By Elliot R. Wolfson

This hugely unique, provocative, and poetic paintings explores the nexus of time, fact, and loss of life within the symbolic international of medieval kabbalah. Demonstrating that the ancient and theoretical dating among kabbalah and western philosophy is way extra intimate and wide than any earlier student has ever advised, Elliot R. Wolfson attracts a rare diversity of thinkers akin to Frederic Jameson, Martin Heidegger, Franz Rosenzweig, William Blake, Julia Kristeva, Friedrich Schelling, and a bunch of kabbalistic figures into deep dialog with each other. Alef, Mem, Tau additionally discusses Islamic mysticism and Buddhist proposal in terms of the Jewish esoteric culture because it opens the opportunity of a temporal triumph of temporality and the conquering of time via time. The framework for Wolfson's exam is the rabbinic instructing that the observe emet, "truth," contains the 1st, center, and final letters of the Hebrew alphabet, alef, mem, and tau, which serve, in flip, as semiotic signposts for the 3 tenses of time--past, current, and destiny. by way of heeding the letters of emet we determine the reality of time obviously hid for the period of fact, the start that can't commence whether it is to be the start, the center that re/marks where of starting place and future, and the tip that's the figuration of the very unlikely disclosing the impossibility of figuration, the finitude of demise that enables the potential for rebirth. The time of loss of life doesn't mark the dying of time, yet time immortal, the instant of fact that bestows at the fact of the instant an unending starting of a beginningless finish, the reality of demise encountered steadily in retracing steps of time but to be taken--between, sooner than, past.

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Extra info for Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death

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80 For Plotinus, still indebted to Aristotle, determining the nature of time centers on understanding the relationship between movement and distance, a relationship that is tied to the matter of number. As he puts it, “Movement which extends over a distance and the distance covered by it are not the actual thing, time, but are in time. But if someone were to say that the distance of movement is time, not in the sense of the distance of movement itself, but that in relation to which the movement has its extension, as if it was running along with it, what this is has not been stated.

By which all and everything that is this-moment present [das aktuelle Gegenwärtige] for me, is; but that must be correctly understood and delimited. ”187 The primary task of the phenomenological method is to elucidate the manner in which objects of experience are continually constituted by characters of apprehension, ideal essences that inhere in the conscious I-pole. Makingpresent, appresenting, relates precisely to the cognitive ability of human consciousness to instantiate atemporal ideals through the temporal variance of intentional acts.

200 Yet in spite of this crucial shift, Heidegger, like Husserl, emphasizes time as the distinguishing feature of the human comportment. ”201 The marginality of space accords it special significance as it “punctuates the development or delimitation of Heidegger’s discourse on temporality. Throughout Heidegger’s book spatiality appears as a constant aporetic element in his discourse, which ultimately proves to be insurmountable. ” Spatiality thus “appears as an exilic figure in the discourse on temporality, and at the same time, when engaged, it indicates issues beyond that discourse.

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