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The Scandal of KabbalahLeon Modena, Jewish Mysticism, Early Modern Venice$
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Yaacob Dweck

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691145082

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691145082.001.0001

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Hebrew Manuscripts in an Age of Print

Hebrew Manuscripts in an Age of Print

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter One Hebrew Manuscripts in an Age of Print
Source:
The Scandal of Kabbalah
Author(s):

Yaacob Dweck

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691145082.003.0002

This chapter posits Leon Modena's writing practices within the context of early modern Venice, capital of Hebrew printing and center of manuscript production. The circumstances of Modena's life as well as the cultural world of early modern Venice offer some context for why Ari Nohem (The Roaring Lion, 1840) did not appear in print in the seventeenth century. As a work of criticism, Ari Nohem reflected upon the transmission of Jewish tradition, particularly the transmission of esoteric information and the principles of Jewish law. Modena argued that the printing of legal and kabbalistic books had effected a radical change in the transmission of Jewish tradition, a change that he decried in no uncertain terms at several points. Ari Nohem polemicized against one medium, print, in the form of another, manuscript.

Keywords:   Leon Modena, early modern Venice, Hebrew printing, manuscript production, Ari Nohem, Jewish tradition, Jewish law, kabbalistic books, esoteric information

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