Yosef Gikkitila

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Main article Judaism and Other Religions

Rabbi Yosef Gikkitila, one of the foremost Kabbalists of the thirteenth century, was the author of the classic introduction to Jewish theosophy, Gates of Light. The ability to differentiate attributes of God into a vertical hierarchy allows him to differentiate religions.

The heavenly constellation is arrayed around the seventy princes, some of whom are included as knowers of the secrets… They do not, however, each have their own power or light, for it comes from YHVH, who is the source, the wellspring, from whom all draw and are sustained.

When God unites with Israel and one merges with the other, then all the heavenly princes will be made into one group to worship God, may He be Blessed. They will all serve the community of Israel, because it is from her that they will be sustained.

As it is said [in the Rosh Hashanah liturgy], ‘Therefore make all Your Creation aware of Your awe, YHVH our God, and Your creatures will fear You and all of Creation will bow before You as one unity to do Your will with a pure heart.’ God will remove all His appellations in the future in order to receive the community of Israel so that He can unite with Her, then all the nations will serve God; the nations will be outside and the Name YHVH will stand inside with the community of Israel joyful and tranquil.[12]

The notion that each of the nations has a corresponding heavenly power – an angel – goes back at least to Rabbinic sources. In classical contexts, it enables a distinction between direct Divine providence granted to Jews, and the indirect guidance granted through the ministering angels to the other nations. Here, Gikkitila is adding the notion of the Divine names. The apparent implication is that the religions of the gentiles provide access to some of the names of God, even if not as directly as does Judaism, which connects Israel to the greatest and most powerful of names, YHVH.

All the nations are sustained by the single Divine name, only known in the other religions through a glass darkly. Therefore there is one single God of creation; currently that unified perspective is veiled but eventually God will reveal Himself fully to all.

There are many variants on this approach; all of them accepting metaphysical structures. (See R. Elijah Benamozegh as an example.)