Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts
“Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism”
“Life of a Manuscript”
by Avi Kallenbach
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Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts
Kabbalah 43 (2019) 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379722 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379722
Kabbalah 42 (2018), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379692 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379692
Kabbalah 41 (2018), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379685 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379685
Kabbalah 40 (2018), 292 pp. ISBN 9781933379678 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379678
Kabbalah 39 (2107), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379661 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379661
Kabbalah 38 (2017), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379654 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379654
Kabbalah 37 (2017), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379647 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379647
Kabbalah 36 (2017), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379630 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379630
Kabbalah 35 (2016), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379562 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379562
Kabbalah 34 (2016), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379548 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379548
Kabbalah 33 (2015), 320 pp. ISBN 9781933379487 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379487
Kabbalah 31 (2014), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-38-3 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379388
Kabbalah 30 (2013), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-33-2 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379333
Kabbalah 29 (2013), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-32-4 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379326
Kabbalah 28 (2012), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-28-6 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379319
Kabbalah 27 (2012), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-29-4 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379296
Kabbalah 26 (2011), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-28-6 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379289
Kabbalah 25 (2011), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-27-8 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379272
Kabbalah 24 (2011), 304 pages, ISBN 1-933379-22-7 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379227
Kabbalah 23 (2010), 304 pages, ISBN 1-933379-21-9 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379210
Kabbalah 22 (2010), 304 pages, ISBN 1-933379-20-0 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379203
Kabbalah 21 (2010), 384 pages, 1-933379-15-4 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379159
Kabbalah 20 (2009), 268 pages, ISBN 1-933379-14-6 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379142
Kabbalah 19 (2009), 336 pages ISBN 1-933379-13-8 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379135
Kabbalah 18 (2008), 320 pages, ISBN 1-933379-11-1 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379111
Kabbalah: 17 (2008), 336 pp., ISBN 1‑933379-08-1 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379081
Kabbalah 16 (2007) ISBN 1-933379-05-7 [360 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379050
Kabbalah 15 (2006) ISBN 1-933379-02-2 [368 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379029
Kabbalah 14 (2006) 1-933379-01-4 [384 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781933379012
Kabbalah 13 (2005) 0-9747505-8-1 [336 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780974750583
Kabbalah 12 (2004) ISBN 0-9747505-2-2 [352 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780974750521
Kabbalah 11 (2004) ISBN 0-9747505-1-4 [400 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780974750514
Kabbalah 10 (2004) ISBN 0-9747505-0-6 [360 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780974750507
Kabbalah 9 (2003) = Special volume on Sabbateanism ISBN 0-9705369-9-2 [396 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780970536990
Kabbalah 8 (2003) = Special volume on Sabbateanism, ISBN 0-9705369-8-4 [368 pages] http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9781565921979
Kabbalah 7 (2002) ISBN0-9705369-6-8 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780970536969
Kabbalah 6 (2001) ISBN 0-9705369-5-X http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780970536952
Kabbalah 5 (2000) ISBN 0-9705369-4-1 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780970536945
Kabbalah 4 (1999) ISBN 0-9705369-3-3 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780970536938
Kabbalah 3 (1998) ISBN 0-9705369-2-5 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780970536921
Kabbalah 2 (1997) ISBN 0-9705369-1-7 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780970536914
Kabbalah 1 (1996) ISBN 0-9705369-0-9 http://shop.btpubservices.com/Title/9780970536907
“Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism”
62 - The Life of a Manuscript: A Copy of R. Isaac Luria’s Peirush Sifra Detzni‘uta, The Story of Its Production in Safed and Its Annotation in Italy by R. Menahem Azariah da Fano, study and edition by Avi Kallenbach סיפורו של כתב יד טופס של פירוש ספרא דצניעותא להאר"י קורותיו ותולדותיו מן העתקתו בצפת ועד להגהתו בידי הרמ"ע מפאנו באיטליה (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 62); 2020, 314 pages, ISBN978-1-933379-84-5. IN HEBREW.
This study is dedicated to a single kabbalistic manuscript from the Benayahu Collection – a copy of R. Isaac Luria’s Peirush Sifra Detzni‘uta. The manuscript, copied in Safed at the very end of the sixteenth century, was sent to Italy where it was meticulously edited and marked up by the prominent halakhist and kabbalist R. Menahem Azaria da Fano. The study explores the nature of Fano’s emendations, dissects his interpretative glosses, and demonstrates the profound textual influence the manuscript exerted on other copies of the work produced in Italy during the period. Among other thing, it shows how R. Menahem Azariah da Fano read Luria’s work through an intertextual lens, using a wide range of kabbalistic works and concepts to inform his comments and edits. The short study is followed by a full facsimile edition of the manuscript – with each colored photo of the manuscript facing a full transcription of both the main text as well as Fano’s corrections and marginalia. The study represents an important contribution to the history of reading practices and an example of applying the methodologies of New Philology to the study and editing of kabbalistic manuscripts.
61 - ‘Who is a Beautiful Maiden without Eyes’ and the Riddle of the Tayʿa: A Chapter in the History of Kabbalah in the Second Half of the Thirteenth Century, by Oded Porat. "מהו עולימתא שפירתא ולית לה עיינין" וחידת הטייעא: פרק בתולדות הקבלה במחצית השניה של המאה הי"ג, מאת עודד פורת (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 61); 2019, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-933379-81-4, in Hebrew. This study offers a full analysis of the text of the riddle of the Tay‘a, found at the beginning of Sabba de-Mishpatim section of the Zohar, followed by an historical discussion of the role of the writings of R. Yitzhak ha-Cohen and R. Moshe of Burgos as sources to a specific doctrine found in what appears to be the early sections of the Zohar. The text is examined through its sources, displaying a range of inner Jewish traditions from post-biblical literature to the late midrash, that reveal a specific system of thought presented by the text of the riddle. This discussion presents myth as created from real zoological features and uses precise scientific tools, especially taxonomy, to determine the identification of each part of the riddle. The book then moves to present the writings of these two kabbalists, their place in the history of Kabbalah and their contributions to the main features of Zoharic writing, such as the use of pseudepigraphy and Aramaic, as well as the main interest in the doctrine of evil, that served as the foundations for Zoharic sections dealing with this subject. The book does not necessitate a linear reading.
60 - The Writings of R. Yitzhak ben Yaʿakov haCohen and R. Moshe (Zinfa) of Burgos, edited by Oded Porat. כתבי ר' יצחק בן יעקב הכהן ור' משה (צינפא) מבורגוש, מאת עודד פורת (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 60); 2019, 328 pages, ISBN 978-1-933379-80-7, in Hebrew. Full critical editions for the entire known corpus of these two kabbalists, active by the second half of the thirteenth century, are represented here. These authors are the main known kabbalists whose interest in the doctrine of evil fills almost all of their interest in Kabbalah, and are the sole speakers on this issue in their time, except for R. Todros Abulafia, before the composition of evil sections in the Zohar. These editions complete the work of Gershom Scholem in the late 20's and early 30's of the previous century in collecting and printing their writings, through a comprehensive collection of Hebrew manuscripts, some were not available to him. Thus, a few new or undiscussed treatises from these two authors is presented. Aside the writings that has their clear authorship, this volume presents appendixes to their writings, who reveal similar writing tendencies and very close affinities to their original works, thus they too should be regarded as their own. The historical and textual prefaces to these writings are to be found in the next volume that discusses the riddle of the Tayʿa.
