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Rabbi, Mystic, or Impostor?: The Eighteenth-Century Ba'al Shem of London
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Rabbi, Mystic, or Impostor?: The Eighteenth-Century Ba'al Shem of London (Hardback)

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The enigmatic

kabbalist Samuel Falk, known as the Ba'al Shem of London, has piqued the

curiosity of scholars for generations. Eighteenth-century London was fascinated

by Jews, and as a miracle-worker and adventurer, well connected and well read,

Falk had much to offer. Interest in the man was further aroused by rumours of

his dealings with European aristocrats and other famous characters, as well as

with scholars, Freemasons, and Shabbateans, but evidence was scanty. Michal

Oron has now brought together all the known source material on the man, and her

detailed annotations of his diary and that of his assistant give us rich

insights into his activities over several years. We learn of his meetings and

his travels; his finances; his disputes, his dreams, and his remedies; and

lists of his books. We see London's social life and commerce, its landed gentry

and its prisons, and what people ate, wore, and possessed. The burgeoning

Jewish community of London and its religious practices, as well as its communal

divisiveness, is depicted especially colourfully. The scholarly introductions

by Oron and by Todd Endelman and the informative appendices help contextualize

the diaries and offer an intriguing glimpse of Jewish involvement in

little-known aspects of London life at the threshold of the modern era.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsJudaismReligion & BeliefsOther Religions, Cults and alternatives to religionSpirituality & religious experience Publisher: Liverpool University Press Publication Date: 31/01/2018 ISBN-13: 9781904113034  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

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