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Final Judgement and the Dead in Medieval Jewish Thought$
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Susan Weissman

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764975

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764975.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 05 December 2021

Bonds Between the Living and the Dead Part I

Bonds Between the Living and the Dead Part I

(p.267) Chapter Seven Bonds Between the Living and the Dead Part I
Final Judgement and the Dead in Medieval Jewish Thought

Susan Weissman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on R. Judah the Pious's position regarding prayer and alms for the dead and evaluates it against the geonic stance he inherited, contemporary Jewish sentiment and practice, and various streams of Christian positions. In keeping with medieval thinking, R. Judah tightens the bonds between the living and the dead. The living, he believes, owe a great debt to the dead, who continuously pray on their behalf. In rabbinic thought, although the ordinary dead can be petitioned to pray for the living, it is commonly the holy dead — specifically the patriarchs and matriarchs — who pray on behalf of the nation of Israel, and the living are not obligated, nor do they choose, to reciprocate in prayer on behalf of the dead. In Sefer ḥasidim, however, the average dead assemble annually to pray on behalf of the living, and the living, in turn, are obligated to pray on their behalf.

Keywords:   Judah the Pious, prayer, living, dead, rabbinic thought, holy dead, Sefer ḥasidim

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