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8 Judaica Mystiek en Spiritualiteit

Le Bahir. Livre de la clarte
Traduit de l hebrue et de l arameen par Joseph Gottfarstein
Collection les Dix Paroles, Verdier, 1983, pap, 171 pp, € 16.50, 9782864320210
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The Bahir: Illumination
hebrew text (attr to R. Nehunia ben haKana) and english translation, introduction and commentary by Aryeh Kaplan
Weiser Books, 1979 / 1989, pap, 244 pp, € 18.50, 9780877286189
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Aptekman, M.
Jacob`s Ladder. Kabbalistic Allegory in Russian Literature
Borderlines: Russian and East European-Jewish Studies, Academic Studies Press, 2011, geb, 249 pp, € 82.50, 9781934843383
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Ariel, D.
Kabbalah, the Mystic Quest in Judaism,
In the wake of the renewed interest in Kabbalah comes David Ariel's "Kabbalah The Mystic Quest in Judaism", a thoroughly updated edition of his classic best selling book, "The Mystic Quest". Ariel beautifully presents the complex elements of Jewish mysticism's major ideas in clear, understandable, and accessible language for Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike. Hailed as brilliant by "Publishers Weekly", the book has a completely revised Introduction that sets a contemporary context for understanding Jewish mysticism. Concluding with how Kabbalah can be incorporated into our daily lives, "Kabbalah The Mystic Quest in Judaism", is an intellectually sophisticated yet straightforward book studded with deep insights on what Jewish mystical thought is all about.
Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, pap, 255 pp, € 17.50, 9780742545649
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Bachrach, Sid
Zo zoet als honing. Meditaties met het alefbeet
In Zo zoet als honing verklaart Sid Bachrach de 22 letters van het Hebreeuwse alfabet. Bovendien legt hij steeds verbanden met meditatie. Een boek vol tijdloze wijsheid, geworteld in de oude traditie van de rabbijnen.

Er bestaat een prachtige gewoonte: tijdens de eerste les Hebreeuws schrijven joodse kinderen de letters van het Hebreeuwse alfabet met honing op een schoolbord. Een voor een volgen ze de lijnen van elke letter met hun vingers. Natuurlijk mogen de kinderen hun vingers aflikken om te proeven hoe zoet de studie van het Hebreeuws is. Deze en vele andere verhalen vindt u in Zo zoet als honing. De uitleg van de letters is gebaseerd op authentieke rabbijnse legendes en nieuwe inzichten in de joodse traditie. Bij elke letter staat een meditatie-oefening die naadloos aansluit bij de inhoud van de verhalen.

Sid Bachrach woonde in de Verenigde Staten en in Jeruzalem. Hij stichtte in 1984 het vredes-, ecologisch en cultureel centrum De Weyst, in een voormalig kapucijnerklooster in Handel (Noord-Brabant). Hij woont en werkt daar als gastheer, begeleider van clienten van de reclassering en biologisch tuinder. Ook is hij docent aan de International School Eindhoven.

Ten Have, 2011, pap, 163 pp, € 14.95, 9789025961305
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Bloom, H.
Fallen Angels
Yale UP, 2007, geb, 71 pp, € 16.75, 9780300123487
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Bloom, M.
Jewish Mysticism and Magic. An Anthropological Perspective
BY ORDER
Routledge Jewish Studies Series, Routledge, 2007, geb, 231 pp, € 99.00, 9780415421126
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Buxbaum, Y.
The Light and Fire of the Baal Shem Tov
Continuum, 2005, geb, 420 pp, € 46.00, 9780826417725
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Cohn-Sherbok, D.
Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism. An Introductory Anthology
Traditionally, 'kabbalah' refers to the teachings of Jewish mystics, their reflections on the Divine and their experiences of God: through Kabbalah, we embark upon a spiritual quest to discover God, our souls and the nature of the world. In this fascinating anthology of Jewish mystical texts, Dan Cohn-Sherbok traces the tradition's development from the early rabbinic period to its present day resurgence. Beginning with an illuminating introduction to its history, this book presents the important texts which underpin Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, with supporting explanations provided to help readers unfamiliar with the subject. Essential for a deep understanding of this esoteric spiritual quest, "Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism" will captivate the interested reader and student alike.
Oneworld, 2006, 2nd ed., pap, 180 pp, € 16.50, 9781851684540
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Cole, Peter ( translated and annotation) , co-ed with Aminadav Dykman
The Poetry of Kabbalah. Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition
This groundbreaking collection presents for the first time in English a substantial body of poetry that emerges directly from the sublime and often startling world of Jewish mysticism. Taking up Gershom Scholem's call to plumb the 'tremendous poetic potential' concealed in the Kabbalistic tradition, Peter Cole provides dazzling renderings of work composed on three continents over a period of some fifteen hundred years.

In addition to the translations and the texts in their original languages, Cole supplies a lively and insightful introduction, along with accessible commentaries to the poems. Aminadav Dykman adds an elegant afterword that places the work in the context of world literature. As a whole, the collection brings readers into the fascinating force field of Kabbalistic verse, where the building blocks of both language and existence itself are unveiled.

Yale UP, 2014, pap, 544 pp, € 21.00, 9780300205695
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Cole, Peter ( translated and annotation) , co-ed with Aminadav Dykman
The Poetry of Kabbalah. Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition
This groundbreaking collection presents for the first time in English a substantial body of poetry from the world of Jewish mysticism. Taking up Gershom Scholem's call to plumb the "tremendous poetic potential concealed" in the Kabbalistic tradition, MacArthur-winning poet and translator Peter Cole provides dazzling English renderings of works composed on three continents over a period of some fifteen hundred years.

The volume presents the texts in their original languages alongside the English translations. These prayerful poems represent different cultural terrains and take up multiple tacks. The reader will encounter cosmological masterpieces and occasional poems; erotic charms and epic phantasmagoria; ballad-like lyrics and didactic mottoes; and, simple hymns of pure devotion and gnomic verse of numerical intrigue.

Cole supplies an insightful introduction along with commentaries on the poems, and in an elegant afterword Aminadav Dykman places Kabbalistic verse in the context of world literature.

Yale UP, 2012, geb, 448 pp, € 29.50, 9780300169164
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Cordovero, M.
La Douce Lumiere, Or ne erab
Traduit de l hébreu, introduit et annoté par Schmouel Ouziel op bestelling/ by order
Collection les Dix Paroles, Verdier, 1997, pap, 222 pp, € 21.00, 2864322617
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Cordovero, M.
Le Palmier de Debora
Introduction, traduction et notes par Charles Mopsik
Collection les Dix Paroles, Verdier, 1985, pap, 175 pp, € 16.50, 2864320401
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Cordovero, Mozes
Dadelpalmboom van Debora, levenslessen van een kabbalist
'Dadelpalmboom van Debora' is in de zestiende eeuw geschreven door Mozes Cordovero, een van de grootste kabbalisten in het toenmalige centrum van de mystiek, Safed in Gallilea. Het is door de eeuwen heen een veel gelezen en geliefd boek gebleven. Voor het eerst in de geschiedenis worden hier aanwijzingen gegeven hoe de tien goddelijke karakteristieken, weergegeven in de zogenoemde sefirotboom, vertaald kunnen worden als een dagelijkse opdracht voor een mens. Want zoals een hedendaagse onderzoeker van de mystiek zei: 'Religion is a way of walking, not a way of talking.' In dit boek wil Cordovero zijn leerlingen een grotere spirituele gevoeligheid bijbrengen in de omgang met elkaar en met de hele scheping, met medemensen en medeschepsels, dieren en planten. Zo wordt de stroom van energie, waar de boom met goddelijke karakteristieken van verhaalt, geworteld in het dagelijks leven. Dat maakt dit boek tot op vandaag actueel en alleszins het samen bestuderen en persoonlijk overwegen waard.

