The Kabbalistic classic, Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation), teaches that creative consciousness exists in three states (space, time, and soul), which are reflected in the form, name, and numerical value of each letter. Rabbi Yisrael Ba al Shem Tov (founder of the Chassidic movement) taught that each letter also exists in each of the three dimensions of Worlds, Souls, and Divinity.
Through Rabbi Ginsburgh s treatment, based on these teachings, the alef-beit emerges from this work as the key to opening up the entire panorama of Jewish spirituality.
This translation is based on Gra version of the Sefer Yetzirah and includes the author's extraordinary commentary on all its mystical aspects including kabbalistic astrology, Ezekiel's vision and the 231 gates. Also included are three alternative versions to make this volume the most complete work on the Sefer Yetzirah available in English.
People of all faiths and backgrounds are drawn to the inspiration, knowledge, and spiritual insight that Kabbalah offers. But too often writings on Jewish mysticism are impenetrable for the novice, overly simplified for the advanced student, or misrepresent and sensationalize Kabbalistic practice. The Kabbalah Handbook is the first comprehensive single-volume Kabbalah reference guide that is indispensable for Kabbalah students of every level. The Kabbalah Handbook features: - more than five hundred key terms and concepts in straightforward, easy-to-read definitions and thorough, well-researched discussions;
- Hebrew, English, and Hebrew transliteration for each item;
- the language of origin for each term;
- a discussion of all sides of differing opinions within Kabbalistic philosophy;
- pronunciation guides;
- nondiscriminatory, gender-neutral language;
- important historical information;
- extensive cross-referencing that enables readers to find all terms, whether they are looking up a word in English or transliterated Hebrew;
- twenty-eight original and innovative illustrations;
- thirty-two tables and charts that organize and break down unwieldy material into manageable items; and
- appendices covering topics such as the 613 Mitzvot (biblical commandments), the lunar calendar, and the sacred names of God.
—from the Foreword by Arthur Hertzberg, 1995
Filling our future is the fundamentalism that threatens to pit one religion against another. But, our different relationships and understandings of G-d should not be the reason for conflict but the source of goodwill in building our relationships with one another and our ability to understand others. The covenant with the Jewish people was not the first made between the Almighty and mankind.
Before the revelation at Mt. Sinai, G-d commanded Adam and then made a covenant with Noah, giving them the guidelines for the universal religion of mankind. The most well-known part of this covenant is the seven universal commandments, or the Seven Noahide Laws. For this reason, Judaism and Jews do not proselytize, but rather seek to guide the nations of the world in developing their own relationship with the Almighty and implementing these potentially unifying laws of basic human nature.
This book offers you a glimpse into the tremendous mystical power and meaning of G-d's covenant with humanity and the Seven Noahide Laws, as explained in Kabbalah. It focuses on their spiritual and inner dimensions and inspires a deeper look at our best hope for achieving world peace and a better future for all beings.
Seventy-seven years after the exile from Spain of the Jewish people, in a small settlement in upper Galilee called Safed, Isaac Luria was to answer not only the Jewish people's deepest questions of exile and homelessness, but to explain the inner worlds of the spirit and of their evolution that led to the ultimate birth of our cosmos. It is this evolution that reflects the origin and history of souls, according to the teachings of Rabbi Luria.
Whether we are the result of cosmic intention or accident, God has connected us to these answers and to the drama of creation that has made us. Window of the Soul is the first and only comprehensive selection of Isaac Luria's teachings from the original passages of Hebrew. It is beautifully written, it is original Kabbalah, and it opens doors in the human heart that have been locked for thousands of years.
This book gives a concise and valuable introduction to the sacred science of the Hebrews, and thus to the esoteric teachings of Christianity.
The author begins with an over-view of basic themes about the afterlife, such as the judgement of souls before the Heavenly Court, the mystical significance of the Covenant at Sinai, the process of tikkun olam (repairing the universe), and some reasons why human beings return to earth in new bodies. He then takes you on an exciting journey through many centuries of Jewish tales, where you will meet dozens of saints and sinners, animals and humans, angels and mortals–all attempting to work out their past-life karma through applying the teachings of the Torah in earthly life.
In order to make the classical stories understandable to the modern reader, each tale has been ex-panded to include clear explanations of cultural and religious details. So skillfully does Gershom weave this material into the narrative itself, that the reader scarcely notices how a gentle form of education is taking place. By the time you have finished the book, you will not only have been entertained, but will have completed an excellent introduction to Jewish spirituality as well.
Both classical and contemporary tales are included here, from sources as widely varied as kabbalistic texts, folklore anthologies, and discussions on the Internet. Of special interest are several new tales collected by the author himself, which have never before appeared in print.
— David K. Miller
In Forbidden Faith, Richard Smoley narrates a popular history of one such truth, the ancient esoteric religion of gnosticism, which flourished between the first and fourth centuries A.D., but whose legacy remains even today, having survived secretly throughout the ages.
De Souzenelle incorporates the symbolism of the Hebrew language with biblical references and her understanding of Kabbalistic spirituality to present the Kabbalistic tree of life as a pattern of the human body in all its various parts and vital organs, from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head. Not only is hers an important work in the field, it also affords some flavor of the rich French esoteric tradition.
The Body and Its Symbolism will be sought after by advanced students of the Western esoteric traditions, especially Kabbalah.
Rodger Kamenetz, acclaimed author of The Jew in the Lotus, has long been fascinated by the mystical tales of the Hasidic master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav. And for many years he has taught a course in Prague on Franz Kafka. The more he thought about their lives and writings, the more aware he became of unexpected connections between them. Kafka was a secular artist fascinated by Jewish mysticism, and Rabbi Nachman was a religious mystic who used storytelling to reach out to secular Jews. Both men died close to age forty of tuberculosis. Both invented new forms of storytelling that explore the search for meaning in an illogical, unjust world. Both gained prominence with the posthumous publication of their writing. And both left strict instructions at the end of their lives that their unpublished books be burnt.
