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TaʿAnug: Erotic delights from Kabbalah to hasidism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter surveys a few instances in which ta'anug is used by Jewish mystics. The author starts with a survey of the issue that is central to the present discussion: the nexus between delight and ritual. Such a linkage occurs explicitly in the Bible, where the Sabbath is called 'Oneg (delight), and has been reiterated thousands of times in subsequent Jewish literatures. A brief though quite significant mention of delight is found already in the Book of Bahir, one of the earliest and most important documents of theosophical-theurgical Kabbalah, which emerged at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The author points out that the nexus between devequt and delight became quite widespread in Hasidism, to such an extent that it is quite difficult to distinguish between the two terms. The new emphasis on delight surveyed, was also part of what he calls the search for plenitude of experience in mysticism.

Keywords: 'oneg; Bible; delight; Hasidism; Jewish mystics; Kabbalah; Sabbath; Ta'anug



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