Vertaler drs. Henk J. Huyser (1936) is leerling van rabbijn Yehuda Aschkenasy, bij wie hij in 1980 aan de Katholieke Theologische Universiteit in Utrecht doctoraal examen theologie aflegde met als hoofdvak Talmoedica. Hij is jarenlang fellow van de stichting Pardes (voorheen Folkertsma Stichting) en was voor de Protestantse kerken in Nederland werkzaam voor Joods-christelijke contacten en als docent Judaica aan een middelbaar theologische opleiding. Nu, met emeritaat en wonend in Zuid-Frankrijk, heeft hij een tiental Joodse boeken vertaald in het Nederlands

Mastix Press, 2012, pap, 100 pp, € 15.00, 9789081863933
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Dan, J.
The Heart and the Fountain. An Anthology of Jewish Mystical Experiences
Oxford UP, 2002, pap, 326 pp, € 19.95, 9780195139792
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Dan, Joseph
Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction
In Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction, Joseph Dan, one of the world's leading authorities on Jewish mysticism, offers a concise and highly accurate look at the history and character of the various systems developed by the adherents of the Kabbalah. Dan sheds light on the many misconceptions about what Kabbalah is and isn't--including its connections to magic, astronomy, alchemy, and numerology--and he illuminates the relationship between Kaballah and Christianity on the one hand and New Age religion on the other. The book provides fascinating historical background, ranging from the mystical groups that flourished in ancient Judaism in the East, and the medieval schools of Kabbalah in Northern Spain and Southern France, to the widening growth of Kabbalah through the school of Isaac Luria of Safed in the sixteenth century, to the most potent and influential modern Jewish religious movement, Hasidism, and its use of kabbalistic language in its preaching. The book examines the key ancient texts of this tradition, including the Sefer Yezira or "Book of Creation," The Book of Bahir, and the Zohar. Dan explains Midrash, the classical Jewish exegesis of scriptures, which assumes an infinity of meanings for every biblical verse, and he concludes with a brief survey of scholarship in the field and a list of books for further reading. Embraced by celebrities and integrated in many contemporary spiritual phenomena, Kabbalah has reaped a wealth of attention in the press. But many critics argue that the form of Kabbalah practiced in Hollywood is more New Age pabulum than authentic tradition. Can there be a positive role for the Kabbalah in the contemporary quest for spirituality? In Kabbalah, Joseph Dan debunks the myths surrounding modern Kabbalistic practice, offering an engaging and dependable account of this traditional Jewish religious phenomenon and its impact outside of Judaism.
Very Short Introductions Series, Oxford UP, 2005, pap, 130 pp, € 12.50, 9780195327052
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Elior, R.
Jewish Mysticism. The Infinite Expression of Freedom
Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Littman, 2007, geb, 207 pp, € 24.50, 9781906764043
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Elior, R.
The Mystical Origins of Hasidism
Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2006, geb, 256 pp, € 52.00, 9781874774846
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Elior, R.
The Three Temples: On the Emergence of Jewish Mysticism
The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2004, geb, 301 pp, € 58.50, 9781874774662
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Feer, M. van der
Letters van licht. Over de verborgen betekenis van het Hebreeuwse alfabet
Amphora Books, 2006, pap, 112 pp, € 17.50, 9789064460449
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Garb, J.
Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah
Bringing to light a hidden chapter in the history of modern Judaism, "Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah" explores the shamanic dimensions of Jewish mysticism. Jonathan Garb integrates methods and models from the social sciences, comparative religion, and Jewish studies to offer a fresh view of the early modern kabbalists and their social and psychological contexts. Through close readings of numerous texts - some translated here for the first time - Garb draws a more complete picture of the kabbalists than previous depictions, revealing them to be as concerned with deeper states of consciousness as they were with study and ritual. Garb discovers that they developed physical and mental methods to induce trance states, visions of heavenly mountains, and transformations into animals or bodies of light. To gain a deeper understanding of the kabbalists' shamanic practices, Garb compares their experiences with those of mystics from other traditions as well as with those recorded by psychologists such as Milton Erickson and Carl Jung. Finally, Garb examines the kabbalists' relations with the wider Jewish community, uncovering the role of kabbalistic shamanism in the renewal of Jewish tradition as it contended with modernity.
Chicago U.P., 2011, geb, 276 pp, € 41.50, 9780226282077
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Garb. Jonathan
The Chosen Will Become Herds. Studies in Twentieth-Century Kabbalah
The popularity of Kabbalah, a Jewish mystical movement at least 900 years old, has grown astonishingly within the context of the vast and ever-expanding social movement commonly referred to as the New Age. This book is the first to provide a broad overview of the major trends in contemporary Kabbalah together with in-depth discussions of major figures and schools. A noted expert on Kabbalah, Jonathan Garb places the 'Kabbalistic Renaissance' within the global context of the rise of other forms of spirituality, including Sufism and Tibetan Buddhism. He shows how Kabbalah has been transformed by the events of the Holocaust and, following the establishment of Israel, by aliyah, or settlement.

The Chosen Will Become Herds is an original piece of scholarship and, in its own right, a new chapter in the history of Kabbalah.

Yale UP, 2009, pap, 218 pp, € 52.50, 9780300123944
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Giller, P.
Kabbalah: A Guide for the Perplexed
This is accessible and reliable survey of Kabbalah's key elements, uniquely exploring the contemporary phenomena of its popularity and the notoreity of some its modern purveyors. "Kabbalah: A Guide for the Perplexed" is a concise and accessible introduction to the major elements of the prevalent metaphysical system of Judaism, Kabbalah. The book covers the historical and theoretical essence of Kabbalah, offering a clear definition of the term and the limitations of what Kabbalah is and is not. Pinchas Giller provides an overview of the history of the movement, reflecting the sweep of Jewish history as a whole, and examines its metaphysical system, the advanced mythos of early and later Luria, doctrines of the soul, and the mysteries of Jewish religious practice and law. The book concludes with a summary of the contemporary kabbalistic phenomena, particularly in light of the notoriety of some modern purveyors of Kabbalah. As cogent and objective as possible, this is the ideal companion for those wishing to gain a sound understanding of this often perplexing mystical aspect of Judaism. "Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material. B3141
Guides for the Perplexed Series, Continuum, 2011, pap, 216 pp, € 21.50, 9781441110329
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Giller, P.
Shalom Sharabi and the Kabbalists of Beit El
Pinchas Giller offers a wide-ranging overview of the most influential school of kabbalah in modernity, the Jerusalem kabbalists of the Beit El Yeshivah. The school is associated with the writings and personality of a charismatic Yemenite Rabbi, Shalom Shar'abi. Shar'abi's activity overwhelmed the Jerusalem Kabbalah of the eighteenth-century, and his acolytes are the most active mystics in contemporary Middle Eastern Jewry to this day. Today, this meditative tradition is rising in popularity in Jerusalem, New York, and Los Angeles, both among traditional Beit El kabbalists and memebers of the notorious Kabbalah Learning Centers. After providing the historical setting, Giller examines the characteristic mystical practices of the Beit El School. The dominant practice is that of ritual prayer with mystical "intentions", or kavvanot. The kavvanot themselves are the product of thousands of years of development, and incorporate many traditions and bodies of lore. Giller examines the archaeology of the kavvanot literature, the principle of the sacred names that make up the majority of kavvanot, the development of particular rituals, and the innovative mystical and devotional practices of the Beit El kabbalists to this day. The first book in the English language to address the character and spread of jewish mysticism through the Middle East in early modernity, it will be a guide post for further study of this vast topic.
Oxford UP, 2008, geb, 197 pp, € 64.75, 9780195328806
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Green, Arthur
Ehyeh. A Kabbalah for Tomorrow
Jewish Lights Pub, 2004, pap, 224 pp, € 18.95, 9781580232135
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Green, Arthur
Seek My Face, Speak My Name. A Jewish Mystical Theology
Jewish Lights Pub, 2003 / 2012, pap, 269 pp, € 19.95, 9781580231305
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Green, Arthur
These Are the Words, 2nd Edition--Revised and Expanded
Jewish Lights Pub, 2012, pap, 285 pp, € 19.95, 9781580234948
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Green, Arthur
Tormented Master. The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav
Jewish Lights Pub, 1992, pap, 416 pp, € 19.95, 9781879045118
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Guetta, A.
Philosophy and Kabbalah. Elijah Benamozegh and the Reconciliation of Western Thought and Jewish Esotericism
SUNY Series in Contemporary Jewish Thought, SUNY, 2009/2010, pap, 237 pp, € 24.50, 9780791475768
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Guetta, A.
Philosophy and Kabbalah. Elijah Benamozegh and the Reconciliation of Western Thought and Jewish Esotericism
SUNY Series in Contemporary Jewish Thought, SUNY, 2009, geb, 237 pp, € 61.00, 9780791475751
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Halevi, Z. ben S.
De school van de ziel. De weg met zijn valkuilen
In dit boek staat de vorming van Kabbalah-groepen centraal. Het is geschreven voor alle mensen die geïnteresseerd zijn in de praktische zijde van de Kabbalah, dat wil zeggen: diegenen die een school willen vormen waarin men gezamenlijk groeit en krachten verzamelt. In dit boek ligt de nadruk op oefeningen en visualisatie-technieken, die – en we voegen het er maar aan toe – op het eerste gezicht lijken af te wijken van de aniconische praktijken binnen het normatieve Jodendom.