59 - Kabbalistic Works by R. Azriel: of Girona, edited by Oded Porat. מחברות ר' עזריאל: איש גירונה, מאת עודד פורת (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 59); 2019, 268 pages, ISBN 978-1-933379-79-1, in Hebrew. This volume presents fully annotated critical editions of R. Azriel's writings, except for his Commentary on Aggadot, printed by Tishbi. It contains all his known compositions, including his daily prayers commentary and his commentaries to Rosh haShannah prayers, his small commentaries for the Sh'mah Israel and Amen, the Kadish and Kedusha sayings, as well as his theoretical treatises of “The way of heresy and the way of faith”, his epistle to Burgos, his commentary on Sefer Yetzirah and his famous Sha'ar haShoel (‘The gateway of the inquirer’). These compositions present his unique enterprise in providing literal commentary on most of the daily and regular prayers, along with commentaries to the divine Names and theoretical definitions of the Sefiroth and Ein Sof. Thus, a full scope of this prime kabbalist's compositions, active in Girona during a few early decades of the thirteenth century, is presented here, which represents his unique terms and system of thought. Along with his writing, this volume provides critical editions of five recensions of Sacrifice secrets, and the known ‘Gate of Intention of the prime kabbalists’ (Sha'ar haKavvanah le-Mequbbalim Rishonim), to provide these close־by treatises that are not to be included within R. Azriel's exclusive composition, that did not gained a succeeding development in later stages of Kabbalah.
58 - ‘Founding of the Circle’: Rudiments of Esse and Linguistic Creation in ‘The Book of Fountain of Wisdom’ and its Related Treatises, by Oded Porat. "תקון המעגל": יסודות ההויה והיצירה הלשונית בספר מעין החכמה ובחיבורים הקרובים אליו, מאת עודד פורת (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 58); 2019, 584 pages, ISBN 9781933379784. A Textual analysis and a philological examination, with an historic perspective, followed by phenomenological, linguistic and ideological perspectives, provides here the research of ‘The book of fountain of wisdom’, a most unique piece of early kabbalists in southern France by the early decades of the thirteenth century. This piece, regarded as a mystical guide or as a Jewish Sutra, is further examined as one of the prime sources of Iyyun literature, a corpus of anonymous texts that gains here its scholarly assessment. Further characterizations of Sefer Ma'ayan haHokhmah's unique binary-circular phenomenology, where opposites do not collide in each other but remain each on their own virtues, is applied to construct unique linguistic structures that allows the source, the stratum of linguistic signs and the stratum of performative language to work in a coordinated structure and to establish what is termed here, for the first time in the history of religious studies, as ‘Positive Theology’. The binary-circular framework serves as an unified explanation for the phenomenological, textual, historical, linguistic and theological structures of this book and its relations with Iyyun literature and other early kabbalists.
57 - Two Early Translations to Saʿadia Gaon: Book of Doctrines and Beliefs and his Commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, edited by Oded Porat. שני תרגומים קדומים לרב סעדיה גאון: פתרון ספר האמונות וחרצֹב הבינות ופירושו לספר יצירה, מאת עודד פורת (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 57); 2019, 408 pages, ISBN 978-1-933379-77-7, in Hebrew. Two major books by Rav Saʿadia Gaon, originally written in Arabic, are presented here in their early Hebrew translations. The translation to Book of Doctrines and Beliefs, the first comprehensive book of Jewish philosophy, was translated, as it appears in the text, in 988 A.D., 55 years after its completion by Saʿadia. It was mistakenly regarded by scholars as a “Paraphrase” to Saʿadia's book, but it is a very accurate translation, though it includes many additions to its source, that expands and explains Saʿadia's composition. It reveals a most unique stratum of Hebrew that belongs to the Kalirian school of Hebrew piyyut and provides some highly creative terms, rich vocabulary and unique linguistic forms and roots in this extensive piece. It was known in German pietism and in southern France by early Middle Ages. The second translation of Saadia's Commentary on Sefer Yetzira, that preceded his mentioned book by two years, was translated by R. Moshe ben Yosef haDayyan of Lucena, probably toward the end of the 12th century in Langedouc. It was known to early kabbalists who developed, among other issues, their theory of the effect of pronunciation of divine Names in the air, based on Saʿadia's ideas.
56 - Up In Arms: Images of Knights and the Divine Chariot in Esoteric Ashkenazi Manuscripts of the Middle Ages, by Sara Offenberg, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 56) ISBN 9781933379821, in English, 240 pages, This study is designed to illuminate the reflection of esoteric ideas in Hebrew illuminated manuscripts from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century in Ashkenaz (German lands), with a focus on images of knights and Ezekiel's vision of the divine Chariot. It is divided into three parts according to manuscript genres: Prayer books, Masoretic Bibles, and a Passover Haggadah. It provides a comprehensive description of texts and illuminations concerned with the ideas of the Hekhalot literature and two principal esoteric traditions in Ashkenaz: the Qalonymus family – Rabbi Judah the Pious (d. 1217)and his student Rabbi Eleazar of Worms, as well as Rabbi Judah's grandson, Rabbi Eleazar ben Moshe the preacher; and Rabbi Nehemiah ben Shlomo Troestlin, the Prophet from Erfurt, active in the first third of the thirteenth century. The book examines the images and the texts together in conjunction with military history.The novelty of this study is in a holistic reappraisal of the manner in which we think about illustration in connection with text, the Christian milieu, and the possible meaning the images had for the patron.
55 - The Yanuqa of Rav Hamnuna Sava: Analysis and Critical Edition of the Yanuqa Story (Zohar III, 186a-192a), by Jonatan Benarroch, ינוקא דרב המנונא סבא: עיון ומהדורה סינופטית – סיפור 'הינוקא דבלק' (זוהר, ח"ג, קפו ע"א-קצב ע"א) (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 55) in Hebrew, ISBN 9781933379739, 292 pages. The Yanuqa of Rav Hamnuna Sava: Analysis and Critical Edition of the Yanuqa Story (Zohar III, 186a-192a), by Jonatan M. Benarroch (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 55), 2019, 292 pages, ISBN 978-1-933379-73-9 in Hebrew. This monograph offers a literary analysis and a synoptic critical edition of the Yanuqa story printed in Zohar III, 186a-192a. This study contains a detailed literary analysis of the poetic and mythopoeic aspects of the Zoharic Yanuqa story, alongside a critical edition that explores the evidence and analysis of three editing stages of this Zoharic story. This monograph contributes to the understanding of the poetic mechanisms that construct the mythopoeic dimensions of this Zoharic story. This study specifically explores the means by which the figures of Rav Hamnuna Sava (the wise old man) and the Yanuqa (the Zoharic wunderkind), are transformed from being narrative characters to mythical figures, portrayed as mythopoeic incarnations of God and his Son.
54 - Gershom Scholem, Parashat ha-Shabtaut, Annotated and Introduced by Avi Elqayam, גרשם שלום, פרשת השבתאות (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 54) 2019 in Hebrew, ISBN 978-1-933379-71-5 in Hebrew, 366 pages. Parashat ha-Shabtaut includes some 45 lectures on the Sabbatean movement, from its inception to its decline, that Gershom Scholem gave at the Hebrew University (1954-55). His then-student, Rivka Schatz (1927-1992), published them as early as that same year, under the title Parashat ha-Shabtaut. Elqayam has edited, and introduced this book, updating the research in the notes. This edition makes a highly significant contribution to understanding one of the principal research enterprises in Jewish Studies of the previous generation.
