71 volumes of scholarship

in the study of Jewish mysticism

 

 

Cherub Press

Academic Publisher of

Studies and Editions

of Jewish Mystical Literature

 

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Cherub Press

Congratulates Avraham Elqayam

On being awarded the Shmuel Toledano Prize for his book Sabbatean Millenarianism

http://www.samueltoledanoprize.org.il/index_files/Page309.htm

 

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Cherub Press is proud to announce

The publication of three new volumes !

 

NEW

KABBALAH: JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF JEWISH MYSTICAL TEXTS

VOLUME 31 (2014)

320 pages ISBN 1-933379-38-3

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Studies in English

Daniel Abrams: Nineteenth-Century Precedents of Textual Scholarship of Kabbalistic Literature Elyaqim Milzahagis Zoharei Raviah: Ms. Jerusalem NLI 4 121

Jeffrey G. Amshalem: Why Do You Not Tell Stories in My Praise Also? The Image of Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritsh, in the Earliest Hasidic Tales

 

Studies in Hebrew

Moran Gam Hacohen: Gershom Scholems Lectures from Ohel Shem, 1934

Avi Elqayam: Sabbatean Hymns and Poetry A Critical Study of Gershom Scholems Unpublished Manuscript Notes

Menachem Lorberbaum: Attain the Attribute of Ayyin: The Mystical Religiosity of Maggid Devarav Le-Yaaqov

Dov Schwartz: Traits of the Hesychast Polemics in Fourteenth-Century Jewish Byzantine Thought

Oded Yisraeli: A Kabbalist Despite Himself: R. Judah ben Yaqar A Historical Figure and His Image

Jonatan Meir: The Eclectic Kabbalah of R. Shimon Horowitz (A Critical Note on the Term The Lithuanian Kabbalah)

 

New!

Sabbatean Millenarianism in the Seventeenth Century: A Study of Moshe Abudiente's Fin de los Dias, Avraham Elqayam : (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.

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New!

Vision as a Mirror: Imagery Techniques in Twentieth Century Jewish Mysticism, by Daniel Reiser : (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.

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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 Vitals 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New!

The Works of Iyyun: Critical Editions : , 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.

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New!

Window to the Stories of the Zohar: Studies in the Exegetical and Narrative Methods of the Zohar : 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.

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The Divine Retinue: Variety of Jewish Mysticism  :  by Michael Schneider (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 32; 2012, in Hebrew, FORTHCOMING). This is the third book in a trilogy of studies on Jewish mythical and mystical traditions from the Second Temple period through the early medieval ages. One of the main purposes of this study is to show variegation in early Jewish mysticism that can not be reduced to a few major trends. One of its cross-cutting themes is the images of multiplicity like the rainbow and the multi-faced theophanic angels as a revelation of the One God. The book traces mythic and mystical traditions and motifs through sources belonging to a variety of languages, cultures and religions, mainly Jewish, Christian, gnostic, Muslim, Zoroastrian and Buddhist.

 

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 : , , , 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.

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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, : , , (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.

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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 Scholems Birth, December 5, 2010) , , " ", 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 Kabbalahs psychoanalytic traditions, presented from within their own discourse and formulated in their terms and concepts. In the introduction, Scholems basic rejection of Freudian psychoanalysis for Kabbalah research is considered, as is Freuds 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 Kabbalahs psychoanalytic theory, these aphorisms serve as a critical return to Scholems Ten Unhistorical Aphorisms on the Kabbalah, and thus can be seen as a signpost for a new direction in Kabbalah research.

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Devequt: Mystical Intimacy in Medieval Jewish Thought, , : , 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.

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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, : , 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

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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.

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Sefer ha-Shem Attributed to R. Moses de León, ' , 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, Gikatillas Shaarei 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.

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Automatic Writing in Zoharic Literature and Modernism, , 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.

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Concealed and Revealed: Ein Sof in Theosophic Kabbalah, : ' ' , 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.

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Lurianic Kabbalah: Collected Studies by Gershom Scholem, ": , 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 Scholems 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 Scholems 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 Scholems foundational work. This volume is an essential research tool for the serious study of Jewish mysticism.

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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.

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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.

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The Secret of Unity: Unifications in the Kabbalistic and Hasidic Thought of R. Hayyim ben Solomon Tyrer of Czernowitz, : - ' , 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, Shaar ha-Tefillah, Beer 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.

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Psychoanalysis and Kabbalah: The Masculine and Feminine in Lurianic Kabbalah, : ", 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.

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The Interpretation of Secrets and the Secret of Interpretation: Midrashic and Hermeneutic Strategies in Sabba de-Mishpatim of the Zohar, : ' ' , 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.

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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 Idels 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.

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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.

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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, zeir 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.

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The Commentaries to Ezekiels Chariot of R. Eleazar of Worms and R. Jacob ben Jacob ha-Kohen, edited and introduced by Asi Farber-Ginat and Daniel Abrams,  ' '  (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.

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Words of the Righteous (Divrei Saddiqim): An Anti-Hasidic Satire by Joseph Perl and Isaac Baer Levinsohn, critically edited and introduced by Jonatan Meir,   (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 Perls Megale Temirin. This text was published anonymously in Vienna in 1819. Isaac Baer Levinsohn was the first to respond to Megale Temirin, composing an imitation and continuation of this satire, which he called Megale Sod. He sent it to Perl who was enthusiastic about the manuscript, made many changes to it, and finally printed it in Vienna in 1830 under the title Divre Saddiqim (Words of the Righteous). The edition is introduced with a discussion of the various stages of the manuscript from its initial composition and through its final form in print. The second chapter presents a the critical, annotated edition of Divre Saddiqim, while the third offers a comparison of the different versions of the manuscript. The final section contains a facsimile of the manuscript and the first edition.