Kamenetz takes his ideas on the road, traveling to Kafka’s birthplace in Prague and participating in the pilgrimage to Uman, the burial site of Rabbi Nachman visited by thousands of Jews every Jewish new year. He discusses the hallucinatory intensity of their visions and offers a rich analysis of Nachman’s and Kafka’s major works, revealing uncanny similarities in the inner lives of these two troubled and beloved figures, whose creative and religious struggles have much to teach us about the significant role played by the imagination in the Jewish spiritual experience.
From the Hardcover edition.
Leo Schaya (1916-1986) was a brilliant author and editor whose only book to appear in English was the much-acclaimed The Universal Meaning of the Kabbalah, which is often cited in books on Jewish mysticism. This new book, Universal Aspects of the Kabbalah and Judaism, is a collection of writings by Schaya, including some previously unpublished material, that highlight the particular way in which Judaism expresses universal truths and concepts. Schaya explains in great depth and beauty how the God of Israel manifests His goodness, power, and mercy in multiple levels of creative emanations, which are the main focus of the Kabbalah. Even more, however, Schaya looks through Judaism’s particular forms and demonstrates that at its core Judaism reveals the same mysterious universal source from which all of the great religious traditions of the world draw their spiritual sustenance and energy.
A Sage’s Fruit: letters of Baal HaSulam is a compilation of those letters, which are now being presented to English speaking readership for the first time. The unique style and tone that Rav Ashlag uses in his letters offer inspiration and guidance to any seeker of spiritual advancement. The nature of this book is such that it changes a person. Regardless of how many times one may read the text, it constantly takes on new forms, as if reading it for the very first time. Now that these letters have been revealed, it is unclear how we could perceive spiritual advancement without them.
The Kabbalah Unveiled explores three important books of the Zohar or "Splendor": "The Book of Concealed Mystery," the book of equilibrium or balance, concerning the central point, at which rest succeeds motion; "The Greater Holy Assembly"; and "The Lesser Holy Assembly." Together, these three books examine the gradual development of the creative deity, and of creation itself.
Author S. L. MacGregor Mathers, a founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, presents his exegesis in a clear and scholarly style. Three fold-out charts enhance this volume's value as a tool for understanding the Kabbalah and enjoying the benefits of its teachings.
This book represents just such a collaboration between art and language. Ellen Frankel and Betsy Platkin Teutsch, writer and artist, have brought their extensive knowledge and talents together to create The Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols, the first reference guide of its kind, designed for use by educators, artists, rabbis, folklorists, feminists, Jewish and non-Jewish scholars, and lay readers.
From time immemorial, the Hebrew alphabet has been considered to be more than a collection of individual letters. Indeed, the essence of each letter of the Hebrew alphabet can be seen as a fundamental building block of the world. Jewish scholars throughout the ages have meditated on these letters, deriving spiritual inspiration in the process. In The Inner Meaning of the Hebrew Letters, Robert M. Haralick looks closely at each of the Hebrew characters, helping us to gain insight from this remarkable tradition.
Drawing primarily upon traditional kabbalistic and chasidic thought, Haralick combines his own insights with those of great Jewish personalities such as Moshe Chayim Luzzatto and Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, as well as drawing upon classical texts, including the Bahir, the Zohar, the Midrash, and the Talmud.
One of Haralick's main sources of inspiration is the ancient Jewish art of gematria, where each letter has a numerical value as does each combination of letters. Through this traditional methodology, Haralick shows his readers the many, often dazzling, ways that the Hebrew alphabet has been examined.
• Includes exercises and practices to access the dream state at will in order to engage with life in a state of enhanced awareness
• Written by the close student of revered kabbalist Colette Aboulker-Muscat
In Kabbalah and the Power of Dreaming Catherine Shainberg unveils the esoteric practices that allow us to unlock the dreaming mind's transformative and intuitive powers. These are the practices used by ancient prophets, seers, and sages to control dreams and visions. Shainberg draws upon the ancient Sephardic Kabbalah tradition, as well as illustrative
stories and myths from around the Mediterranean, to teach readers how to harness the intuitive power of their dreaming. While the Hebrew Bible and our Western esoteric tradition give us ample evidence of dream teachings, rarely has the path to becoming a conscious dreamer been articulated. Shainberg shows that dreaming is not something that merely takes place while sleeping--we are dreaming at every moment. By teaching the conscious mind to be awake in our sleeping dreams and the dreaming mind to be manifest in daytime awareness, we are able to achieve revolutionary consciousness. Her inner-vision exercises initiate creative and transformative images that generate the pathways to self-realization.
In the early years of the 20th century, Dr. Fischel Schneersohn, a colleague of Sigmund Freud and a relative of the then Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneersohn, took it upon himself to translate the Chasidic nomenclature and discourse on the psyche into scientific language that would be useful to the modern psychologist. Unfortunately, for whatever the reasons may be, his yearning to share the Torah s wisdom on the psyche was not to be fulfilled. Since then, the need for introducing these teachings to the public in general and to the professional field of psychologists has only grown.
This book is an important contribution to the creation of psychology and therapeutic techniques based purely on the Divine wisdom of the Torah and specifically its inner dimensions of Kabbalah and Chassidut. By offering a structured review and explanation of the psyche and its place in the larger and more complex super-structure of the soul, this volume provides a foundational guide for mental and spiritual health practitioners as well as for those wishing to deepen their understanding of Kabbalah and Chassidut.