53 - Emanation and Philosophy of Language: An Introduction to Joseph ben Abraham Giqatilla, by Federico Dal Bo, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 53) 452 pages, in English. ISBN, 9781933379708, Rabbi Joseph ben Abraham Giqatilla (1248 – c. 1325) is considered the most representative figure of a stream of Jewish mysticism devoted in particular to the investigation of the mysteries of the divine names. Giqatilla believes that any appellative which Scripture attributes to God represents the very matrix of the universe. The present monograph intends to provide a comprehensive illustration of his thought, his Rabbinical education, and his relationship with other prominent qabbalists in thirteenth-century Spain—Abraham Abulafia and Moshe de Leon. Most of the previous scholarship shares the problematic assumption that there would be a dramatic distinction between an 'early' and 'later' Giqatilla and that this would have reverberated into form, style, and content. On the contrary, the present monograph maintains the fundamental assumption that specific differences between the young and older Giqatilla shall not rule out the possibility of reading his entire speculation in a unitary, evolutionary perspective. Therefore, it argues that here are three periods in Giqatilla's speculation—a 'philosophical' one, a 'theosophical' one, and a 'theological-political' one.
52 - Transgression of the Torah and the Rectification of God: The Theosophy of Idra Rabba in the Zohar and Its Unique Status in Thirteenth-Century Spanish Kabbalah, by Neta Sobol, הפרת התורה ותיקון האל: תיקוני האדרא רבא שבזוהר ויחודם בקבלת ספרד במאה הי"ג (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 52) in Hebrew, 200 pages, ISBN 9781933379623. Idra Rabba is one of the most influential literary units of the Zohar. This unit combines a developed literary plot, with a most daring interpretation to the Torah. The exegesis of Idra Rabba reveals a unique Theosophy which stands out even when appreciated in the context of Kabbalistic discourse. This book offers a detailed analysis of the theosophy of Idra Rabba, with a twofold focus. Based on vast research of Zoharic manuscripts, this study analyzes the processes of creation, integration and the process by which this unique theosophy comes into being. Further, based on detailed analysis of other zoharic literary units as well as other Kabbalistic writings, this study positions the theosophy and story of the Idra in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Kabbalah and awards it its unique and revolutionary status.
51 - Sefer Hibbur ‘Amudei Sheva ספר חיבור עמודי שבע by R. Aaron Zelig ben Moshe, Cracow 1675: A Chapter in the History of Textual Criticism to the Editio Princeps of the Book of the Zohar, Cremona 1558 - A Facsimile Edition from the Exemplar of the Collection of N. H. Van Biema of Amsterdam Held in the National Library of Israel, with an introduction by Daniel Abrams (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 51), 114 pp., in HEBREW, 2017, ISBN 9781933379616. This work is the most detailed textual study of the first edition of the Zohar to the Torah. Only three copies of this book are known to exist and the entire volume is presented here in color facsimile with an extensive introduction about the history of critical reactions to the text, order and identity of the literary units which comprise the Zohar as a printed book.
50 -Israel Hazan: Commentary on Psalms, ישראל חזן: פירוש על תהלים, by Noam Lefler (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 50), 328 pp., in HEBREW, 2016, ISBN 978193337960-9. Rabbi Israel Chazan wrote his Commentary on Psalms between the death of Sabbatai Sevi and that of Nathan of Gaza. In his commentary he offers a variety of Sabbatean interpretations to biblical verses and Zoharic passages just before the time of mass conversions in Salonica and the formation of underground Sabbatean communities.
49 - Modern Kabbalah as an Autonomous Domain of Research: Lecture Delivered at the Ceremony for the Gershom Scholem Prize for Kabbalah Scholarship at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities on the Anniversary of Gershom Scholem’s Birth December 9, 2014, by Jonathan Garb הקבלה בעת החדשה כתחום מחקר אוטונומי: הרצאה שניתנה בטקס הענקת הפרס בחקר הקבלה על שם גרשם שלום באקדמיה הלאומית הישראלית למדעים ביום הולדתו של גרשם שלום י"ז בכסלו תשע"ה, מאת יהונתן גארב. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 49), 2016, 118 pp. in HEBREW, ISBN 9781933379579. The monograph seeks to establish the autonomy (though by no means independence) of modern Kabbalah as an autonomous domain of research. On the intrinsic level, modern Kabbalistic writings can be shown to reflect a strong awareness of its autonomy from pre-modern sources and practices. On the extrinsic level, their autonomy reflects both the new sway of Kabbalah in large areas of Jewish life, including Halakha, exegesis, liturgy and custom, as well as the constantly accelerating impact of modernity on the Jewish world and its surroundings. Thus, modern Kabbalists shall be shown to respond in increasing detail to new technology, geopolitical shifts and other modern developments.
48 - R. Jonathan Eibeschütz, And I Came this Day unto the Fountain, ואבוא היום אל העין , Critically Edited and Introduced by Paweł Maciejko, With Additional Studies by Noam Lefler, Jonatan Benarroch and Shai Alleson Gerberg, 2016 SECOND REVISED EDITION (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 48), 2016, 360 pp., in Hebrew, ISBN 9781933379593. This book is undoubtedly the most contentious work of Sabbatian Kabbalah, and arguably even the most contentious theological work of early modern Ashkenazi Judaism. The book surfaced in Germany around 1725 and generated one of the most heated controversies of Judaism at that time. Although distributed anonymously, most contemporary observers attributed it to the rabbinic prodigy, Rabbi Jonathan Eibeschütz of Prague; this attribution has been confirmed by modern scholarship. The edition brings a critically edited and annotated text of Va-Avo established on the basis of manuscripts housed in Oxford and Jerusalem, as well as several essays interpreting its theological doctrines.
47 - Bodily Rituals in Jewish Mysticism: The Intensification of Cultic Hand Gestures by Medieval Kabbalists, by Maurizio Mottolese (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 47), 360 pages, in ENGLISH, ISBN 1-933379-58-6). The kabbalistic concern with halakhic precepts, practices and customs has received greater attention in recent scholarship. The present book contributes to this turn with an inquiry into the integration of law and mysticism, rites and myths, experience and speculations in major segments of the Jewish lore. It also calls for an extensive adoption of tools and grids that are currently employed in religious studies, under the impact of the research on ritual forms, language and meaning in anthropology and semiotics. The focus of the inquiry is the effort of thirteenth- and fourteenth century kabbalistic circles to re-signify and revive some daily cultic manual gestures, such as the washing of the hands, the wearing of the phylacteries, and the upraising of the palms. In fact, their mystical commentaries remolded in detail the whole interplay of verbal and nonverbal acts—or, linguistic sides, bodily aspects and inner dimensions—characterizing the traditional liturgical life.
46 - Commentary to Sefer Yesira Attributed to R. Saadia Gaon, פירוש ספר יצירה המיוחס לסעדיה גאון, by Na’ama Ben-Shachar, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 46), 464 pages, in HEBREW, ISBN 1-933379-51-0. The Commentary to Sefer Yesira Attributed to R. Saadia Gaon is one of the most widespread works of its genre. Nevertheless, it has been printed only partially in traditional editions. This new volume provides a critical edition with variants, commentary and an introductory study that places the work in its historical context. This is the first known work of Jewish mysticism that contains traditions of the ‘special cherub’. It also contains traditions about the creation of a golem.
45 - Human Self-Perfection: A Re-Assessment of Kabbalistic Musar-Literature of Sixteenth-Century Safed, by P Patrick B. Koch, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 45), 264 pages, in English, 2015, ISBN 978-1-56581-231-4. In the wake of the Ottoman conquest of Palestine, Jews from all over the Mediterranean area and beyond settled in the Galilean town of Safed. This constellation created an atmosphere of spiritual productivity that is arguably unequalled in the history of Jewish mysticism. The uniqueness of Safed’s literary output has been subject to numerous studies, particularly in Kabbalah scholarship. In contrast, the wide range of musar-literature written during the second half of the sixteenth century remains proportionally under-represented. Focusing on notions of human self-perfection, this book examines how the Safedian authors derived numerous strategies of individual self-improvement from rabbinic, philosophical, Kabbalistic, and earlier musar-writings, thereby offering to their readers a great variety of transformative practices that are designed to enable the individual to draw closer to the divine. By emphasizing the mystical-spiritual quality of musar, the present study challenges the dominant scholarly position, which understands the genre first and foremost as ‘Jewish ethical literature’. The book offers a thorough analysis of the major topics of Safedian musar, as well as a cross-cultural reading that compares the Jewish musar-approach with Christian and Islamic traditions of spiritual guidance. Furthermore, it presents the first comprehensive survey of the history of academic research on musar, from the beginnings of the Wissenschaft des Judentums to contemporary scholarship.
