This article explores the ascetic tendencies of Nahmanides (R. Moses ben Nahman, ca. 1194-1270) as reflected in his oeuvre as a whole, including his halakhic, kabbalistic, exegetical, and philosophical output. A close examination of Nahmanides's kabbalistic commentary to a talmudic sugiya concerning the differences between oaths and vows uncovers the austere and ascetic ethos in his teaching and its central place in his religious world. This perspective is linked to the nature of human beings and the human soul, the relationship between body and psyche, the meaning of life and the overcoming of death, and the status of the Torah and the connection between observance of the commandments and the voluntary hasidic ethos.
- Human soul
- Torah observance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Religious studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Literature and Literary Theory