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Warp And Woof: Circumcision, Crucifixion, And Divine Embodiment

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Chapter Summary

The term which Abulafia employs with regularity to indicate the woven quality to the Teli's two aspects and to the nature of the reconstituted mystic is sheti va-v'erev, warp and woof. To associate Christianity with physical circumcision, devoid of spiritual content, flies in the face of the obvious fact that Christians do not partake of bodily circumcision. A clear identification of Tif'ret both with the Garden of Eden and with androgyny is conveyed. Both androgyny and Tif'ret are typically associated with Sefer Yesirah's theme of the balancing of merit and guilt. In considering the Christian crucifix itself, we see that it symbolizes the fate suffered by Jesus, his bodily crucifixion. The transformation of the rod into the serpent and back again, Abulafia writes, is accomplished by Moses and Aaron, "that is," writes Abulafia, "by the first man". The phrases "Moses and Aaron" and "the first man" are numerically equivalent.

Keywords: Abraham Abulafia; Christianity; circumcision; crucifixion; Sefer Yesirah ; warp; woof



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