44 - A Fifteenth-Century Manuscript of Jewish Magic: MS New York Public Library, Heb. 190 (Formerly Sassoon 56), Introduction, Annotated Edition and Facsimile, by Gideon Bohak. ספר כשפים יהודי מהמאה הט"ו כתב יד ניו יורק, הספריה הציבורית 190 (לשעבר ששון 56) מבוא, מהדורה מבוארת וצילום כתב היד מאת גדעון בוהק (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 44), in HEBREW: Volume 1 328 pages, Study and Edition, Black and White Printing; Volume 2, 272 pages. ISBN 1-933379-49-9. SOLD AS A TWO VOLUME SET. The Jewish magical tradition was transmitted from generation to generation both orally and via manuscripts, which are well attested at least from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. Many hundreds, and perhaps even thousands, of manuscripts of Jewish magic have survived, and are available in public and private collections all over the world. And yet, no attempt has ever been made to penetrate this world in a systematic manner, or to edit any single manuscript of Jewish magic in its entirety. Hence the importance of the present edition, of a fifteenth-century manuscript, copied somewhere in the Arabic-speaking world by a Jewish scribe, Moses son of Jacob and Marhaba, and containing both Kabbalistic texts and an endless stream of magical recipes for every imaginable purpose. The edition of the manuscript is annotated with copious footnotes, is preceded by a detailed introduction and followed by detailed indices, and is accompanied by a color facsimile of the entire manuscript.
43 - Megalleh ‘Amuqot – The Enoch-Metatron Tradition in the Kabbalah of Nathan Neta Shapira of Kraków (1585-1633) by Agata Paluch, 2014 (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 43), 216 pp., in English, ISBN 1-933379-46-4. Nathan Neta ben Shlomo Shapira (1585-1633), the most famous kabbalist stemming from the Jewish intellectual environment of Poland, has remained one of the least studied figures in modern scholarship. Shapira is generally acknowledged as the most important early-modern Ashkenazi kabbalist, whose influence on later Eastern-European mystical circles is well attested. His major treatise, Megalleh ῾Amuqot, one the most complex kabbalistic texts ever written, combines variegated strata of older mystical traditions, to which the author applies diverse, often obscure modes of interpretation. In considering medieval Ashkenazi mysticism as Shapira’s formative background, the book focuses on Enoch-Metatron cluster of traditions, which was as central to Shapira’s thought as it was to his Ashkenazi predecessors. The Enoch-Metatron constellation of motifs serves as a vehicle for exploring Shapira’s dependence on Ashkenazi imagery and interpretive methodologies, which he accessed through multiple channels of both direct and indirect transmission.
42 - R. Jonathan Eibeschütz, And I Came this Day unto the Fountain, ואבוא היום אל העין, Critically Edited and Introduced by Paweł Maciejko, With Additional Studies by Noam Lefler, Jonatan Benarroch and Shai Alleson Gerberg, 2014 (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 42), 360 pp., in Hebrew, ISBN 1-933379-45-6. is undoubtedly the most contentious work of Sabbatian Kabbalah, and arguably even the most contentious theological work of early modern Ashkenazi Judaism. The book surfaced in Germany around 1725 and generated one of the most heated controversies of Judaism at that time. Although distributed anonymously, most contemporary observers attributed it to the rabbinic prodigy, Rabbi Jonathan Eibeschütz of Prague; this attribution has been confirmed by modern scholarship. The edition brings a critically edited and annotated text of Va-Avo established on the basis of manuscripts housed in Oxford and Jerusalem, as well as several essays interpreting its theological doctrines. : OUT OF PRINT: see SECOND REVISED EDITION
41 - The Myth of the Edomite Kings in Zoharic Literature: Creation and Revelation in the Idrot Texts of the Zohar, by Avishar Har-Shefi אבישר הר שפי: 'מלכין קדמאין': הבריאה וההתגלות בספרות האידרות של הזוהר (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 41), 264 pp., in Hebrew, ISBN 1-933379-40-5. The Idrot sections of the Zohar lie at the heart of the Zoharic corpus. In these texts Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai and the comrades recount the Account of Creation and reveal its deep secrets. This study analyzes the various textual versions of these discussions and focuses on the myth of the Edomite Kings, the myth of the worlds that were destroyed. By analyzing these texts, the depths of these myths reveal the character of the Idrot and offer meaningful interpretations.
40 - Sabbatean Millenarianism in the Seventeenth Century: A Study of Moshe Abudiente's Fin de los Dias, Avraham Elqayam המסע לקץ הימין: בשורת הגאולה השבתאית למשורר משה בן גדעון אבּודיֶנטֵי (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 40), 504 pp., in Hebrew, ISBN 1-933379-35-9. Fin de los Dias (The End of Days) by Moshe Ben Gideon Abudiente (1610-1688) who braved the wrath of the Portuguese community leadership in the heyday of Sabbatai Sevi, and on a symbolic date, the tenth of Av, 1666, had this essay printed. The End of Days is a collection of Sabbatean homilies which Abudiente preached in Portuguese for the community of Sabbatean Believers, written down in his beloved Hebrew, then translated to Castilian, the language in which they were eventually printed. In this essay Abudiente publically proclaims that Sabbatai Sevi is the one who fulfilled all the messianic predictions of the Prophets of Israel. Abudiente challenges rabbinical Judaism as well as Millenary or Sebastianist Christianity, either of which would prefer to confine him, Abudiente, in the world of a ‘New Jew’ in the Diaspora of Amsterdam or Hamburg. In this book I call into question the prevalent conception that Kabbalah had a major role in introducing Sabbatean ideas to the Sephardic Diaspora in Northern Europe. My thesis is that it was the crisis perpetrated by the return of New Christians to Judaism which served as the psychological foundation to their striving to revitalise rabbinical Judaism and broaden its horizons. The Hebrew edition is critically annotated to facilitate understanding and accessibility. I have appended the Castilian version of his Fin de los Dias, as well as one chapter from The End of Days which has been edited and translated to French, and then translated by Scholem to Hebrew. Winner of the Shmuel Toledano Prize.
39 - Vision as a Mirror: Imagery Techniques in Twentieth Century Jewish Mysticism, by Daniel Reiser הַמַּרְאֶה כַּמַּרְאָה: טכניקת הַדִּמְיוּן במיסטיקה היהודית במאה העשרים (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 39), 384 pp., in Hebrew, ISBN 1-933379-44-8). This book is an attempt to describe the development of imagery techniques, a central type of mystical experience, in Jewish mysticism. Imagery techniques of late Hasidism and twentieth -century Jewish mysticism have all the characteristics of a full screenplay, a long and complicated plot woven together from many scenes, a kind of a feature film. Research of this development and nature of the imagery experience is carried out through comparison to similar developments in philosophy and psychology, especially imagery techniques in mesmerism and hypnosis. Winner of the Matanel Prize in the category of Jewish Thought.
