Solitary Meditation in Jewish and Islamic Mysticism

Paul B. Fenton

The third remedy for the sickness of the soul is solitude… At moments of grace, it behoves the worshipper to isolate himself in a particular place in order that men should not see him… Thus I learned from my master, the saintly and pious rabbi Joseph Sagis, for he was accustomed to practise this. I have found in the writings of Rabbi Isaac of Akko, that several hasidim had this practice in his time.

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Originally published in Medieval Encounters, 1995. Republished here with thanks.