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This purification means greater abstraction,avoidance of any literal reading of Biblical anthropomorphisms,and a mighty struggle over whetherand how one may speak of divine "attributes"at all. The lack of incarnationin the Jewish God, combined with the absence of plastic images, meantthat He did not rouse the passionate intensity one could not help but feel in gazing at the lovely figures of Christ,in wood carving,in metals, and in paint,thatare among the greaterand lesser masterpieces of the Westernartistictradition.

144. Ratherthan claiming Christianinfluence on Kabbalah,Pico della Mirandola(1463-94) and otherssaw the Kabbalisticteachings as stemming from a lost ancientrevelationthat would provide the true key to understandingChristianityitself, along with Orphic and other ancient esoteric texts. See Genevieve Javary,"A propos du theme de la Sekina:Variations sur le nom de Dieu,"in KabbalistesChretiens,ed. A Faivreand N. Tristan(Paris:Albin Michel, 1979), p. 294 and 302ff. See also her full-lengthtreatmentin Recherchessur l'utilisation du themede la Sekina dans l'apologetique chretiennedu quinziemeau dix-huitiemesiecle (Paris:Champion, 1977).

The anonymousthirteenth-centuryIggeret ha-Qodesh(ed. prin. Rome, 1546), serves as a manualfor sexual conduct. Thus they will be one regardingthis mizvah [the sexual act]. The verbyetsayyeru["havepictured"] indicatesthatthey may do so in somewhatgraphicterms, and the child of their union will be in the image of that beautiful divine form they have gazed upon during lovemaking. Kitvey RaMBaN, v. 2, p. 331 (Jerusalem:Mossad Ha-RavKook,1964). "Seder Ha-Yomwas first published in Venice, 1599. This point was first made by M.

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