Deze ideeën zijn niet zuiver betrokken op het zien van de taal, dit is geen vorm van intertekstueel spel. Nee, bij deze ideeën gaat het om mar’eh Shekinah, om de waarneming van Zijn Aanwezigheid. Er bestaat gewis een bepaalde spanning tussen de Kabbalah en de normatieve godsdienstbeleving. Kabbalisten wisten zich bij hun studies en voorstellingen steeds gelegitimeerd door de Traditie en de exegese van de Tenach en dan vooral de tekst dat G’d in de Tempel tronend, aanwezig was en gezeten op de Cherubim. In beelden of dimmuyot verscheen Hij aan hen (Agadat Beresjiet 14). De kabbalistische exegese én de doorlevering van de verschijning van G’d op de berg Sinaï, leidden tot complexe mystieke speculaties en een ongemeen rijke voorstellingswereld. Het is deze Kabbalah van ‘zien’, die de auteur op een moderne manier voor de lezer toegankelijk wil maken. Hij wenst een venster te bieden op de ervaring, zodat de lezer zelf kan ontdekken wat de structuren zijn die naar Boven reiken en – zoals Mircea Eliade betoogde – uitkomen bij de diepste betekenis en rijkste zin van het Leven.

Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi (1933) is van Sefardische herkomst en woont met zijn vrouw Rebekah in Londen. Zijn boeken verschenen in diverse talen, onder andere het Engels, Duits, Frans, Japans en het Hebreeuws.

Amphora Books, 2007, pap, 350 pp, € 22.50, 9789064460487
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Hamburg, J. (componist)
CD Jerusalem
Cd in boekje, geïllustreerd door Bert Hof. Compositie van Jeff Hamburg geïnspireerd op drie gedichten.
Folkertsma Stichting, 1998, € 10.00
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Haskell, Ellen Davina
Suckling at My Mother's Breasts. The Image of a Nursing God in Jewish Mysticism
A fascinating discussion of the kabbalistic image of a nursing god, its historical context, and its theological implications.

One of Kabbalah's most distinctive images of the feminine divine is that of a motherly, breastfeeding God. Suckling at My Mother's Breasts traces this idea from its origins in ancient rabbinic literature through its flourishing in the medieval classic Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Splendor). Taking the position that kabbalistic images provide specific, detailed models for understanding the relationship between God and human beings, Ellen Davina Haskell connects divine nursing theology to Jewish ideals regarding motherhood, breastfeeding, and family life from medieval France and Spain, where Kabbalah originated.

Haskell's approach allows for a new evaluation of Kabbalah's feminine divine, one centered on culture and context, rather than gender philosophy or psychoanalysis. As this work demonstrates, the image of the nursing divine is intended to cultivate a direct emotional response to God rooted in nurture, love, and reliance, rather than knowledge, sexuality, or authority.

Ellen Davina Haskell is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

SUNY Press, 2013, pap, 193 pp, € 24.90, 9781438443805
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Haskell, Ellen Davina
Suckling at My Mother's Breasts. The Image of a Nursing God in Jewish Mysticism
A fascinating discussion of the kabbalistic image of a nursing god, its historical context, and its theological implications.

One of Kabbalah's most distinctive images of the feminine divine is that of a motherly, breastfeeding God. Suckling at My Mother's Breasts traces this idea from its origins in ancient rabbinic literature through its flourishing in the medieval classic Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Splendor). Taking the position that kabbalistic images provide specific, detailed models for understanding the relationship between God and human beings, Ellen Davina Haskell connects divine nursing theology to Jewish ideals regarding motherhood, breastfeeding, and family life from medieval France and Spain, where Kabbalah originated.

Haskell's approach allows for a new evaluation of Kabbalah's feminine divine, one centered on culture and context, rather than gender philosophy or psychoanalysis. As this work demonstrates, the image of the nursing divine is intended to cultivate a direct emotional response to God rooted in nurture, love, and reliance, rather than knowledge, sexuality, or authority.

