2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Interdisciplinary

God on the Gallows: Tikkun and the Healing of God
Bradley H. Smith
Dr.  Dereck Daschke, Faculty Mentor

Perhaps no greater motif typifies the history of Judaism than that of exile. The effects of exilic suffering have been felt by individuals on theological, psychological, and sociological levels for millennia. In the early sixteenth century, Rabbi Isaac Luria constructed a fascinating cosmology in an attempt to explain the then-recent expulsion of Jews from Spain while still maintaining the integrity of his Jewish mystical faith. Calling on the Zohar of traditional Kabbalism, he taught that the body of God had been broken and scattered throughout the universe. It is the responsibility of humans, he explained, to “gather the sparks” of God’s broken body and put them back together by obeying God’s commands. He called his teaching, “Tikkun”. In what ways can we still understand Tikkun as the cure for the ailed conditions of both God and human beings? What effect does this have on us psychologically? Sociologically?

Keywords: Judaism, Jewish, Healing, Mysticism, God, Theology, Therapy, Myth

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 38-4
Location: OP 2210
Time: 2:00 pm

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