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Isaiah Tishby

TISHBY, ISAIAH (1908–1992), scholar of *Kabbalah, *Shabbateanism, ethical Hebrew literature, and Ḥasidism. Born as Sándor Schwartz in Sanislo, Hungary, Tishby received a traditional rabbinic education but soon became interested in secular literature and scholarly work. He wrote stories, articles, and poems in Hungarian, publishing a collection of Hungarian poems. He settled in Palestine in 1933 and studied at the Hebrew University, joining its department of Hebrew literature in 1951 (professor from 1955).

His main works include Zohar anthologies (Mishnat ha-Zohar, 2 vols., 1949–60); Pirkei Zohar (1969); Torat ha-Ra ve-ha-Kelippah be-Kabbalat ha-Ari ("The Idea of Evil… in Lurianic Kabbalah," 1942); Azriel of Gerona's exegetical Perush ha-Aggadot (1945); and a critical edition – begun by A.Z. Schwarz – of Jacob Sasportas' anti-Shabbatean tract Ẓiẓat Novel Ẓevi (1954). A collection of his studies in the fields of Kabbalah and Shabbateanism was published in 1964 as Netivei Emunah u-Minut ("Paths of Belief and Heresy"). In 1970 Tishby published Perakim mi-Sifrei Musar Kabballiyyim, an anthology of ethical works, with prefaces and commentary, covering from Saadiah to Maimonides. He wrote the article on ḥasidic thought in the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, which was also published as a separate book – Torat ha-Ḥasidut ve-Sifrutah (1966). Other studies of his deal with the messianic element in Ḥasidism, kabbalistic messianism in 16th-century Italy, and the messianic theology of M.Ḥ. *Luzzatto and his circle. In 1979 he was awarded the Israel Prize for Jewish studies.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.