Ellen Davina Haskell is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

SUNY Series in Western Esoteric Traditions, SUNY, 2012, geb, 193 pp, € 72.95, 9781438443812
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Hellner-Eshed, M.
A River Flows From Eden. The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar
Standford UP, 2009, geb, 469pp, € 67.50, 9780804759397
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Idel, M.
Absorbing Perfections. Kabbalah and Interpretation.
In this discussion of Kabbalah - from the mystical trends of medieval Judaism to modern Hasidism - Moshe Idel considers different visions of the nature of the sacred text and of the methods to interpret it. He takes as a starting point the fact that the post-biblical Jewish world lost its geographical centre with the destruction of the temple and so was left with a textual centre, the Holy Book. Idel argues that a text-oriented religion produced language-centred forms of mysticism. Against this background, the author demonstrates how various Jewish mystics amplified the content of the Scriptures so as to include everything: the world, or God, for example. Thus the text becomes a major realm for contemplation, and the interpretation of the text frequently becomes an encounter with the deepest realms of reality. Idel delineates the particular hermeneutics belonging to Jewish mysticism, investigates the progressive filling of the text with secrets and hidden levels of meaning, and considers in detail the various interpretive strategies needed to decodify the arcane dimensions of the text.
Yale UP, 2002, pap, 668 pp, € 53.50, 9780300191479
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Idel, M.
Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism
While many aspects of Sonship have been analyzed in books on Judaism, this book constitutes the first attempt to address the category of Sonship in Jewish mystical literature as a whole - a category much more vast than ever imagined. Idel's aim is to point out the many instances where Jewish thinkers, especially the mystics among them, resorted to concepts of Sonship and their conceptual backgrounds, and thus to show the existence of a wide variety of understandings of hypostatic sons in Judaism. By this survey, not only can the mystical forms of Sonship in Judaism be better understood, but the concept of Sonship in religion in general can also be enriched. "The Kogod Library of Judaic Studies" aims to publish new research in all areas of Judaic studies with the potential to both enrich and deepen the understanding of Jewish culture and history and to influence and mould Jewish life and philosophy. The series reflects the existence of plural Jewish identities and streams involved in a lively and continuous multi-vocal religious discourse, and in creating a cultural mosaic.
The Kogod Library of Judaic Studies, Continuum, 2007, pap, 725 pp, € 46.00, 9780826496669
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Idel, M.
Kabbalah and Eros
In this book, the world's foremost scholar of Kabbalah explores the understanding of erotic love in Jewish mystical thought. Encompassing Jewish mystical literatures from those of late antiquity to works of Polish Hasidism, Moshe Idel highlights the diversity of Kabbalistic views on eros and distinguishes between the major forms of eroticism. The author traces the main developments of a religious formula that reflects the union between a masculine divine attribute and a feminine divine attribute, and he asks why such an 'erotic formula' was incorporated into the Jewish prayer book. Idel shows how Kabbalistic literature was influenced not only by rabbinic literature but also by Greek thought that helped introduce a wider understanding of eros. Addressing topics ranging from cosmic eros and androgyneity to the affinity between C. J. Jung and Kabbalah to feminist thought, Idel's deeply learned study will be of consuming interest to scholars of religion, Judaism and feminism.
Yale UP, 2005, geb, 371 pp, € 33.50, 9780300108323
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Idel, M.
Messianic Mystics
In this stimulating book, one of the world's leading scholars of Jewish thought examines the long tradition of Jewish messianism and mystical experience. Moshe Idel calls upon his profound knowledge of ancient and medieval texts and of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Eastern sources to uncover new perspectives on the nature and development of Jewish messianism. He shows that, contrary to Gershom Scholem's view that mysticism and messianism are incompatible religious tendencies, they are in fact closely related spiritual phenomena. Messianism regularly emerges from mystical experiences, Idel contends. Exploring the interplay of Jewish messianism and mysticism from the twelfth through the eighteenth centuries, the book looks closely at pivotal figures and movements, including Abraham Abulafia, Sabbatai Sevi, and hasidism. Idel discerns three types of messianism-theosophical-theurgical, ecstatic, and talismanic-and through these demonstrates that Kabbalah, from the very beginning, was messianically oriented. He counters the common belief that messianism typically arises as a response to such calamities as the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and shows that messiahs often gain great popularity in times of political tranquility. Idel also finds that Jewish messianic and mystical experience bears a much greater resemblance to Christian messianism than has been recognized before.
Yale UP, 1998, pap, 451 pp, € 39.75, 9780300082883
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Idel, M.
Old Worlds, New Mirrors. On Jewish Mysticism and Twentieth-Century Thought
There emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a new Jewish elite, notes Moshe Idel, no longer made up of prophets, priests, kings, or rabbis but of intellectuals and academicians working in secular universities or writing for an audience not defined by any one set of religious beliefs. In Old Worlds, New Mirrors Idel turns his gaze on figures as diverse as Walter Benjamin and Jacques Derrida, Franz Kafka and Franz Rosenzweig, Arnaldo Momigliano and Paul Celan, Abraham Heschel and George Steiner to reflect on their relationships to Judaism in a cosmopolitan, mostly European, context. Idel-himself one of the world's most eminent scholars of Jewish mysticism-focuses in particular on the mystical aspects of his subjects' writings. Avoiding all attempts to discern anything like a single "essence of Judaism" in their works, he nevertheless maintains a sustained effort to illumine especially the Kabbalistic and Hasidic strains of thought these figures would have derived from earlier Jewish sources. Looming large throughout is Gershom Scholem, the thinker who played such a crucial role in establishing the study of Kabbalah as a modern academic discipline and whose influence pervades Idel's own work; indeed, the author observes, much of the book may be seen as a mirror held up to reflect on the broader reception of Scholem's thought.
Pennsylvania UP, 2010, geb, 323 pp, € 54.00, 9780812241303
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Idel, M.
Saturn's Jews. On the Witches' Sabbat and Sabbateanism
This book provides impressive dossier on the phenomenon of Saturnism, offering a new interpretation of aspects of Judaism, including the emergence of Sabbateanism. This book explores the phenomenon of Saturnism, namely the belief that the planet Saturn, as described by ancient astrology, influenced Jews, reverberating into Jewish life. Taking into consideration the astrological aspects of Judaism, Moshe Idel demonstrates that they were instrumental in the conviction that Sabbatei Tzevei, the mid-17th-century messianic figure in Rabbinic Judaism, was indeed the Messiah. Offering a new approach to the study of this mass-movement known as Sabbateanism, Idel also explores the possible impact of astrology on the understanding of Sabbath as related to sorcery and thus to the concept of the encounter of witches in the late 14th and early 15th century. This book further analyzes aspects of 20th-century scholarship and thought influenced by Saturnism, particularly lingering themes in the works of Gershom Scholem and seminal figure Walter Benjamin. "The Robert and Arlene Kogod Library of Judaic Studies" publishes new research which provides new directions for modern Jewish thought and life and which serves to enhance the quality of dialogue between classical sources and the modern world. This book series reflects the mission of the Shalom Hartman Institute, a pluralistic research and leadership institute, at the forefront of Jewish thought and education. It empowers scholars, rabbis, educators and layleaders to develop new and diverse voices within the tradition, laying foundations for the future of Jewish life in Israel and around the world.
The Kogod Library of Judiac Studies, Continuum, 2011, pap, 198 pp, € 34.50, 9780826444530
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Idel, Moshe
Kabbalah in Italy, 1280 - 1510 : A Survey
This sweeping survey of the history of Kabbalah in Italy represents a major contribution from one of the world's foremost Kabbalah scholars. The first to focus attention on a specific centre of Kabbalah, Moshe Idel charts the ways that Kabbalistic thought and literature developed in Italy and how its unique geographical situation facilitated the arrival of both Spanish and Byzantine Kabbalah. Idel analyzes the work of three major Kabbalists - Abraham Abulafia, Menahem Recanati, and Yohanan Alemanno - who represent diverse schools of thought: the ecstatic, the theosophical-theurgical, and the astromagical. Directing special attention to the interactions and tensions among these forms of Jewish Kabbalah and the nascent Christian Kabbalah, Idel brings to light the rich history of Kabbalah in Italy and the powerful influence of this important centre on the emergence of Christian Kabbalah and European occultism in general.
Yale UP, 2011, geb, 494 pp, € 52.50, 9780300126266
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Kaplan, Aryeh
Joodse meditatie. In het licht van de Kabbala
Bijleveld, 2009, pap, 206 pp, € 18.50, 9789061316640
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Kenton, W.
Kabbalah. Tradition of Hidden Knowledge
Thames & Hudson, 1979, pap, 96 pp, € 13.90, 9780500810231
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Knohl, I.
Messiahs and Resurrection in The Gabriel Revelation
The Kogod Library of Judaic Studies, Continuum, 2009, pap, 122 pp, € 22.90, 9780826425072
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Knohl, I.
Messiahs and Resurrection in The Gabriel Revelation
The Kogod Library of Judaic Studies, Continuum, 2009, geb, 122 pp, € 76.00, 9780826446695
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Laenen, S.
Joodse mystiek: een inleiding
Dit boek maakt de wereld van de joodse mystiek toegankelijk voor een breed publiek. J.H. Laenen behandelt verschillende mystieke stromingen: de Hechalot-mystiek, de klassieke Kabbala, de Kabbala van Luria en van Shabbetai Zevi, het chassidisme en de moderne esoterisch-kabbalistische scholen. Ook thema"s als de leer van de sefirot, de taalmystiek en symboliek komen aan de orde.

De bestaande literatuur over joodse mystiek valt ruwweg uiteen in twee soorten: wetenschappelijke studies die soms moeilijk toegankelijk zijn, en populaire boeken, die door de vaak subjectieve benadering meer verduisteren dan duidelijk maken.

Tussen beide benaderingen zit een leemte, die Laenen met dit boek opvult: het ontsluit de wereld van de joodse mystiek voor een breed publiek, maar geeft tegelijkertijd een wetenschappelijk verantwoord beeld van joodse mystieke stromingen in de laatste 2000 jaar.

Kok, 2008, pap, 298 pp, € 12.50, 9789043510776
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Laitman, M.
Kabbala. Gids voor spirituele ontwikkeling
Vereniging Kabbala, 2004, geb, 508 pp, € 29.00, 9789080806313
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Lamm, N.
The Shema. Spirituality and Law in Judaism
BY ORDER
JPS, 2000, pap, 222 pp, € 19.50, 9780827607132
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Leavitt, J.O.
The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka. Theosophy, Cabala, and the Modern Spiritual Revival
In a long-overlooked diary entry, Franz Kafka admitted to suffering from "bouts of clairvoyance." These bouts of clairvoyance can be seen in his writing, in moments when the solid basis of human cognition totters, the dissolution of matter seems imminent, and objects are jarringly severed from physical referents. June O. Leavitt offers a fascinating examination of the mystical in Kafka's life and writings, showing that Kafka's understanding of the occult was not only a product of his own clairvoyant experiences but of the age in which he lived. Kafka lived during the modern Spiritual Revival, a powerful movement which resisted materialism, rejected the adulation of science and Darwin, and idealized clairvoyant modes of consciousness. Kafka's contemporaries - such theosophical ideologues as Madame H.P. Blavatsky, Annie Besant, and Dr. Rudolph Steiner - encouraged the counterculture to seek the true, spiritual essence of reality by inducing out-of-body experiences and producing visions of higher disembodied beings through meditative techniques. Leaders of the Spiritual Revival also called for the adoption of certain lifestyles, such as vegetarianism, in order to help transform consciousness and return humanity to its divine nature. Interweaving the occult discourse on clairvoyance, the divine nature of animal life, vegetarianism, the spiritual sources of dreams, and the eternal nature of the soul with Kafka's dream-chronicles, animal narratives, diaries, letters, and stories, Leavitt takes the reader on a journey through the texts of a great psychic writer and the fascinating epoch of the Spiritual Revival.
Oxford UP, 2012, geb, 212 pp, € 54.90, 9780199827831
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Magid, S.
From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala
In "From Metaphysics to Midrash", Shaul Magid explores the exegetical tradition of Isaac Luria and his followers within the historical context in 16th-century Safed, a unique community that brought practitioners of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam into close contact with one another. Luria's scripture became a theatre in which kabbalists redrew boundaries of difference in areas of ethnicity, gender, and the human relation to the divine. Magid investigates how cultural influences altered scriptural exegesis of Lurianic Kabbala in its philosophical, hermeneutical, and historical perspectives. He suggests that Luria and his followers were far from cloistered. They used their considerable skills to weigh in on important matters of the day, offering, at times, some surprising solutions to perennial theological problems.
Indiana UP, 2008, geb, 349 pp, € 42.50, 9780253350886
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Magid, S.
Hasidism on the Margin: Reconciliation, Antinomianism, and Messianism in Izbica & Radzin Hasidism
Modern Jewish Philosophy and Religion Series, Wisconsin UP, 2003, pap, 400 pp, € 35.00, 9780299192747
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Mark, Z.
Mysticism and Madness. The Religious Thought of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav
The Kogod Library of Judaic Studies 7, Continuum, 2009, pap, 306 pp, € 33.50, 9780826441447
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Mark, Z.
Mysticism and Madness. The Religious Thought of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav
The Kogod Library of Judaic Studies 7, Continuum, 2009, geb, 306 pp, € 94.50, 9780826445162
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl.)
The Zohar, Vol 1, Pritzker Edition
Vol 1 of 12 volumes projected

