The Zaddiq as Axis Mundi in Later Judaism

Arthur Green

“The entire world is sustained by the merits of the zaddiqim”. “God saw that the zaddiqim were few; He rose up and planted them in each generation”. “As long as there are zaddiqim in the world, there is blessing in the world; when the zaddiqim die, blessings vanish”… the zaddiq is the pillar upon whom the world rests in the sense that he is the one through whose merits the world is sustained.

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Originally published in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 45, No. 3 (Sep. 1977), pp. 327-347. For the full article, follow this link to JSTOR.