This new book by Elisha Russ-Fishbane looks like essential reading: _Judaism, Sufism, and the Pietists of Medieval Egypt: A Study of Abraham Maimonides and His Times_. Check out the interview with Alan Brill. I’m going to read it soon.
Islam is essential to the future of Judaism. Such a sentiment is not a modern political statement but the thinking of the thirteenth century Jewish leader Rabbi Abraham the son of Maimonides. Abraham thought that thirteenth century Judaism was in decline compared to the classical age of the Bible and Talmud and that it could only be restored by following contemporary Islamic practices, which in his mind, are reflective of original Jewish practices. He used his leadership, as best as he could, to create a pietistic revival seeking Sufi inspired divine illumination and contemplative prophecy.
Elisha Russ-Fishbane, assistant professor at NYU recently wrote a study Judaism, Sufism, and the Pietists of Medieval Egypt: A Study of Abraham Maimonides and His Timeson the fascinating Jewish leader Abraham Maimonides. Russ-Fishbane revisits the Arabic documents from the Cairo Genizah reading them afresh to give greater accuracy and detail in presenting the views…
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