Sefer ha-Zohar, "The Book of Radiance," has amazed and overwhelmed readers ever since it emerged mysteriously in medieval Spain toward the end of the thirteenth century. Written in a unique Aramaic, this masterpiece of Kabbalah exceeds the dimensions of a normal book; it is virtually a body of literature, comprising over twenty discrete sections. The bulk of the Zohar consists of a running commentary on the Torah, from Genesis through Deuteronomy. This translation begins and focuses here in what are projected to be ten volumes. Two subsequent volumes will cover other, shorter sections. This first volume begins the Zohar's commentary on the book of Genesis.

The Zohar's commentary is composed in the form of a mystical novel. The hero is Rabbi Shim'on son of Yohai, a saintly disciple of Rabbi Akiva who lived in the second century in the land of Israel. In the Zohar, Rabbi Shim'on and his companions wander through the hills of Galilee, discovering and sharing secrets of Torah.

On one level, biblical figures such as Abraham and Sarah are the main characters, and the mystical companions interpret their words, actions, and personalities. On a deeper level, the text of the Bible is simply the starting point, a springboard for the imagination. For example, when God commands Abraham, Lekh lekha, Go forth... to the land that I will show you (Genesis 12:1), Rabbi El'azar ignores idiomatic usage and insists on reading the words more literally than they were intended, hyperliterally: Lekh lekha, Go to yourself! Search deep within to discover your true self. At times, the companions themselves become the main characters, and we read about their dramatic mystical sessions with Rabbi Shim'on or their adventures on the road. Ultimately, the plot of the Zohar focuses on the ten sefirot, the various stages of God's inner life, aspects of divine personality, both feminine and masculine.

Stanford UP, 2003, geb, 500 pp, € 52.95, 9780804747479
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl.)
The Zohar, Vol 2, Pritzker Edition
Vol 2 of 12 volumes projected

Sefer ha-Zohar, "The Book of Radiance," has amazed and overwhelmed readers ever since it emerged mysteriously in medieval Spain toward the end of the thirteenth century. Written in a unique Aramaic, this masterpiece of Kabbalah exceeds the dimensions of a normal book; it is virtually a body of literature, comprising over twenty discrete sections. The bulk of the Zohar consists of a running commentary on the Torah, from Genesis through Deuteronomy. This translation begins and focuses here in what are projected to be ten volumes. Two subsequent volumes will cover other, shorter sections. This second volume continues the Zohar's commentary on the book of Genesis.

The Zohar's commentary is composed in the form of a mystical novel. The hero is Rabbi Shim'on son of Yohai, a saintly disciple of Rabbi Akiva who lived in the second century in the land of Israel. In the Zohar, Rabbi Shim'on and his companions wander through the hills of Galilee, discovering and sharing secrets of Torah.

On one level, biblical figures such as Abraham and Sarah are the main characters, and the mystical companions interpret their words, actions, and personalities. On a deeper level, the text of the Bible is simply the starting point, a springboard for the imagination. For example, when God commands Abraham, Lekh lekha, Go forth... to the land that I will show you (Genesis 12:1), Rabbi El'azar ignores idiomatic usage and insists on reading the words more literally than they were intended, hyperliterally: Lekh lekha, Go to yourself! Search deep within to discover your true self. At times, the companions themselves become the main characters, and we read about their dramatic mystical sessions with Rabbi Shim'on or their adventures on the road. Ultimately, the plot of the Zohar focuses on the ten sefirot, the various stages of God's inner life, aspects of divine personality, both feminine and masculine.

Stanford UP, 2004, geb, 460 pp, € 52.95, 9780804748681
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl.)
The Zohar, Vol 3, Pritzker Edition
Vol 3 of 12 volumes projected

This third volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition completes the Zohar's commentary on the book of Genesis. Here we find spiritual explorations of numerous biblical narratives, including Jacob's wrestling with the angel, Joseph's kidnapping by his brothers, his near seduction by Potiphar's wife, his interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams, and his reunion with his brothers and father.

Throughout, the Zohar probes the biblical text and seeks deeper meaning - for example, the divine intention behind Joseph's disappearance, or the profound significance of human sexuality. Divine and human realities intertwine, affecting one another.

Toward the end of Genesis, the Bible states: Jacob's days drew near to die - an idiomatic expression that the Zohar insists on reading hyperliterally. Each human being is challenged to live his days virtuously. If he does, those days themselves are woven into a garment of splendor; at death, they "draw near," enveloping him, escorting him to the beyond.

Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Radiance) has amazed and overwhelmed readers ever since it emerged mysteriously in medieval Spain toward the end of the thirteenth century. Written in a unique Aramaic, this masterpiece of Kabbalah exceeds the dimensions of a normal book; it is virtually a body of literature, comprising over twenty discrete sections. The bulk of the Zohar consists of a running commentary on the Torah, from Genesis through Deuteronomy.

Stanford UP, 2006, geb, 586 pp, € 52.95, 9780804752107
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl.)
The Zohar, Vol 4, Pritzker Edition
Vol 4 of 12 volumes projected

This fourth volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition covers the first half of Exodus. Here we find mystical explorations of Pharaoh's enslavement of the Israelites, the birth of Moses, the deliverance from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the Revelation at Mount Sinai. Throughout, the Zohar probes the biblical text and seeks deeper meaning - for example, the nature of evil and its relation to the divine realm, the romance of Moses and Shekhinah, and the inner meaning of the Ten Commandments. In the context of the miraculous splitting of the Red Sea, Rabbi Shim'on reveals the mysterious Name of 72, a complex divine name consisting of 216 letters (72 triads), formed out of three verses in Exodus 14.

These mystical interpretations are interwoven with tales of the Companions - rabbis wandering through the hills of Galilee, sharing their insights, coming upon wisdom in the most astonishing ways from a colorful cast of characters they meet on the road.

Stanford UP, 2007, geb, 576 pp, € 52.95, 9780804757126
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl.)
The Zohar, Vol 5, Pritzker edition
Vol 5 of 12 volumes projected

This fifth volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition opens in the middle of Exodus immediately following the revelation at Mount Sinai. The first chapter features a famous narrative about two rabbis and an old donkeydriver they encounter on the road. This old man seems like a complete ignoramus and pesters them with nonsensical riddles, but he turns out to be a sage and explains to them one of the most tightly guarded secrets of Kabbalah: the reincarnation of the soul. In the course of his exposition, the old man enthralls his two listeners with a romantic account of Torah as a maiden who reveals herself only to one who pursues her lovingly.

The rest of this volume consists mainly of the Zohar's commentary on the biblical description of the mishkan, the Dwelling (or Tabernacle) in the desert. The mishkan symbolizes Shekhinah, the feminine presence of God who "dwells" on earth. Since the Dwelling was the center of worship, the Zohar explores here the theme of prayer.

