Origins of the Kabbalah by Gershom Scholem

By Gershom Scholem

"[Scholem] labors the wealth, even the scandal, of the previous with a view to multiply suggestions of survival. No nice textual student, no grasp of philology and historic feedback instructions a strategy immediately extra scrupulously responsive to its item and extra intuition with the writer's voice. That voice reaches out and grabs the layman."--George Steiner, the recent Yorker

"[Scholem's] paintings on Jewish mysticism, messianism, and sectarianism, spanning now part a century, constitutes . . . one of many significant achievements of the old mind's eye in our time. i might contend that it really is of significant curiosity not just to an individual fascinated by the historical past of faith yet to someone suffering to appreciate the underlying problematics of the human predicament."--Robert modify, Commentary

"This publication has been a vintage in its box because it was once first issued in 1950, and it nonetheless stands as uniquely authoritative and intriguingly instructive. . . . [It is] a monument of revelation and perception bridging anthropology, faith, sociology, and history."--Publishers Weekly

One of an important students of our century, Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) spread out a as soon as esoteric international of Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah, to involved scholars of faith. The Kabbalah is a wealthy culture of repeated makes an attempt to accomplish and painting direct studies of God: its twelfth-and thirteenth-century beginnings in southern France and Spain are probed in Origins of the Kabbalah, a piece the most important in Scholem's oeuvre.
The booklet is a contribution not just to the background of Jewish medieval mysticism but in addition to the learn of medieval mysticism normally and should be of curiosity to historians and psychologists, in addition to to scholars of the background of faith.

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Extra info for Origins of the Kabbalah

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Each of these primordial numbers is associated with a particular category of creation, the first four sefiroth undoubtedly emanating from each other. The first one is the pneuma of the living God, rualf 'e lohim �ayyim ( the book continues to use the word ru alf in its triple meaning of breath, air, and spirit). From the rualf comes forth, by way of condensation, as it were, the " breath of breath, " that is, the primordial element o f the air, identified i n later chapters with the ether, which is divided into material and immaterial either.

Leipzig, 1925), 69-80) collected abundant testimonies from the Greek and Latin sources; cf. also A. r Philologie 56 ( 1900): 77-105. In the Wiener Jahreshefte 32 ( 1940): 79-84, Joseph Keil published an important Hebrew-Greek amulet that contains, with an obviously magical intention, the Hebrew alphabet in G reek transcription in the so-called at-bash order. In this order the alphabet is written in two rows boustrophedon and two letters are vertically connected in pairs. The amulet should be dated between the second and fourth centu­ ries, but certainly no later.

The book's solemn and enigmatic manner of speaking made it possible for the Jewish philosophers as well as the kabbalists of the Middle Ages to appeal to its authority. Saadya, in the earliest extant ( although certainly not the oldest) commentary interpreted it around 933 in accordance with his philosophic conception of the doctrine of Creation and his Jewish theology in general. Since then, a complete series of more or less detailed Hebrew and Arabic commentaries continued to be writwhich was 8till unknown to Peterson; cf.

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