38 - From Safed to Kotsk: Studies in Kabbalah and Hasidism, by Morris M. Faierstein, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 38), 246 pp., in English, ISBN 1-933379-43-X. The essays in this volume cover three areas of research conducted over a period of twenty-five years. The first group of essays is related to the history of Safed and more particularly, the life and activities of Rabbi Hayyim Vital. For the most part, they expand upon topics that emerged from my editions (Hebrew and English Translation) of Rabbi Hayyim Vital’s mystical diary, Sefer Hezyonot. The essay on the first published account of a Dibbuk possession is a bridge to the second area, the relation of Kabbalah and early Modern Yiddish Literature. The larger theme of these few essays is a beginning attempt to show that kabbalistic themes and concepts were more widely disseminated and popularized than has been realized. For example, one essay shows that a Yiddish work aimed at a popular audience published in 1596 already has an extended discussion of the kabbalistic ritual of Tikkun Hazot. This is not a theoretical discussion; rather the author strongly encourages his readers, ordinary Jews, to perform this kabbalistic ritual. The last group of essays is largely concerned with a continuation my earlier work on Kotsk-Izbica Hasidism and the tensions between Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotsk and his erstwhile friend and disciple, Rabbi Mordecai Joseph of Izbica. Two essays discuss aspects of the teachings of the first and last leaders of Habad, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi and Rabbi Menahem Mendel Schneerson.
37 - R. Moses de León, Sefer Mishkan ha-Edut, Critically edited, introduced and annotated by Avishai Bar-Asher, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 37), 2013, 272 pp., in Hebrew, ISBN 1-933379-42-1. R. Moses de León is considered to be the central figure responsible for the composition and early diffusion of the main part of the Zohar. Mishkan ha-Edut the last full-length book composed by de León to remain in manuscript form and is published here for the first time in a critical edition, introduced and annotated with copious notes that explain the text and show the many parallels to the zoharic texts. This volume is a major contribution to the study of the Zohar and thirteenth-century Kabbalah and is a must for any scholar or scholarly library.
36 - Kabbalistic Manuscripts and Textual Theory: Methodologies of Textual Scholarship and Editorial Practice in the Study of Jewish Mysticism, by Daniel Abrams, foreword by David Greetham (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish 36), 2103, 862 pp., in English, ISBN 1-933379-41-3. Kabbalistic Manuscripts and Textual Theory uncovers the unstated assumptions and expectations of scribes and scholars who fashioned editions from manuscripts of Jewish mystical literature. This study offers a theory of kabbalistic textuality in which the material book – the printed page no less than handwritten manuscripts – serves as the site for textual dialogue between Jewish mystics of different periods and locations. The refashioning of the text through the process of reading and commenting that takes place on the page – in the margins and between the lines – blurs the boundaries between the traditionally defined roles of author, reader, commentator and editor. This study shows that kabbalists and academic editors reinvented the text in their own image, as part of a fluid textual process that was nothing short of transformative. Kabbalistic Manuscripts and Textual Theory was first published in 2010 and is reissued in this revised edition with a new chapter: ‘Textual Fixity and Textual Fluidity: Kabbalistic Textuality and the Hypertexualism of Kabbalah Scholarship’.
35 - Illuminated Piety: Pietistic Texts and Images in The North French Hebrew Miscellany, by Sara Offenberg, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 35); 2013, 232 pp. (with color illustrations), in English, ISBN 1-933379-39-1. This volume offers an interdisciplinary study of mystical ideas applied in the texts and images of the North French Hebrew Illuminated Miscellany copied around 1280. This book offers an inquiry into a series of full-page illuminated scenes and their relation to piyyut commentary and the ideas of Hasidei Ashkenaz. At the heart of the book is a study of a text concerning gematriot, which is a shorter version of Sefer Gematriot of Rabbi Judah the Pious, and this version is published here for the first time. In addition to an analysis of mystical traditions, this study discusses issues of Jewish-Christian polemics that are reflected in the texts and illuminations. It offers a new understanding of the cultural exchange between different Jewish communities, and the transmission of knowledge between Hekhalot literature, Hasidei Ashkenaz, and this north French manuscript.
34 - The Works of Iyyun: Critical Editions כתבי העיון: מהדורות מדעיות, edited by Oded Porat (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 34; 2013, 280 pp, in Hebrew, ISBN 1-933379-37-5). For the first time in the history of the study of Jewish Mysticism a complete collection of the treatises of the Iyyun Literature has been critically edited in a single volume. With a historical, literary and theoretical introduction, Oded Porat has edited with critical apparatus all the known works of the early anonymous kabbalists of thirteenth-century Langedouc-Provence. The mystical speculation of the Iyyun literature seeks to make the divine attendant within the present through ever-evolving linguistic creativity, constantly limited by its origin. This mystical textbook is a basic part of any library of sources and studies of medieval Jewish mysticism.
33 - Window to the Stories of the Zohar: Studies in the Exegetical and Narrative Methods of the Zohar צוהר לסיפורי הזוהר: עיונים בדרכי הדרוש והסיפור בספר הזוהר by Michal Oron (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 33; 2013, 216 pp. in Hebrew, ISBN 1-933379-36-7) This collection of studies represents the state of the field of research on the Zohar from a literary perspective, including studies on zoharic parables, homilies and discrete literary units of the zoharic corpus.
31 - Scattered Traditions of Jewish Mysticism: Studies in Ancient Jewish Mysticism in Light of Traditions from the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha Hellenistic Literature, Christian and Islamic Sources המסורות הגנוזות של המיסטיקה היהודית: מחקרי המיסטיקה היהודית הקדומה על פי עדויות של ספרים חיצונים, ספרות הלניסטית, מקורות נוצריים ומוסלמיים, by Michael Schneider (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 31; 2012, 336 pages, ISBN 1-933379-26-X, in Hebrew). This is the second volume in a trilogy of studies on Jewish mythical and mystical traditions from the Second Temple through the early medieval ages. The book includes three extensive studies. The first deals with pseudepigraphic book of Joseph and Aseneth and explores the topics of ritual, initiation, mystical transformation and sacred marriage. The second chapter contains a thorough revision of the scholarly consensus about the pargod as a medium of mystical vision in Hekhalot literature and in the Apocalyptic. The third chapter is devoted to the ‘Prince of peace’, the divine-angelic-human messianic figure that embodies the principle of ‘coincidentia oppositorum’.
30 - The Appearance of the High Priest – Theophany, Apotheosis and Binitarian Theology: From Priestly Tradition of the Second Temple Period through Ancient Jewish Mysticism, by Michael Schneider, מראה כהן: תיאופניה, אפותיאוזה, ותיאולוגיה בינארית – בין ההגות הכהנית בתקופת הבית השני לבין המיסטיקה היהודית הקדומה (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 30; 2012, 384 pages, ISBN 1-933379-25-1, in Hebrew). This volume is the first of three volumes in a major scholarly reassessment of mystical traditions in the Second Temple period, which explores the variety of early religious traditions across diverse bodies of literature and in various languages. The symbolic, mythic and mystical features of these traditions, their transmission and migration histories and their reappearance in some medieval texts is further investigated. At the heart of this volume is the concept of the encounter and communion between the high priest and God, which implies an anthropomorphic theophany (the appearance of the God in human form) and the apotheosis (deification) of the high priest. This phenomenon is understood in the framework of a binitarian theology that distinguishes the hidden God from His visible appearance. These concepts appear as sources for many latter mystical traditions.
