(Elliot Wolfson) Zoharic Philosophical Nocturne (New York State Fair 2016)

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Wandering around the rides at the Midway at night at the New York State Fair reading through and getting my head around Elliot Wolfson’s excellent 2014 phenomenological dive into modern Jewish philosophy. I’ll soon post more about Giving Beyond the Gift: Apophasis and Overcoming Theomania, but this is what drew me the other night reading through the chapter on Levinas. The aesthetic consciousness reflected in this book is nocturnal. I wondered about that and what I came to consider is that the perspective is a romantic zoharic one. Readers of the German romantics will recall Novalis’ Hymns to the Night about which I posted previously from the State Fair a couple of years back.  But readers of the Zohar should already have been familiar with the  midnight rites of the zoharic kabbalists, the copulations of King Tiferet  and Matronita, the night flights of the soul. Nocturnality appears in Elliot’s book…

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