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R. Yehoshua ben Levi’s Final Ascent as a Model Tikkun Hanefesh

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Abstract Various Talmudic aggadot portray death as the conclusion of tikkun hanefesh. Yet several aggadot, the deaths of R. Yehoshua b. Levi and R. Hanina b. Papa (b. Ketub. 77b) and the Heavenly Tribunal questions of Rava (b. Šabb. 31a), portray post-death tests. These Talmudic “philosophy of death” passages—as well as the Angel of Death narratives at the end of tractate b. Moʿed Qaṭan—complement each other and complete a single theme. Together they convey the lesson that, while tikkun hanefesh is most relevant during life, there is an ultimate tikkun opportunity after death, which is chiefly a test of humility.

Affiliations: 1: Judaic Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts, Towson University 8000 York Rd., Towson, Maryland 21252 USA alexanderseinfeld@gmail.com

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/content/journals/10.1163/157006312x644146
2012-01-01
2017-03-28

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