29 - Ten Psychoanalytic Aphorisms on the Kabbalah (Lecture Delivered at the Ceremony for the Gershom Scholem Prize for Kabbalah Scholarship at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities on the Anniversary of Gershom Scholem’s Birth, December 5, 2010) דניאל אברמס, עשרה מאמרים פסיכואנליטיים על הקבלה, הרצאה שניתנה בטקס הענקת הפרס בחקר הקבלה על שם גרשם שלום באקדמיה הלאומית הישראלית למדעים ביום הולדתו של גרשם שלום כ"ט בכסלו תשע"א, by Daniel Abrams (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 29; 2011, 88 pages, ISBN 1-933379-24-3, bilingual edition: Full English and Hebrew texts of the introduction, aphorisms, notes and colophon). In a beautiful, bibliophile edition, issued in a limited run of 300 copies, English and Hebrew readers will enjoy the presentation of ten aphorisms that offer the inner structure of the Kabbalah’s psychoanalytic traditions, presented from within their own discourse and formulated in their terms and concepts. In the introduction, Scholem’s basic rejection of Freudian psychoanalysis for Kabbalah research is considered, as is Freud’s grounding of his new discipline in relation to Greek mythology instead of any turn to Jewish traditions. The ten aphorisms are annotated with marginalia for source references of passages cited, whereas further manuscript and textual references are provided in the footnotes. In presenting the body of traditions of Kabbalah’s psychoanalytic theory, these aphorisms serve as a critical return to Scholem’s ‘Ten Unhistorical Aphorisms on the Kabbalah”, and thus can be seen as a signpost for a new direction in Kabbalah research.
28 - Devequt: Mystical Intimacy in Medieval Jewish Thought, אדם אפטרמן, דבקות: התקשרות אינטימית בין אדם למקום בהגות היהודית בימי הביניים, by Adam Afterman (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 28; 2011, 384 pages, ISBN 1-933379-23-5, in Hebrew). This monograph offers a detailed study of the exegetical and experiential understandings of devequt in ancient and medieval Jewish thought, from the Hebrew Bible through the works of Nahmanides. This study explains the connections between the various corpora, linking the moves made between the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic Literature, and then from the early medieval philosophic and pietistic sources - including Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Paquda, Judah Halevi, and Maimonides – to the early kabbalists. The study is thus both a major contribution to the history of ideas and Jewish mysticism, and a refreshing new vision of the larger framework of Jewish tradition and the interface between philosophic and mystical traditions.
27 - The Dates of Composition of The Zohar and The Book Bahir: The History of Biblical Vocalization and Accentuation as a Tool for Dating Kabbalistic Works, by Jordan S. Penkower, על זמן חיבורם של ספר הזוהר וספר הבהיר: תולדות סימני הניקוד והטעמים המקראיים ככלי לתיארוך של ספרי קבלה, Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 27; 2010, ISBN 1-933379-19-7, 192 pages, in Hebrew. This volume offers a sustained argument concerning the rise of critical observations and historical awareness surrounding the appearance, composition and acceptance of works written in a midrashic style. Such works as The Book Bahir and The Zohar afforded a great amount of attention to minutiae of the biblical tradition, especially aspects of vocalization and accents that were later known to have arisen at a later stage in Jewish history. This volume adds to the history of the understanding of these books with new insights into their contexts and the historically placed arguments for appreciation of these works. This study affords further insights into the attitudes concerning these kabbalistic books by such important figures as Elijah Levita and Samuel David Luzzatto, who contributed to Jewish culture in Italy. -- “Written by a fine scholar of biblical studies and the history of interesting aspects of Hebrew, this volume will be helpful also for a better understanding of the scholarship of both the Hebrew language, and the culture of the Jews in the Italian Renaissance”. – Moshe Idel.
26 - Kabbalistic Manuscripts and Textual Theory: Methodologies of Textual Scholarship and Editorial Practice in the Study of Jewish Mysticism, by Daniel Abrams, foreword by David Greetham, Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish 26; 2010, 761 pp., hardcover, ISBN 1-933379-18-9, in English, $49. Kabbalistic Manuscripts and Textual Theory uncovers the unstated assumptions and expectations of scribes and scholars who fashioned editions from manuscripts of Jewish mystical literature. This study offers a theory of kabbalistic textuality in which the material book – the printed page no less than handwritten manuscripts – serves as the site for textual dialogue between Jewish mystics of different periods and locations. The refashioning of the text through the process of reading and commenting that takes place on the page – in the margins and between the lines – blurs the boundaries between the traditionally defined roles of author, reader, commentator and editor. This study shows that kabbalists and academic editors reinvented the text in their own image, as part of a fluid textual process that was nothing short of transformative. SEE SECOND REVISED EDITION, 2013
25 - Sefer ha-Shem Attributed to R. Moses de León, ספר השם המיוחס לר' משה די ליאון, Edited, annotated and introduced by Michal Oron, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 25; 2010, 240 pages, ISBN 1-933379-12-X, in Hebrew). Sefer ha-Shem is a carefully constructed and highly detailed commentary to the ten sefirot. It rivals, if not surpasses, Gikatilla’s Sha‘arei Orah in its clarity and function as an introduction and guide to Theosophic Kabbalah. This beautiful edition serves as a primer to Spanish Kabbalah and serves as a major guide for the beginning and advanced student of kabbalistic texts in the original Hebrew, with an introductory study, copious notes and a full index of central terms and names of the sefirot.
24 - Automatic Writing in Zoharic Literature and Modernism, שם הכותב וכתיבה אוטומטית בספרות הזוהר ובמודרניזם, by Amos Goldreich (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 24; 2010, 408 pages, ISBN 1-933379-17-0, in Hebrew). This richly detailed monograph explores the phenomenon of mystical and magical techniques which induce a different state of consciousness that leads to literary production. The impetus of the study is the suggestion, offered in the celebrated testimony of R. Isaac of Acre, that R. Moses de León was able to write the Zohar using shem ha-kotev, a magical application of the divine name. It has been demonstrated that the later stratum of the Zohar, that is Tiqqunei ha-Zohar, was actually written using this technique. All scholarly treatments of the topic, including new evidence from manuscript sources and a history of related phenomena amongst kabbalists, and on through the development of similar techniques in modernism, such as automatic writing experiments in early twentieth-century English occultism and French surrealism, are all discussed at length in this monumental study.
23- Concealed and Revealed: ‘Ein Sof’ in Theosophic Kabbalah,בנסתר ובנגלה: עיונים בתולדות ה'אין סוף' בקבלה התיאוסופית , by Sandra Valabregue-Perry (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 23; 2010, 312 pages, ISBN 1-933379-16-2, in Hebrew). This volume offers a detailed analysis of the traditions and conceptualization of the Ein Sof in Theosophic Kabbalah, from the first kabbalists in Provence and Gerona (including R. Isaac the Blind and R. Azriel of Gerona) and on through R. Isaac of Acre and the Zoharic literature. The study further explores central problems discussed by the kabbalists, including the relationship between Ein Sof and Keter, concepts of infinity, negative theology, questions of ontology and the role of divine emanation.
22- Lurianic Kabbalah: Collected Studies by Gershom Scholem, קבלת האר"י: אוסף מאמרים מאת גרשם שלום, edited by Daniel Abrams (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 22; 2008, 440 pages, ISBN 1-933379-09-X, in Hebrew). This volume (all in Hebrew) celebrates the groundbreaking work of Gershom Scholem on Kabbalistic literary and mystical activity from the end of the fifteenth century, just prior to the Expulsion from Spain and until the rise of Sabbateanism. At the heart of this collection are all of Gershom Scholem’s detailed studies on R. Isaac Luria, his teachers, students and the works that emerged from Safed, including numerous texts which he introduced and explained. All sixteen studies are reproduced here, re-typeset, along with a Hebrew translation of the chapter on Isaac Luria and his School, from his Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism - all updated with Scholem’s post-publication hand notes from his personal library and annotated with full bibliographic references, manuscript identifications and followed by a complete bibliography in all languages of all studies about Kabbalah from the periods treated in this volume. The volume is introduced with a typology of the various methods and scholarship that emerged from Scholem’s foundational work. This volume is an essential research tool for the serious study of Jewish mysticism.
