Idel on Spinoza

Warren Zev Harvey


In the course of his studies on Kabbalah, Moshe Idel has written on the influence of Kabbalists on philosophy. He suggests that Spinoza was influenced by the Kabbalah regarding his expressions Deus sive Natura and amor Dei intellectualis. The 13th-century ecstatic Kabbalist Rabbi Abraham Abulafia and many authors after him cited the numerical equivalence of the Hebrew words for God and Nature: elohim = ha-teba` = 86. This striking numerical equivalence may be one of the sources of Spinoza s expression Deus sive Natura. The same Kabbalist used the Hebrew expression ahabah elohit sikhlit (divine intellectual love), which may underlie Spinoza s expression amor Dei intellectualis. Abulafia s expression ahabah elohit sikhlit is repeated by the popular 15th-century Maimonidean philosopher, Rabbi Abraham Shalom.


God, nature, love, Kabbalah, mysticism, gematria, Moshe Idel, Spinoza, Maimonides, Abulafia, Gershom Scholem, Deus sive Natura, natura naturans, natura naturata, amor Dei intellectualis

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