The volume concludes with one of the shortest yet most important sections of the Zohar - Sifra di-Tsni'uta (The Book of Concealment). This enigmatic and poetic composition contains a veiled description of God's body, focusing on the beard. Its few pages convey the central teachings of Kabbalah, including the balance between male and female energies, and how divine breath animates all that exists.

Stanford UP, 2010, geb, 6233pp, € 52.95, 9780804762199
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl.)
The Zohar, Vol 6, Pritzker Edition
Vol 6 of 12 volumes projected

This sixth volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition completes the Zohar's commentary on the book of Exodus. Some of the volume focuses on the Dwelling (or mishkan) built by Moses and the Israelites in the Sinai Desert. The mishkan symbolizes Shekhinah, the feminine presence of God who "dwells" on earth. The construction of the mishkan is intended to ensure Her intimacy with the people - and especially with Moses, who is actually called Her husband.

The dramatic episode of the Golden Calf receives special treatment. The worship of the calf is seen as a rejection of Shekhinah. Normally, She would have restrained the wrath of God's masculine aspect and prevented Him from striking Israel; but having been rejected, She instead departed, leaving the people vulnerable. Whereupon the blessed Holy One hinted to Moses that it was up to him to defend Israel from divine destruction. By invoking the three patriarchs, Moses pinned God's arms, as it were, and immobilized Him, saving his people.

With the appearance of this volume, The Zohar: Pritzker Edition has reached its halfway point. The projected Volumes VII-IX will complete the Zohar's main commentary on the Torah. Volumes X-XII will include the Zohar's commentary on various other books of the Bible (such as Ruth and Song of Songs) as well as several independent compositions.

Stanford UP, 2011, geb, 452 pp, € 52.95, 9780804776639
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl.)
The Zohar, Vol 7, Pritzker Edition
Vol 7 of 12 volumes projected

This seventh volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition consists of commentary on more than half the book of Leviticus. How does the Zohar deal with a biblical text devoted largely to animal sacrifices, cereal offerings, and priestly ritual? Here these ancient laws and procedures are spiritualized, transformed into symbols of God's inner life, now that both the Desert Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem no longer exist. For example, the ascent offering, which was totally consumed on the altar, is known in Hebrew as olah (literally, "that which ascends"). In the Zohar, this symbolizes Shekhinah, last of the ten sefirot (divine potencies), who ascends to unite with Her beloved, the blessed Holy One.

Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Radiance) has amazed readers ever since it emerged in medieval Spain over seven hundred years ago. Written in lyrical Aramaic, this masterpiece of Kabbalah exceeds the dimensions of a normal book; it is virtually a body of mystical literature, comprising over twenty discrete sections. The bulk of the Zohar consists of a mystical interpretation of the Torah, from Genesis through Deuteronomy.

Stanford UP, 2013, geb, 591 pp, € 59.95, 9780804783057
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl.)
The Zohar, Vol 8, Pritzker Edition
Expected march 2014, Vol 8 of 12 volumes projected

This eighth volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition consists of commentary on the end of Leviticus and the beginning of Numbers. Its most remarkable section is Idra Rabba-a dramatic narrative, in which Rabbi Shim'on and his Companions gather to explore the deepest secrets of God's nature. There is a sense of emergency here, because due to human misconduct, the world is vulnerable to divine wrath. The mystical heroes seek to restore the balance in the upper worlds - aiming to stimulate a radiant flow from God's aspect of Compassion, which can soothe the irascible divine aspect and thereby save the world. The quest is perilous, and through its intensity three of the Companions tragically perish.

Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Radiance) has amazed readers ever since it emerged in medieval Spain over seven hundred years ago. Written in lyrical Aramaic, this masterpiece of Kabbalah exceeds the dimensions of a normal book; it is virtually a body of mystical literature, comprising over twenty sections. The bulk of the Zohar consists of mystical interpretation of the Torah, from Genesis through Deuteronomy.

Stanford UP, 2014, geb, 608 pp, € 52.95, 9780804787260
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Matt, Daniel C. (transl. & annot.)
Zohar. Annotated & Explained.
Skylight Illuminations, Skylight Paths Publ., 2002, pap, 136 pp, € 17.95, 9781893361515
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Matt, D. C.
The essential Kabbalah. The heart of Jewish mysticism
Harper Collins, 1996, pap, 221 pp, € 15.95, 9780062511638
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Mirsky, M,J,
Dante Eros and Kabbalah
Syracuse UP, 2003, pap, 234 pp, € 34.50, 9780815630272
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Mottolese, M.
Analogy in Midrash and Kabbalah. Interpretive Projections of the Sanctuary and Ritual
Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism, Cherub Press, 2007, geb, 398 pp, € 62.00, 9781933379074
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Myers, J.
Kabbalah and the Spiritual Quest. The Kabbalah Centre in America
With Kabbalah Learning Centers in cities such as Boca Raton, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego, Houston, and Las Vegas, the reach of this mystical tradition can be said to be nationwide. Determined to uncover the secrets of this esoteric faith, Jody Myers embarked upon three ten-week Kabbalah classes, among other learning opportunities, examined Kabbalah publications from the 1970s to the present, listened to KLC audio tapes, and interacted with adherents. This book presents her experiences and findings, and it offers an overview of the history of the Kabbalah in this country, its beliefs and practices, its positions on health and healing - both of the self and the world, its structure and outreach, and its views of men and women. She traces the origins of Kabbalah, offers a glimpse into its world, its relationships to Judaism, its place in American society, and its future.
Praeger, 2007, geb, 254 pp, € 42.00, 9780275989408
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Nahum of Chernobyl, Menahem (auth), Arthur Green(ed)
Upright Practices, The Light of the Eyes
Classics of Western Spirituality Series No.32, Paulist Press, 1982/1988, pap, 290 pp, € 24.95, 9780809123742
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Necker, G.
Einfuhrung in die lurianische Kabbala
Verlag der Weltreligionen, 2008, geb, 244 pp, € 22.90, 9783458710080
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Nigal, G.
The Hasidic Tale
The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Littman, 2008, geb, 383 pp, € 56.50, 9781904113072
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Papus
Die Kabbala
Marixverlag, 2004, geb, 449 pp, € 14.50, 9783937715612
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Ponce, D.
Kabbalah. Achtergrond en essentie
Ankh Hermes, 2002, geb, 255 pp, € 19.95, 9789020248401
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Schafer, P.
The Origins of Jewish Mysticism
The Origins of Jewish Mysticism offers the first in-depth look at the history of Jewish mysticism from the book of Ezekiel to the Merkavah mysticism of late antiquity. The Merkavah movement is widely recognized as the first full-fledged expression of Jewish mysticism, one that had important ramifications for classical rabbinic Judaism and the emergence of the Kabbalah in twelfth-century Europe. Yet until now, the origins and development of still earlier forms of Jewish mysticism have been largely overlooked.

In this book, Peter Schfer sheds new light on Ezekiel's tantalizing vision, the apocalyptic literature of Enoch, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo, the rabbinical writings of the Talmudic period, and the esotericism of the Merkavah mystics. Schafer questions whether we can accurately speak of Jewish mysticism as a uniform, coherent phenomenon with origins in Judaism's mythical past.