21 - Analogy in Midrash and Kabbalah: Interpretive Projections of the Sanctuary and Ritual, by Maurizio Mottolese (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 21; 2007, 398 pages, ISBN 1-933379-07-3, in English). Found in most religious cultures, analogical discourse plays a decisive role in Judaism. This book offers a close inquiry into the peculiar features, the various forms and the broader developments of analogy within Jewish literature, focusing especially on late-antique and medieval contexts. Not surprisingly, Jewish authors always produced analogical maps of reality by means of an analogical interpretation of the Bible, seen as disclosing manifold, and often secret, correspondences. This study of analogy is thus based on a renewed exploration of midrashic and mystical hermeneutics. The thematic focus investigates interpretive projections of the ancient sanctuary and its worship, highlighting the tendency of Jewish exegetes to analogize (and thus double in heaven) sacred places and cultic practices. Exploring analogical exegesis is then also an opportunity, as well as a means, for offering a refreshing perspective on the mythical-ritual imagery of the Rabbis and the medieval kabbalists.
20 - Mystical Interactions: Sociology, Jewish Mysticism and Education, by Philip Wexler. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 20, 2007, 197 pages ISBN 1-933379-06-5, in English). Mystical Interactions represents a dialogue and interaction between Sociology and Jewish Mysticism. It juxtaposes ‘classical’ sociology, depth social psychology and contemporary theories of social movements to conceptual social aspects from the Jewish mystical tradition. By interweaving sociology and Jewish mysticism, Wexler offers a new theory of a religious sociology of everyday social life, of the elementary forms of mystical sociality. Sociology does not ‘explain’ Jewish mysticism. On the contrary, Jewish mysticism becomes a resource for understanding social interaction differently. What emerges is a Jewish, mystical social interpretation of society, religion and education.
19- The Secret of Unity: Unifications in the Kabbalistic and Hasidic Thought of R. Hayyim ben Solomon Tyrer of Czernowitz, בסוד היחוד: היחודים בהגותו הקבלית-חסידית של ר' חיים בן שלמה טירר מטשרנוביץ, by Ron Wacks, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 19; 2006, 320 pages, ISBN 1-93379-04-09, in Hebrew). This book is a study of the thought of R. Hayyim ben Solomon Tyrer of Czernowitz (1760?-1817?), one of the most prominent rabbis of eastern Galicia and the adjoining regions in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He gained renown primarily during the eighteen-year period in which he served as rabbi in Czernowitz, in Bukovina. His works include: Sidduro shel Shabbat, Sha‘ar ha-Tefillah, Be’er Mayyim Hayyim; Eres Hayyim, and Teshuvah be-‘Inyan ’Amirat Le-Shem Yihud. The study is divided as follows: (1) The Life and Works of R. Hayyim; (2) Unifications in Kabbalah and Hasidism; (3) Models of Unifications in the Thought of R. Hayyim; (4) The Modes of Incorporation of the Models in Various Realms.
18- Psychoanalysis and Kabbalah: The Masculine and Feminine in Lurianic Kabbalah, פסיכואנליזה וקבלה: לתהליכי זיווג הזכרי והנקבי בקבלת האר"י, by Devorah Bat-David Gamlieli (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 18; 2006, 408 pages, ISBN 1-933379-03-0, in Hebrew). This study examines the reasons for the negative connotation attributed to the female aspect of the Godhead, identified in various Jewish traditions with ’ani, understood as the ego in psychological terms. This study draws on three disciplines: Lurianic Kabbalah, Maimonidean philosophy, and Freudian psychoanalysis: Psychology of the Self and Object-Relations Theory. This interdisciplinary approach offers a new interpretive model for understanding Lurianic texts and their exegesis of the Hebrew Bible. A reading of Lurianic symbolism through psychoanalytical terminology provides for a deeper understanding of kabbalistic symbolism.
17- The Interpretation of Secrets and the Secret of Interpretation: Midrashic and Hermeneutic Strategies in Sabba de-Mishpatim of the Zohar,פרשנות הסוד וסוד הפרשנות: מגמות מדרשיות והרמנויטיות ב'סבא דמשפטים' שבזוהר , by Oded Yisraeli (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 17; 2005, 304 pages, ISBN 1-933379-00-6, in Hebrew) Sabba de-Mishpatim is a distinct literary unit of Zoharic literature which interprets Exodus, chapters 21-24. The composition tells of a wonderful encounter between Rabbi Hiyyah and Rabbi Yossi, and an eccentric old man (the Sabba), whom they originally mistook for an ignoramus. The exegesis delivered by the Sabba to the friends examines esoteric matters concerning the laws of the spirit and reincarnation, reward and punishment, and principles of exegesis. This section of the Zohar is most famous for the parable of the maiden in the tower. This volume is the first full-length study of Sabba de-Mishpatim, exploring its hermeneutics and the revival of the midrashic form in Zoharic literature.
16 - Enchanted Chains: Techniques and Rituals in Jewish Mysticism, by Moshe Idel, with a foreword by Harold Bloom (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 16; 2005, 258 pages, ISBN 0-9747505-4-9, in English) Enchanted Chains brings together some conceptual approaches that were developed in Idel’s earlier studies such as Kabbalah: New Perspectives, particularly the contributions of analyzing techniques and rituals for a better understanding of Jewish mysticism, as well as of certain aspects of mystical literature in some of the major religions. Here, the author has taken a further step, attempting to highlight the existence of affinities between techniques, theologies and the nature of experience related to them. He describes the specific understanding of Jewish mystics of the well-known theme of the Great Chain of Being, as part of their magico-theurgical worldviews, which differed from the more static Platonic picture dominant in the West, and described by Arthur Lovejoy in his famous monograph.
15- Sex of the Soul: The Vicissitudes of Sexual Difference in Kabbalah, by Charles Mopsik, Edited with a foreword by Daniel Abrams, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 15; 2005, 212 pages, ISBN 0-9747505-9-x, in English). The present volume is the first collection of studies by Charles Mopsik (1956-2003) to be published in English. It contains the contents of two separate volumes published in French, with an additional study which was published elsewhere. These seven studies focus on the function and character of sex and gender in Jewish Mysticism: (1) The Primeval Couple and the Primordial One in the Religions of the World; (2) The Masculine Woman; (3) Creation and Procreation: Beyond the Bounds of the Body – From the Hebrew Bible to Medieval Jewish Mysticism; (4) Genesis 1: 26-27: The Image of God, Man and Wife, and the Status of Women in the writings of the Early Kabbalists; (5) Genesis 2:24: ‘They Become One Flesh’: Several Interpretations by Medieval Jewish Mystics; (6) Union and Unity in the Kabbalah: The Proclamation of the Divine Unity and the Male/Female Couple; (7) The Secret of the Marriage of David and Batsheva.
