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Jewish MysticismThe Infinite Expression of Freedom$
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Rachel Elior

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774679

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774679.001.0001

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The Mystic: Life without Limits

The Mystic: Life without Limits

(p.57) Three The Mystic: Life without Limits
Jewish Mysticism

Rachel Elior

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes the mystic. A mystic is one who is gifted with spiritual greatness, vision, imagination, inspiration, and the ability to be exalted; one who is able, awake or in dreams, to cross boundaries of consciousness and to experience a feeling of immediate contact with higher worlds; one who experiences a transition from one reality to another through visions or dreams. By using mystical metaphors or kabbalistic symbols, the mystic is also able to reinterpret the literal meaning of the sacred text. By virtue of inner illumination or inspiration and authority from higher worlds, the mystic shatters existing frameworks, deconstructs established distinctions, and lives in the enigmatic world of Torah mysteries. In the Jewish tradition, people blessed with these qualities have been called prophets, visionaries, masters of secrets, kabbalists, tsadikim, or holy people. Their essential attributes were defined by a variety of concepts expressing the blurring of boundaries and the transcendence of limitations.

Keywords:   mystic, spiritual greatness, Torah mysteries, Jewish tradition, prophets, visionaries, masters of secrets, kabbalists, tsaddikim, holy people

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