The Mystic Quest: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism

The Mystic Quest: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism

by David S. Ariel
     
 

The Mystic Quest is a lucid, accessible introduction to the esoteric mystical tradition in Judaism known as Kabbalah.

Jewish mysticism is a rich and varied tradition of secret teachings and practices that has been a part of Judaism since antiquity. Ariel locates the Jewish mystical tradition within the context of Jewish history and traces its evolution throughout

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Overview

The Mystic Quest is a lucid, accessible introduction to the esoteric mystical tradition in Judaism known as Kabbalah.

Jewish mysticism is a rich and varied tradition of secret teachings and practices that has been a part of Judaism since antiquity. Ariel locates the Jewish mystical tradition within the context of Jewish history and traces its evolution throughout the ages, concluding with the role of mysticism in contemporary Judaism.

David S. Ariel is president of the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Jewish mystical tradition is unknown to most Jews today, yet for centuries prior to the French Revolution mysticism was an important current in Judaism. Rabbis in second-century Israel practiced visualization techniques and meditation. Kabbalists, beginning in Provence around 1175, deciphered the ``ten numerals''God's personal aspect. To the early Jewish mystics, God's wisdom ( Hokhmah ) prefigured everything that might come into existence; each person possessed a higher and lower soul; and God's feminine, caring aspect ( Shekhinah ) was locked in holy marriage with his masculine component. Jewish mystics' detailed deathbed visions, as reported here, bear direct comparison to modern parapsychologists' accounts of after-death experiences. Ariel's ( Eastern Dawn of Wisdom ) brilliant study is the first comprehensive history of Jewish mysticism to make its ideas accessible to the nonspecialist. Readers, Jewish or non-Jewish, with an interest in mysticism will find much knowledge here. (August)
Library Journal
Ariel discusses the nature, history, character, and principles of Jewish mysticism. He also details number symbolism, reference to the feminine aspect of God, the idea of Torah as God's emanation, destiny of the soul, religious life of the mystic, and modern Jewish mysticism. The book is useful for general readers and specialists, but it does not oversimplify. It is an excellent, comprehensive study. Highly recommended for seminary and academic libraries; large public libraries should consider.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805210033
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/26/1992
Edition description:
1st Shocken paperback ed
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.23(h) x 0.72(d)

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