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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, (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 Catalonia, probably in Barcelona. It appears that the anonymous author was part of a small group of ecstatic kabbalists who studied linguistic kabbalah and various commentaries to the Book of Creation which were available in Barcelona. We know at least two members of this circle,  Baruch Tugarmi and his student, Abraham Abulafia. In the year 1270, Abulafia visited Barcelona and intensively studied linguistic Kabbalah. The Commentary to the Prayers shows many affinities to Abulafias Ecstatic Kabbalah. The anonymous author was additionally influenced by another group of early Catalan Kabbalists that lived in Gerona, especially Ezra ben Shlomo, whom he quotes extensively. A partial Latin translation of the Commentary was prepared for Giovanni Pico, Count of Mirandola.

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Joseph b. Abraham Ibn Waqar: Principles of the Qabbalah, edited from Hebrew and Arabic Manuscripts, by P. B. Fenton, (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 Toledo in the first half of the fourteenth century. His Sefer Shorshei ha-Qabbalah, is presented here in a critical edition with both the Judeo-Arabic original and the medieval Hebrew translation, arranged in parallel columns. This work contains a kabbalistic lexicon of theosophic terms, chapters on various conceptions of the sefirot and their functions, and arguments for the  superiority of the Kabbalah over that of the philosophers and astrologers.

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The Mystical Meaning of Lekhah Dodi and Kabbalat Shabbat, by Reuven Kimelman. . Solomon Alkabetz composed Lekhah Dodi in Safed in the mid-sixteenth century. This book discloses the poems 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.

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Vision and Speech: Models of Revelatory Experience in Jewish Mysticism, by Haviva Pedaya, . 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)

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Abraham Abulafia - Kabbalist and Prophet: Hermeneutics, Theosophy and Theurgy, by Elliot R. Wolfson. This book reexamines the main features of Abulafias 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 Abulafias 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)

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Sefer Gematriot of R. Judah the Pious: Facsimile Edition of a Unique Manuscript, introduced by Daniel Abrams and Israel Ta-Shema. . 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)

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R. Moses De Leons Commentary to Ezekiels Chariot, ' and R. Joseph Gikatillas Commentary to Ezekiels Chariot   '   ' , 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)

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R. Moses de Leons Sefer Sheqel ha-Qodesh, critically edited and introduced by Charles Mopsik with an introduction by Moshe Idel, . 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)

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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. ' : . 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).

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The Book Bahir: An Edition Based on the Earliest Manuscripts, by Daniel Abrams with an introduction by Moshe Idel.  . Supplemented by studies in the history of the books 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 Idels 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).

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KABBALAH: JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF JEWISH MYSTICAL TEXTS

For contents of recent issues, see further below

 

Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts,  : ,  edited by Daniel Abrams (Editorial Board: Klaus Herrmann, Moshe Idel, Yehuda Liebes, Bernard McGinn, Charles Mopsik (1956-2003), Elliot Wolfson). Kabbalah is a multi-language collection of articles, studies, text editions, and book reviews. Kabbalah covers the whole spectrum of Jewish mysticism, from antiquity to the present. Kabbalah is an invaluable resource for every research library and student of Jewish mysticism. All studies are refereed. Each volume 300-450 pages. ISSN 1081-8561; hardcover only. Instructions (style sheet) for contributors, click here.

 

Kabbalah 1 (1996) ISBN 0-9705369-0-9; Kabbalah 2 (1997) ISBN 0-9705369-1-7; Kabbalah 3 (1998) ISBN 0-9705369-2-5; Kabbalah 4 (1999) ISBN 0-9705369-3-3; Kabbalah 5 (2000) ISBN 0-9705369-4-1; Kabbalah 6 (2001) ISBN 0-9705369-5-X; Kabbalah 7 (2002) ISBN0-9705369-6-8; Kabbalah 8 (2003) = Special volume on Sabbateanism, ISBN 0-9705369-8-4 [368 pages] ; Kabbalah 9 (2003) = Special volume on Sabbateanism; ISBN 0-9705369-9-2 [396 pages] Kabbalah 10 (2004) ISBN 0-9747505-0-6 [360 pages]; Kabbalah 11 (2004) ISBN 0-9747505-1-4 [400 pages]; Kabbalah 12 (2004) ISBN 0-9747505-2-2 [352 pages]; Kabbalah 13 (2005) 0-9747505-8-1 [336 pages]. Kabbalah 14 (2006) 1-933379-01-4 [384 pages]; Kabbalah 15 (2006) ISBN 1-933379-02-2 [368 pages]; Kabbalah 16 (2007) ISBN 1-933379-05-7 [360 pages]; Kabbalah: 17 (2008), 336 pp., ISBN 1‑933379-08-1; Kabbalah 18 (2008), 320 pages, ISBN 1-933379-11-1; Kabbalah 19 (2009), 336 pages ISBN 1-933379-13-8; Kabbalah 20 (2009), 268 pages, ISBN 1-933379-14-6; Kabbalah 21 (2010), 384 pages, 1-933379-15-4; Kabbalah 22 (2010), 304 pages, ISBN 1-933379-20-0 ; Kabbalah 23 (2010), 304 pages, ISBN 1-933379-21-9; Kabbalah 24 304 pages ISBN 1-933379-22-7; Kabbalah 25 (2011) ISBN 1-933379-27-8; Kabbalah 26 (2011) ISBN 1-933379-28-6, 320 pages; Kabbalah 27 (2012) ISBN 1-933379-29-4, 320 pages; Kabbalah 28 (2012) ISBN 1-933379-28-6, 320 pages; Kabbalah 29 (2013), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-32-4 Kabbalah 30 (2013), 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-33-2; Kabbalah 31 (2014), pp. 320 pp. ISBN 1-933379-38-3.

 

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