Leibniz’s Monad and the Talmudic Concept of “Malchut” in Yoma 38a-b

In Wenchao Li, Charlotte Wahl, Sven Erdner, Bianca Carina Schwarze & Yue Dan (eds.), »Le present est plein de l’avenir, et chargé du passé«. Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Gesellschaft e.V.. pp. Vol. 3, 294-298 (2023)
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Leibniz’s interest in the Talmud and in Jewish philosophy and theology in general, is well established in the scholarly literature. In this paper, we suggest a short comparative study of Leibniz’s concept of the monad and the Talmudic idea of “Malchut.” Our study is based, specifically, on a tractate of the Talmud titled Yoma. This tractate is mainly focused on the Jewish Atonement Day, in which Jews are judged by God for their sins in the previous year. In particular, in pages 38a-b of Yoma, the Talmud reads: “By your name they shall call you, and in your place they shall seat you, and from your own they shall give you; No person may touch that which is prepared for another, and one Malchut does not touch another even to the extent of a hairbreadth.” The Talmud suggests here that even though we somehow influence one another’s life, one cannot directly affect others’ predetermined place in the world or interfere in the individual paths prepared for others. In this paper, we aim to indicate the similarities between such Talmudic notions and Leibniz’s ideas in the Monadology – such as the ideas that monads have “no windows” and that a pre-established harmony is set among all monads by God – as a ground for future research.



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Idan Shimony
Tel Aviv University

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