By Lionel Kochan

The biblical prohibition of pictures units Judaism aside, including Islam, from all different spiritual structures. This publication makes an attempt to give an explanation for the explanations for the prohibition - in addition to its limits - after which exhibits how influential it's been in picking out features of Jewish considering relating to such key suggestions as holiness, symbolism, mediation among guy and God, aesthetics and the function of reminiscence in faith. Why is tune the single paintings to which Judaism is hospitable? Is Judaism a faith of the ear instead of the attention? what's the genuine factor at stake within the age-old debate among Jerusalem and Athens? How do those concerns relate to the iconoclastic events in Byzantine Christianity and the Reformation? Lionel Kochan makes transparent that to the prohibition of the graven snapshot there's greater than meets the eye.

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Judaism, whilst reluctantly accepting the presence of holiness, even in matter, remains extremely sensitive to any fear lest holiness be confused with 'hierophany' and fetishism. For the same reason it is important to dissociate holiness, in the sense in which it will henceforth be used, from notions of 'the mysterium tremendum' popularised by Rudolf Otto, where holiness is invested with an a priori, self-sufficient, autonomous character. 5 With the dichotomous status of sacred and profane expounded by Durkheim in terms of rivalry, distinctiveness and the social versus the individual, there is a third contrast.

Apart from the dominance of the first, no fixed scale of values exists. Articles such as phylacteries (tefillin) or mezuzot, both of which must bear the word or name of God as an integral part of their function, are tashmishei kedushah (instruments of sanctity). Other articles, though also used in the exercise of a religious function, such as a ram's horn (shofar) or a palm branch (lulav) but which lack the name or word of God are merely tashmishei mitzvah - instruments used in the fulfilment of a commandment - and therefore lack kedushah.

This is later supported by R. Abraham ibn Daud. one of the leading Tosafists, R. Baruch b. Isaac, argued however, that following the second exile, the sanctity of the Land was annulled but that of the Temple Mount remained in force. fifi R. Shimon b. Zemah agreed here in respect of the Land. 67 Maimonides also made a distinction between the enduring sanctity inherent in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, and the variable sanctity of the Land. fiR The debates involve such considerations as the permanent (or time-bound) validity of Solomon's consecration of the Temple; the renewal (or perhaps only confirmation) of this consecration under Ezra and Nehemiah when the Temple was rebuilt by the returning exiles from Babylon; whether this renewal (or confirmation) was also time-bound or enduring.

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