Rather than imposing preconceived notions about "mysticism" on a great variety of writings that arose from different cultural, religious, and historical settings, he reveals what these writings seek to tell us about the age-old human desire to get close to and communicate with God.
Princeton UP, 2011, pap, 398pp, € 37.50, 9780691142159
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Scholem, G.
Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
With a new Foreword by Robert Alter
Schocken Books, 1974, pap, 460 pp, € 19.00, 9780805210422
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Scholem, G.
On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism
Schocken Books, 1996, pap, 216 pp, € 15.95, 9780805210514
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Scholem, G. (ed.)
Zohar. The Book of Splendor. Basic Readings from the Kabbalah
Schocken Books, 1977, pap, 99 pp, € 14.95, 9780805210347
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Scholem, Gershom
The Messianic Idea in Judaism. And Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality
With an New Foreword by Arthur Hertzberg
Schocken Books, 1995, pap, 376 pp, € 21.00, 9780805210439
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Sherwin, B.L
Kabbalah. An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism
Kabbalah: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism is a clear, accessible 'primer' and introduction to the major teachings of the Jewish mystics, to various dominant forms of Jewish mystical experiences, as well as to many of the significant texts that constitute classical Jewish mystical literature, and to their authors. Rather than provide an historical approach, this introduction to Jewish mysticism delineates five 'models' of Jewish mystical theology and experience: Normal Mysticism, Mystical Intimacy, Addressing God's Needs, Drawing Down Divine Grace, and Prophetic Kabbalah. Sherwin not only presents primary texts in translation, but also offers an explanation of each selection and provides a bibliography for further study.
Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, pap, 247 pp, € 26.00, 9780742543645
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Starr, K. E.
Repair of the Soul. Metaphors of Transformation in Jewish Mysticism and Psychoanalysis
Routledge, 2009, pap, 160 pp, € 24.90, 9780881634877
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Steur, Charles
De levensboom van de deugden. Deugden en bewustzijn gezien vanuit de Kabbalah
Waarom zouden wij ons toeleggen op de deugden? Waarom doen wij niet gewoon waar wij zin in hebben en kiezen voor ons eigen belang, ook als dat tegen het belang van de ander in zou gaan? Het antwoord van de filosofie en de ervaring is dat ons leven door de deugden op een kwalitatief hoger niveau komt. Het wordt er aangenamer en gelukkiger door. Daar komt nog bij dat de deugden bijdragen tot het functioneren en de verbetering van de samenleving. Ontwikkelingspsychologisch gezien werken wij door de toeleg op de deugden aan de ontwikkeling van ons bewustzijn en van ons menszijn en daarmee aan de ontwikkeling van de mensheid als geheel.

Volgens de Kabbalah beschikt de mens over vrijwel onbeperkte innerlijke groeimogelijkheden. Hij of zij komt tot vervulling door de verwerkelijking daarvan. De Levensboom is daartoe de plattegrond en richtingwijzer. In haar groepsbijeenkomsten en oefeningen besteedt de Kabbalah veel aandacht aan hoe wij in ons dagelijks leven gestalte kunnen geven aan de kwaliteiten van menszijn. Het leven zelf is een onafgebroken scholingsweg. In onszelf en in de wereld om ons heen is het schone, het ware en het goede aanwezig. Ons leven wordt rijker als we leren schoonheid te zien in het eenvoudige en daar voldoening in te vinden. Als we leren ons toe te leggen op de deugden, wordt ons inzicht in de aard van ons eigen leven verdiept en hoeven we het goede niet meer buiten onszelf te zoeken.

Charles Steur (1957) is kabbalist, theoloog en psychiatrisch verpleegkundige.

Amphora Books, 2007, pap, 159 pp, € 17.50, 9789064460494
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Steur, Charles
De levensboom van de godsdienst. Jodendom, christendom en islam in het licht van de Kabbalah
Godsdienst is een probleem geworden. Zijn godsdiensten politieke machtsblokken, maatschappelijke invloedssferen of consumptieartikelen? Is godsdienst een overblijfsel uit een prerationele fase van de menselijke evolutie, zoals zelfverzekerde atheisten ons willen doen geloven, of is de dienst aan God juist de hoogste vorm van menszijn, zoals gelovigen ons met een beroep op hun eigen ervaring verzekeren?

Dit boek is geschreven vanuit de overtuiging dat de oorsprong van de godsdiensten ligt in Gods openbaring, door mensen uitgewerkt. De auteur laat de werking van de monotheistische godsdiensten zien aan de hand van de Levensboom, de centrale figuur van de Kabbalah (de joodse mystieke richting). De mens die zich daarop toelegt, verbindt de werelden en beklimt de Levensboom en de evolutionaire ladder. Hij of zij groeit in bewustzijn en in liefde naar heel de schepping - ook naar de aanhangers van andere godsdiensten en de zogenaamde ongelovigen.

Respect voor elkaars godsdienst zou een grote stap vooruit betekenen in de ontwikkeling van de mensheid. Een verzameling opstellen over de schaduwkanten, maar ook de kansen die religie geeft aan de mens om in contact te treden met zichzelf, anderen en het Goddelijke.

Amphora Books, 2007, pap, 208 pp, € 19.50, 9789064460463
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Steur, Charles
Vruchten van de levensboom. Een hedendaagse inleiding in de Kabbalah
Waar gaat het om in de Kabbalah? Om het bewaren van de verbinding van de mens met God, spiegelbeeld en antwoord op de verbinding van God met de mens in schepping en openbaring.

Daartoe heeft de Kabbalah een uitgebreid theoretisch kader ontwikkeld, waarvan de essentie wonderlijk actueel en toepasbaar is, en beschikt de Kabbalah over een rijk scala aan meditatieve praktijken. In de praktijk is de kabbalist een mens die zich toelegt op de verbinding, een mens die open en aandachtig in het leven staat, ontvankelijk om de goddelijke dauw die naar de Aarde neerdaalt, op te vangen.

De laatste decennia hebben een aantal Kabbalah leraren hun onderricht opengesteld voor niet-joodse studenten. Dit boek is geschreven door een niet-joodse auteur, vanuit een diepe affiniteit met het Jodendom en jarenlange vertrouwdheid met de Joodse Kabbalah.

Amphora Books, 2005, pap, 157 pp, € 18.50, 9789064460388
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Tishby, I.
Messianic Mysticism: Moses Hayim Luzzatto and the Pauda School
Moses Hayim Luzzatto (1707-1746), rabbi, mystic, teacher, poet, playwright, and writer of ethical works, gathered around him in his 'house of study' in Padua an inner circle of devout Jews who shared his belief in the imminent arrival of the messianic age and who privately identified members of their circle as divinely ordained to usher in the Redemption. To the rabbis of Venice and Frankfurt, however, Luzzatto was a heretic, whose claims to have written works at the dictation of a messenger from heaven could not be genuine. Under pressure from them he was obliged to withdraw a number of such works, and the manuscripts were either lost or destroyed. Yet his known works came to earn him admiration: as a literary figure among the adherents of the Enlightenment, as a great kabbalist and profound mystic by hasidim and even by some of their leading opponents, and as a great ethical teacher by all religious streams. Isaiah Tishby spent many years in the study of Luzzatto and his group, and succeeded in tracing a number of the lost manuscripts. In the essays in this volume translated by Morris Hoffman, he described and annotated the manuscripts which he found, giving the full text of some of the prose works and of all the poems. From these manuscripts and Luzzatto's published works, he was able to correct and add detail to the incomplete picture of Luzzatto and his mystical world which had been current among scholars.
The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2008, geb, 578 pp, € 69.00, 9781874774099
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Trachtenberg
Jewish Magic and Superstition. A Study in Folk Religion.
with a foreword by M Idel, reprint of the 1939 ed.
Pennsylvania UP, 2004, pap, 356 pp, € 24.00, 0812218620 / 9780812218626
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Uchelen, N.A. van
Joodse Mystiek. Merkawa. Tempel en Troon, een historische en literaire inleiding
Dit boek is een inleiding in een karakteristieke periode van de joodse mystiek. Door de eeuwen heen hebben joodse gelovigen gezocht naar een directe en onmiddellijke weg tot de Heilige, meestal buiten de geijkte wegen van de synagoge om.

In de Merkawa-mystiek bestond deze weg uit de mystieke reis door de hemelse 'paleisruimten' naar de 'hemelse troonwagen' (Merkawa). Het doel van de reis was de 'aanschouwing' van de de Heilige op zijn verheven troon.

De studie is gebaseerd op onderzoek van authentieke mystieke gegevens. Dat wil zeggen: gegevens, die een duidelijke opeenvolging en een wederzijdse verhouding vertonen en zodoende een samenhangend beeld geven van aanloop (voorbereidingen), verloop (reis) en afloop (aanschouwing) van mystieke handelingen en belevenissen. Tevens toont de studie aan, hoezeer de Merkawa-mystiek wortelt in de bijbelse geschriften, verbindingen heeft met de nabijbelse literatuur en sporen naliet in Europees-joodse teksten. Merkawa, tempel en troon, is de neerslag van gedegen onderzoek van Hebreeuwse en Aramese bronnen. Het is de eerste Nederlandse publicatie over deze fase en dit facet van de joodse mustiek.

Dr. N.A. van Uchelen studeerde theologie en semitische talen te Amsterdam en is als wetenschappelijk hoofdmedewerker werkzaam geweest voor het nabijbels-Hebreeuws en -Aramees aan het Juda Palache Instituut.

