Essential Papers on Kabbalah / Edition 1

Essential Papers on Kabbalah / Edition 1

by Lawrence Fine, Judy Chu
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814726291

ISBN-13: 9780814726297

Pub. Date: 09/01/2000

Publisher: New York University Press

As recently as 1915, when the legendary scholar of Jewish mysticism Gershom Scholem sought to find someone—anyone—to teach him Kabbalah, the study of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah was largely neglected and treated with disdain. Today, this field has ripened to the point that it occupies a central place in the agenda of contemporary Judaic studies.

While

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Overview

As recently as 1915, when the legendary scholar of Jewish mysticism Gershom Scholem sought to find someone—anyone—to teach him Kabbalah, the study of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah was largely neglected and treated with disdain. Today, this field has ripened to the point that it occupies a central place in the agenda of contemporary Judaic studies.

While there are many definitions of Kabbalah, this volume focuses on the discrete body of literature which developed between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries. The basis for most of this kabbalistic literature is the concept of the ten sefirot, the complex schema depicting the divine persona, and speculation about the inner life of God. It maintains the conviction that all human action reverberates in the world of the sefirot, and thus influences the life of divinity. Proper action helps to restore harmony and unity to the world of God, while improper action reinforces the breach within God brought about originally through human transgression.

Collected here in one volume are some of the most central essays published on the subject. The selections provide the reader with a sense of the historical range of Kabbalah, as well as examples of various kinds of approaches, including those of intellectual and social history, history and phenomenology of religions, motif studies, ritual studies, and women's studies. Sections discuss mystical motifs and theological ideas, mystical leadership and personalities, and devotional practices and mystical experiences.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814726297
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
09/01/2000
Series:
Essential Papers on Jewish Studies Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
552
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
IMystical Motifs and Theological Ideas25
1The Zohar: Jewish Mysticism in Medieval Spain27
2Ayin: The Concept of Nothingness in Jewish Mysticism67
3The Doctrine of Man in the Zohar109
4Samael, Lilith, and the Concept of Evil in Early Kabbalah154
5The Meaning of the Torah in Jewish Mysticism179
6Myth vs. Symbol in the Zohar and in Lurianic Kabbalah212
7The Doctrine of Transmigration in Galya Raza243
8Eternality of Punishment: A Theological Controversy within the Amsterdam Rabbinate in the Thirties of the Seventeenth Century270
IIMystical Leadership and Personalities289
9The Zaddiq as Axis Mundi in Later Judaism291
10The Art of Metoposcopy: A Study in Isaac Luria's Charismatic Knowledge315
IIIDevotional Practices and Mystical Experience339
11Prayer and Devotion in the Zohar341
12Kabbalistic Rituals of Sabbath Preparation400
13Mystical Techniques438
14Circumcision, Vision of God, and Textual Interpretation: From Midrashic Trope to Mystical Symbol495
15Woman As High Priest: A Kabbalistic Prayer in Yiddish for Lighting Sabbath Candles525
Index547
About the Editor551

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