In A New Kabbalah for Women, bestselling author and teacher of Jewish mysticism and meditation, Perle Besserman, shares a feminine approach to spirituality. Since the time of Moses, Jewish mysticism has been barred to women, and Shekhinah, the feminine side of God, has been forced underground. Now, many women are adapting traditional mystical practices in radical new ways. Besserman is at the forefront of this revolution. In this book she traces the history of female-centered worship and tells the story of searching for her own path to truth. Combining practices from the Kabbalah with meditation, Besserman walks readers through step-by-step rituals to find their own personal connection with the divine.
With The Ecstatic Kabbalah, Rabbi David Cooper—author of bestseller God Is a Verb (Riverhead, 1998) and a renowned leader of the Jewish meditation movement—provides practical exercises on the path toward "mending the soul," the fundamental Jewish experience that brings union with the Divine.
With meditation techniques for both beginning and advanced practitioners, The Ecstatic Kabbalah guides listeners into awareness of the presence of light with experiential practices for touching the four worlds of mystical Judaism:Physical—breath work and mind-body harmonizationEmotional—tone the divine names as an expression of devotionMental—learn the histories of these techniquesSpiritual—stabilize your connection with divine presence
Finally, the long-sequestered doors of Kabbalah are open to all listeners, as they are invited to dwell in the embrace of the Divine with The Ecstatic Kabbalah's practices of daily renewal.
With celebrities like Madonna, Paris Hilton, Demi Moore, and Britney Spears announcing their fascination with Kabbalah, curiosity about this ancient Jewish mystical tradition continues to grow. The Beliefnet® Guide to Kabbalah is a highly informative, reader-friendly overview of Kabbalah, whose messages Moses is said to have received from God on Mount Sinai. A collection of speculations on the nature of divinity, the creation, the origins and fate of the soul, and the role of human beings in the world, Kabbalah’s meaning and messages have influenced Jews, Christians, and others alike—and intrigued scholars for generations.
The Beliefnet® Guide to Kabbalah covers the essentials of Kabbalah’s history, sheds light on what Kabbalists believe (including their views on angels and demons and on the afterlife), and provides instructions on both traditional and contemporary meditative, devotional, mystical, and magical practices. Sidebars featuring key facts, anecdotes, and frequently asked questions add to the book’s scope and appeal.
From the premier source of information on religion and spirituality, the Beliefnet® Guides introduce you to the major traditions, leaders, and issues of faith in the world today.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
• Relates the soul levels of the Zohar to the various paths the soul may travel toward ultimate realization.
• Introduces a new meditative technique called "the Transformative Moment".
Throughout the history of the Jewish esoteric tradition, humankind has been understood to play a pivotal role in the perfection of the cosmos, uniting the finite with the infinite in the perfection of divine personality. Working from an original synthesis of the major kabbalistic traditions of cosmology derived from the Bible, the Zohar, and the school of Isaac Luria, Leonora Leet has erected a new framework for understanding the mechanism of the transformative spiritual work that enables the human soul to reach increasingly higher dimensions of consciousness. This analysis extends the frontiers of Leet's prior works on the Kabbalah to provide a new illumination of human possibilities.
Leet first considers the false temptations of worldly power and pleasure that lead to the fall of the soul and then the means of its redemption. She develops a powerful meditative technique called "the Transformative Moment," whose workings are exemplified by Jacob and Joseph and that allow the individual to progress through all the higher levels of the soul, even possibly to attain the miraculous powers of the legendary spiritual masters. She further correlates the hierarchy of soul levels with Ezekiel's Throne vision to show the various paths the soul may travel toward self-realization: sex, love, power, knowledge, holiness, and unification. The first four paths relate to the four-faced living creatures (Chayot) of Ezekiel's Throne vision--the bull-ox, lion, eagle, and man. The final two paths correlate to the prophet and the envisioned man on the throne he recognizes to be his divine higher self, the knowledge that defines the secret doctrine of the whole of the Jewish mystical tradition culminating in the Kabbalah.
Despite its popularity at cocktail parties and in the media, few people genuinely understand what Kabbalah is. Unlike traditional Judaism, Kabbalah views God as a divine source of light, energy, and love, ever present in the physical world, rather than a patriarchal diety.
Kabbalah practitioners look beyond a literal interpretation of the Hebrew Bible for information about the soul; the nature of God, Creation, and the spiritual world; and humans' relationship to God and to each other.
Horwitz's introduction describes five major types of Jewish mysticism and includes a brief chronology of their development, with a timeline. He begins with biblical prophecy and proceeds through the early mystical movements up through current beliefs. Chapters on key subjects characterize mystical expression through the ages, such as Creation and deveikut ("cleaving to God"); the role of Torah; the erotic; inclinations toward good and evil; magic; prayer and ritual; and more. Later chapters deal with Hasidism, the great mystical revival, and twentieth-century mystics, including Abraham Isaac Kook, Kalonymous Kalman Shapira, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. A final chapter addresses today's controversies concerning mysticism's place within Judaism and its potential for enriching the Jewish religion.
Against this background, the author demonstrates how various Jewish mystics amplified the content of the Scriptures so as to include everything: the world, or God, for example. Thus the text becomes a major realm for contemplation, and the interpretation of the text frequently becomes an encounter with the deepest realms of reality. Idel delineates the particular hermeneutics belonging to Jewish mysticism, investigates the progressive filling of the text with secrets and hidden levels of meaning, and considers in detail the various interpretive strategies needed to decodify the arcane dimensions of the text.