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Buber's Dialogic Interpretation Of The Doctrine Of Tzimtzum

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates how Buber's reading of the doctrine of Tzimtzum led him towards its dialogic interpretation, and how he internalized it as a paradigm during various stages of his writings, in his book I and Thou and in his philosophical anthropology. It shows how the Lurianic doctrine of Tzimtzum and the idea of Tzimtzum originating in classical Rabbinic thought, and its manifestation in R. Moshe Cordovero and the Maggid of Mezhirech, served as a theoretical model for the shaping of his dialogical teaching. The discussion is conducted by means of six moves. Buber discusses those Kabbalistic traditions that were incorporated within Hasidism, and in the course of doing so discusses the doctrine of Tzimtzum. It attempts to show how the doctrine of Tzimtzum was internalized within the depths of Buber's dialogic teaching by becoming essential for his dialogic thought, for his philosophical anthropology, and for his understanding of revelation.

Keywords: Buber's dialogic interpretation; doctrine of Tzimtzum; Hasidism; I and Thou; Kabbalistic tradition; Maggid of Mezhirech; R. Moshe Cordovero



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