Amphora, 1983, pap, 134 pp, € 12.50, 9789064460616
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Unterman, A. (ed)
The Kabbalistic Tradition
'The Torah is both hidden and revealed ...there is a secret meaning to the holy Torah that is not written down explicitly or explained in it'. This selection offers a comprehensive survey of the 'Kabbalah', the body of writings in the Jewish mystical tradition. It features texts from a variety of literary forms, from the earliest biblical sources through to the early twentieth century, with a section on 'practical kabbalistic knowledge and procedure' to appeal to the modern market.
Penguin Classics, Penguin, 2008, pap, 382 pp, € 16.95, 9780140437997
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Weinreb, Friedrich
De Bijbel als schepping
vernieuwde, 8-e druk

Weinrebs standaardwerk De Bijbel als Schepping verscheen voor het eerst in 1963, sloeg in als een bom en geldt als een hoogtepunt in de joodse mystiek. Weinreb neemt de lezer mee naar de wezenlijke betekenis van de schepping, Adam, Noach, Jakob, de tien plagen en vele andere personen/gebeurtenissen/getallen in de toraverhalen. Gaandeweg wordt de grondstructuur van de Bijbel zichtbaar. Dit boek biedt een diepgaand en tijdloos inzicht in de zin van het leven.

Uit het voorwoord van Sjef Laenen (auteur van o.a. 'Joodse mystiek. Een inleiding'): "Het 'mysterie' van het leven heeft bij Weinreb niets van doen met geheimzinnigheid of zweverigheid. Het is een ander soort weten, waarbij niet alleen het verstand, doch de gehele mens betrokken moet zijn... De Bijbel op deze wijze benaderd, met verstand en geloof, openbaart de zin van ons leven en de zin van onze wereld. Het kan niet anders of Weinrebs mystieke werk zal de eerlijke, naar waarheid zoekende moderne mens aanspreken, omdat het enerzijds het goddelijke in ons leven wil toelaten, maar anderzijds tevens - zoals hij het zelf in dit boek formuleert - voldoet aan 'het gerechtvaardigde verlangen van intellectuele aanvaardbaarheid."

Skandalon, 2009, geb, met leeslint, 730 pp, € 49.50, 9789076564302
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Wexler, P.
Mystical Interactions. Sociology, Jewish Mysticism and Education
BY ORDER
Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism, Cherub Press, 2007, geb, 197 pp, € 42.00, 9781933379067
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Wolfson, E. R.
A Dream Interpreted Within a Dream. Oneiropoiesis and the Prism of Imagination
Dreams have attracted the curiosity of humankind for millennia. In A Dream Interpreted Within a Dream, Elliot Wolfson guides the reader through contemporary philosophical and scientific models to the archaic wisdom that the dream state and waking reality are on an equal phenomenal footing--that the phenomenal world is the dream from which one must awaken by waking to the dream that one is merely dreaming that one is awake. By interpreting the dream within the dream, one ascertains the wakeful character of the dream and the dreamful character of wakefulness. Assuming that the manner in which the act of dreaming is interpreted may illuminate the way the interpreter comprehends human nature more generally, Wolfson draws on psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and neuroscience to elucidate the phenomenon of dreaming in a vast array of biblical, rabbinic, philosophical, and kabbalistic texts. Elliot R. Wolfson is Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. He is the author of Venturing Beyond: Law and Morality in Kabbalistic Mysticism, Luminal Darkness: Imaginal Gleanings From Zoharic Literature, and other books.
Zone Books, 2011, geb, 566 pp, € 35.00, 9781935408147
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Wolfson, E.R.
Abraham Abulafia, Kabbalist and Prophet. Hermeneutics, Theosophy and Theurgy
Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism Series, Cherub Press, 2000, geb, 246 pp, € 36.00, 0964097273
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Wolfson, E.R.
Alef, Mem, Tau. Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death
This highly original, provocative, and poetic work explores the nexus of time, truth, and death in the symbolic world of medieval kabbalah. Demonstrating that the historical and theoretical relationship between kabbalah and western philosophy is far more intimate and extensive than any previous scholar has ever suggested, Elliot R. Wolfson draws an extraordinary range of thinkers such as Frederic Jameson, Martin Heidegger, Franz Rosenzweig, William Blake, Julia Kristeva, Friedrich Schelling, and a host of kabbalistic figures into deep conversation with one another.

Alef, Mem, Tau also discusses Islamic mysticism and Buddhist thought in relation to the Jewish esoteric tradition as it opens the possibility of a temporal triumph of temporality and the conquering of time through time.

The framework for Wolfson's examination is the rabbinic teaching that the word emet, 'truth,' comprises the first, middle, and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, alef, mem, and tau, which serve, in turn, as semiotic signposts for the three tenses of time - past, present, and future. By heeding the letters of emet we discern the truth of time manifestly concealed in the time of truth, the beginning that cannot begin if it is to be the beginning, the middle that re/marks the place of origin and destiny, and the end that is the figuration of the impossible disclosing the impossibility of figuration, the finitude of death that facilitates the possibility of rebirth.

The time of death does not mark the death of time, but time immortal, the moment of truth that bestows on the truth of the moment an endless beginning of a beginningless end, the truth of death encountered incessantly in retracing steps of time yet to be taken - between, before, beyond.

The Taubman Lectures in Jewish Studies Series, California UP, 2006, geb, 327 pp, € 52.50, 9780520246195
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Wolfson, E.R.
Luminal Darkness: Imaginal Gleanings from Zoharic Literature
By Order
Oneworld, 2007, geb, 309 pp, € 66.00, 9781851684755
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Wolfson, E.R.
Through a Speculum that Shines. Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism
A comprehensive treatment of visionary experience in some of the main texts of Jewish mysticism, this book reveals the overwhelmingly visual nature of religious experience in Jewish spirituality from antiquity through the late Middle Ages. Using phenomenological and critical historical tools, Wolfson examines Jewish mystical texts from late antiquity, pre-kabbalistic sources from the tenth to the twelfth centuries, and twelfth- and thirteenth-century kabbalistic literature. His work demonstrates that the sense of sight assumes an epistemic priority in these writings, reflecting and building upon those scriptural passages that affirm the visual nature of revelatory experience. Moreover, the author reveals an androcentric eroticism in the scopic mentality of Jewish mystics, which placed the externalized and representable form, the phallus, at the center of the visual encounter. In the visionary experience, as Wolfson describes it, imagination serves a primary function, transmuting sensory data and rational concepts into symbols of those things beyond sense and reason. In this view, the experience of a vision is inseparable from the process of interpretation. Fundamentally challenging the conventional distinction between experience and exegesis, revelation and interpretation, Wolfson argues that for the mystics themselves, the study of texts occasioned a visual experience of the divine located in the imagination of the mystical interpreter. Thus, he shows how Jewish mystics preserved the invisible transcendence of God without doing away with the visual dimension of belief.
Princeton UP, 1994, pap, 452 pp, € 45.50, 9780691017228
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Wolfson, E.R.
Venturing Beyond. Law & Morality in Kabbalistic Mysticism
Are mysticism and morality compatible or at odds with one another? If mystical experience embraces a form of non-dual consciousness, then in such a state of mind, the regulative dichotomy so basic to ethical discretion would seemingly be transcended and the very foundation for ethical decisions undermined. Venturing Beyond - Law and Morality in Kabbalistic Mysticism is an investigation of the relationship of the mystical and moral as it is expressed in the particular tradition of Jewish mysticism known as the Kabbalah. The particular themes discussed include the denigration of the non-Jew as the ontic other in kabbalistic anthropology and the eschatological crossing of that boundary anticipated in the instituition of religious conversion; the overcoming of the distinction between good and evil in the mystical experience of the underlying unity of all things; divine suffering and the ideal of spiritual poverty as the foundation for transmoral ethics and hypernomian lawfulness.
Oxford UP, 2006, geb, 389 pp, € 121.00, 9780199277797
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Wolski, N.
A Journey into the Zohar. An Introduction to the Book of Radiance
SUNY, 2010, pap, 271 pp, € 25.00, 9781438430546
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Wolski, N.
A Journey into the Zohar. An Introduction to the Book of Radiance
SUNY, 2010, geb, 271 pp, € 72.50, 9781438430539
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