinities between Kabbalah and philosophy (as had a century before another kabbalist from Livorno, joseph ergas ), arguing that the former took precedence. Embracing Eastern and Western elements, the will to both unity and to multiplicity, the Kabbalah could moreover represent a solution to the religious crisis of modern Europe. Benamozegh wrote numerous books and articles in Hebrew, Italian, and French. Among his works are (1) Exegesis: Ner le-David (1858), a commentary on Psalms; Em la-Mikra (1862–65), a commentary on the Pentateuch in five volumes incorporating the findings of comparative philology, archaeology, and ancient history, in which the influence of the Italian philosopher G. Vico is particularly prominent. This commentary was condemned by the rabbis of Aleppo and Jerusalem, who attacked it for being too open to "external sciences" and to mythology; (2) Theology: Spinoza et la kabbale (1864), on the possible kabbalistic origins of Spinoza's thought; Teologia dogmatica e apologetica (1877), in which Benamozegh starts to build a comprehensive Jewish theology based on the Kabbalah. Benamozegh saw in Hegel's philosophy the most dangerous enemy of a religious philosophy and considered the thought of the Catholic V. Gioberti a powerful weapon in the fight against "modern pantheism," i.e. German idealism; Israël et l'Humanité (revised and published postumously in 1914 by his Christian disciple Aimé Pallière; Israel ve-ha-Enoshut (1967; Israel and Humanity, 1994), on the universal potential of Judaism. (3) Apologetics: Ta'am le-Shad (1863), a refutation of samuel david luzzatto 's Vikku'ah al Ḥokhmat ha-Kabbalah, in which Luzzatto denied the antiquity of the Zohar and the theological interest of Kabbalah; Morale juive et morale chrétienne (1867; Jewish and Christian Ethics, 1873; Bi-Shevilei Musar, 1966), on the superiority of Jewish ethics, which concerns itself with the political sphere while Christian ethics sees ascetism as its supreme value. In the second part of this work, L'origine des dogmes chrétiens, Benamozegh tries to show that Christianity derives from an incorrect interpretation of Kabbalah. (4) History: Storia degli Esseni (1865), a collection of lectures on the essenes , seen as the forerunners of the kabbalists.   -BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. Lattes, Vita e opere di Elia Benamozegh (1901). ADD BIBLIOGRAPHY: D. Lattes, "Ani Ma'amin shel Filosof Yehudi: heḤakham Elijah Benamozegh" (1943); Y. Colombo, "Il dibattito tra Luzzatto e Benamozegh intorno alla Kabbalà," in: RMI, 8 (1934), 471–97, 32 (1966), 179–204; M. Idel, "Al ha-Kabbalah eẓel ha-Rav Elijah Benamozegh," in: Peʿamim 74 (1998), 87–96; A. Guetta, Philosophie et Cabbale. Essai sur la pensée d'Elijah Benamozegh. (1998), with bibliography; idem (ed.), Per Elijah Benamozegh (2000); L. Amoroso, Scintille ebraiche (2004), 85–151. (Alessandro Guetta (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kabbalah — This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. For other Kabbalistic traditions see Christian Cabbalah, Hermetic Qabalah, and Practical Kabbalah Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish philosophy — Jewish theology redirects here. Philosophy and Kabbalah are two common approaches to Jewish theology Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Judaism — /jooh dee iz euhm, day , deuh /, n. 1. the monotheistic religion of the Jews, having its ethical, ceremonial, and legal foundation in the precepts of the Old Testament and in the teachings and commentaries of the rabbis as found chiefly in the… …   Universalium

  • History of the Jews in Italy — The Great Synagogue of Rome Part of a series of articles on …   Wikipedia

  • KABBALAH — This entry is arranged according to the following outline: introduction general notes terms used for kabbalah the historical development of the kabbalah the early beginnings of mysticism and esotericism apocalyptic esotericism and merkabah… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Jerusalem (Mendelssohn) — Title page of the first edition (Berlin: Friedrich Maurer, 1783) …   Wikipedia

  • ITALY — Jews have lived in Italy without interruption from the days of the Maccabees until the present, through a period of 21 centuries. Although they were never subjected to general expulsion, there were frequently partial ones. They often enjoyed good …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ZOHAR — (Heb. זֹהַר; (The Book of) Splendor ), the central work in the literature of the kabbalah . Introduction In some parts of the book the name Zohar is mentioned as the title of the work. It is also cited by the Spanish kabbalists under other names …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PRESS — This article is arranged according to the following outline: introduction in australia and new zealand in belgium in canada in czechoslovakia in england yiddish press in france in germany and austria between the two world wars after world war ii… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • HOMILETIC LITERATURE — The scope of this article extends from the Middle Ages to modern times (for the talmudic period see midrash , aggadah , and preaching ) and deals with the nature of the homily and works in the sphere of homiletic literature. For a discussion of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”