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Beyond Reasonable Doubt$
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Louis Jacobs

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774587

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774587.001.0001

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(p.185) Nine Mysticism
Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Louis Jacobs

Liverpool University Press

This chapter highlights Jewish mysticism. It talks about Rabbi Yitshak Horowitz, also known as Reb Yitshak Masmid who is a leading exponent of mystical theology in the Habad vein. Reb Yitshak Masmid seemed to be a typical ascetic whose head reached to the heavens. He ate very little but drank heavily in the belief that alcohol could act as a stimulant to the deeper longings of the soul. The chapter also describes the traditional ceremony of the benediction over the moon (kidush levanah), which is considered to be a mystical rite. In this ceremony, carried out preferably in the open, at the beginning of the month, a benediction is recited in which God is praised for the creation of the moon and the other heavenly bodies.

Keywords:   Jewish mysticism, Rabbi Yitshak Horowitz, Reb Yitshak Masmid, kidush levanah, mystical rite, moon, heavenly bodies

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