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R. Isaac Ben Solomon Israeli

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Chapter Summary

R. Isaac Ben Solomon Israeli wrote several medical works. Three philosophical works of Israeli are: Book of Definitions, Book of Elements and Book of Essences, which was discovered about 50 years ago in Leningrad. The contribution of these writings to Jewish philosophy focuses on two areas: the doctrine of emanation and its relation to creation; and the doctrine of prophecy and its relation to philosophical understanding. Israeli's Doctrine of Emanation is described as a process of self-contraction of the Godhead out of its yearning to reveal itself to the other. The hidden Godhead creates out of its very self the other to whom it revels itself in a two-stage process: the (positive) extension of the divine flow, and its (negative) limitation. Despite Maimonides's withering criticism, Israeli marks a transition to a new stage in the development of Jewish philosophy.

Keywords: Isaac Ben Solomon Israeli; Israeli's Doctrine of Emanation ; Jewish philosophy; Leningrad; Maimonides



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