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Does Judaism Condone Violence?Holiness and Ethics in the Jewish Tradition$
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Alan L. Mittleman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174235

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174235.001.0001

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Holiness and Judaism

Holiness and Judaism

(p.23) Chapter One Holiness and Judaism
Does Judaism Condone Violence?

Alan L. Mittleman

Princeton University Press

This chapter reconstructs the meanings of holiness from representative texts of the Jewish tradition. The discussion is anchored on two claims. First, biblical thought does not divide the world into a neat dualism of sacred and profane. Second, the Bible and subsequent Judaism conceive of holiness in three different ways: holiness sometimes refers to a property, holiness indicates a status, and holiness is a value or project. These three characteristics of holiness are examined in detail using the Bible. The chapter is primarily concerned with the ideas of the holiness of the people of Israel and the holiness of the Land of Israel. It considers the sacred/profane dichotomy by focusing on the views of twentieth-century scholars such as Emile Durkheim, Rudolf Otto, and Mircea Eliade. It also explores holiness and purity as they relate to God before concluding with an analysis of holiness in ancient and medieval rabbinic Judaism.

Keywords:   holiness, sacred, Bible, Judaism, Israel, Emile Durkheim, Mircea Eliade, purity, God, profane

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