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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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History of a Failure

History of a Failure

(p.231) Epilogue History of a Failure
The Scandal of Kabbalah

Yaacob Dweck

Princeton University Press

This epilogue argues that the failure of Ari Nohem was manifold. Modena failed to convince his immediate audience, and by extension the Jewish community of Venice, and by further extension Jewish communities throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, to abandon their embrace of a new Jewish theology that masqueraded under the guise of tradition. This was hardly surprising: no critic, no matter how stinging or how subtle, can convince people to change their beliefs or to abandon their practices. Modena had also failed to convince other scholars and other critics—the very people who might have been most receptive to his argument. To describe Ari Nohem as a failure is neither to indict the book nor to celebrate it. It is an attempt to understand it as a work written by an author constrained by the limits of his own particular moment in history.

Keywords:   Ari Nohem, Leon Modena, Jewish community, Jewish theology, Kabbalah

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