14 - Joseph b. Abraham Ibn
Waqar: Principles of the Qabbalah, edited
from Hebrew and Arabic Manuscripts, by P. B. Fenton, ספר שרשי הקבלה (Sources and Studies in the
Literature of Jewish Mysticism 14, 2004, 200 pages, ISBN 0-9747505-6-5, in
Hebrew). Rabbi Joseph ben Abraham Ibn Waqār flourished in
13 - The Intention of Prayers
in Early Ecstatic Kabbalah: A Study and Critical Edition of an Anonymous
Commentary to the Prayers, critically
edited and introduced by Adam Afterman, כוונת המברך למקום המעשה (Sources and Studies in the
Literature of Jewish Mysticism 13; 2004, 320 pages, ISBN 0-9747505-3-0, in
Hebrew). This Commentary to the Prayers was written around 1270 in
12- Words of the Righteous (Divrei
Saddiqim): An Anti-Hasidic Satire by Joseph Perl and Isaac Baer Levinsohn, critically edited and introduced by Jonatan Meir, דברי צדיקים (Sources
and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 12, 2004, 180 pages, ISBN
0-9747505-7-3 in Hebrew). The most famous anti-Hasidic satire in the nineteenth
century is Joseph Perl’s Megale Temirin. This text was published
11- The Commentaries to Ezekiel’s Chariot of R. Eleazar of Worms and R. Jacob ben Jacob ha-Kohen, edited and introduced by Asi Farber-Ginat and Daniel Abrams,פירושי המרכבה לר' אלעזר מוורמס ולר' יעקב בן יעקב הכהן (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 11, 2004, 184 pages; ISBN 0-9640972-8-1, in Hebrew). These two commentaries form the only known kabbalistic reworking of a surviving German pietist text and are of great importance for the understanding of the emergence of Kabbalah in the thirteenth century.
10 - Roots of Faith and Devequt: Studies in the History of Kabbalistic Ideas, by Mordechai Pachter, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 10; 2004, 342 pages, ISBN 0-9747505-5-7, in English). This book presents - in English - four studies by Mordechai Pachter on central ideas in kabbalistic thought: (1) The Root of Faith is the Root of Heresy; (2) Circles and Straightness; (3) Smallness and Greatness; (4) Devequt in Sixteenth Century Safed. The first study describes the most supreme point of deity revealing itself out of the depths of Ein-Sof (the Infinite), the point defined as faith. The second chapter goes on to the two modes of revelation and operation of all the Divine sefirot, the modes of circles and straightness; and the third chapter treats the Sefirot, namely the two lower configurations, ze‘ir ‘anpin (the Short Countenance) and nuqva (the Female), who are the Lurianic equivalents of the sefirot Tiferet and Malkhut, in their two states of development and growth: the state of qatnut (smallness) and the state of gadlut (greatness); the final chapter discusses the lowest point of the Divine world, the point at which man and God meet in communion, i.e. devequt.
9 - The Mystical Meaning of Lekhah Dodi and Kabbalat Shabbat, by Reuven Kimelman. קבלת שבת ולכה דודי. Solomon Alkabetz composed Lekhah Dodi in Safed in the mid-sixteenth century. This book discloses the poem’s kabbalistic meaning and its function within the Sabbath evening service. It explains how the ceremony for the welcoming of the Sabbath developed in Safed as a wedding and coronation ceremony in which the Sabbath was personified as bride and queen. The song merges erotic, mystical, and historical images into a kabbalistic vision of redemption. It urges one to join the divine Lover in greeting the weekly Sabbath to get to experience the cosmic Sabbath. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 9; 2003, 286 pp., ISBN 0-9705369-7-6, in Hebrew). Domestic orders only.
8 - Vision and Speech: Models of Revelatory Experience in Jewish Mysticism, by Haviva Pedaya, המראה והדיבור. This Hebrew monograph is a programmatic attempt to describe central types of mystical experience of revelation in Jewish sources from the Hebrew Bible through the medieval Kabbalah. The book investigates visionary and aural aspects of prophetic and ecstatic experiences. Close textual readings are offered to these mystical testimonies in which the mystic becomes vocal and recounts praises of the Divine. The nature of the linguistic imagery is explored with a sensitivity to its relationship to myths and metaphors which account for introverted and extroverted types of mysticism. An overriding typology is thus provided for ecstatic mysticism in Judaism. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 8; 2002, 286 pp., ISBN 0-9640972-9-X, in Hebrew)
7 - Abraham Abulafia - Kabbalist and Prophet: Hermeneutics, Theosophy and Theurgy, by Elliot R. Wolfson. This book reexamines the main features of Abulafia’s mystical thought and practice in light of his embracing of paradox as the main vehicle for expressing truth. It has been commonplace in modern scholarship to distinguish sharply between two kinds of kabbalah, the theosophic and the ecstatic. The studies that have been assembled in this volume illustrate a somewhat more fluid and elastic exposition of Abulafia’s prophetic kabbalah in relation to the theosophic kabbalah of his generation. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 7; 2000, 247 pp., ISBN 0-9640972-7-3, in English) OUT OF PRINT
6 - Sefer Gematriot of R. Judah the Pious: Facsimile Edition of a Unique Manuscript, introduced by Daniel Abrams and Israel Ta-Shema. ספר גימטריאות. Sefer Gematriot is a collection of German pietist traditions, preserved in a unique manuscript copied at the end of the thirteenth century. The work records the various traditions in the name of R. Judah the Pious, author of Sefer Hasidim, and head of the esoteric circle of the pietists. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 6; 1998, 166 pp., ISBN 0-9640972-6-5, in Hebrew)
4 and 5 - R. Moses De Leon’s Commentary to Ezekiel’s Chariot, פירוש המרכבה לר' משה די ליאון and R. Joseph Gikatilla’s Commentary to Ezekiel’s Chariot פירוש המרכבה לר' יוסף ג'קטילה , critically edited and introduced by Asi Farber-Ginat. These works are of great importance for the study of this major genre of Kabbalistic literature, including the Zohar. These works enrich our understanding of thirteenth-century sefirotic symbolism, as well as the Kabbalistic doctrines of mystical vision, angelology, and evil. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism, vols. 4 and 5; 1998, 98 pp., ISBN 0-9640972-2-2; 116 pp., ISBN 0-9640972-1-4, in Hebrew)
3 - R. Moses de Leon’s Sefer Sheqel ha-Qodesh, critically edited and introduced by Charles Mopsik with an introduction by Moshe Idel, ספר שקל הקדש. This book provides some of the earliest testimony regarding the appearance of the Zohar in the late thirteenth century, and forms a unique test-case for understanding the redactional process behind the canonical work of medieval Jewish mystics. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 3; 1996, 187 pp. ISBN 0-9640972-4-9)
2 - R. Asher ben David: His Complete Works and Studies in his Kabbalistic Thought, Including the Commentaries to the Account of Creation by the Kabbalists of Provence and Gerona, by Daniel Abrams. ר' אשר בן דוד: כל כתביו ועיונים בקבלתו. R. Asher ben David, was the grandson of R. Abraham ben David (Rabad) and the nephew of R. Isaac the Blind. His Book of Unity, included in this volume, is one of the first Kabbalistic works written. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 2; 1996, 378 pp., ISBN 0-9640972-3-0, in Hebrew).
1 - The Book Bahir: An Edition Based on the Earliest Manuscripts, by Daniel Abrams with an introduction by Moshe Idel. ספר הבהיר. Supplemented by studies in the history of the book’s redaction and reception; the printing history and scholarly treatments of the work; listings of manuscript witnesses; annotated listings of commentaries to the Bahir; kabbalistic works which quote and comment on the Bahir; and unknown passages found in other works. (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 1; 1994, 375 pp., ISBN 0-9640972-0-6, in Hebrew) Out of Print.
Bibliography of the Writings of Professor Moshe Idel: A Special Volume Issued on the Occasion of his Fiftieth Birthday. The bibliography provides annotated listings of all of Idel’s published works, including articles published in journals and collected studies volumes, book reviews, encyclopedia entries, introductions to books, critical editions and manuscript facsimiles, full-length monographs, and volumes which were published and distributed in limited copies within Israeli universities. (66 pp., 1997, ISBN 0-9640972-5-7, in Hebrew).