What is Jewish Mysticism? (Kabbalah)

We continue our series on mysticism by exploring Judaism and its mystical tradition, including the famous Kabbalah but also going beyond it.


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Sources/Recomended Reading:


Dan, Joseph (1986). "The Early Kabbalah". Classics of Western Spirituality Series. Paulist Press.


Fine, Lawrence (2003). "Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos: Isaac Luria and His Kabbalistic Fellowship". Stanford University Press.


Idel, Moshe (1987). "The Mystical Experience in Abraham Abulafia". State University of New York Press.


Idel, Moshe (1988). "Studies in Ecstatic Kabbalah". State University of New York Press.


Idel, Moshe (1990). "Kabbalah: New Perspectives". Yale University Press.


Idel, Moshe (1995). "Hasidism: Between Ecstacy and Magic". SUNY Press.


Kaplan, Aryeh (translated by) (1990). "The Bahir: Illumination". Red Wheel/Weiser; Revised ed. edition.


Kraemer, Joel L. (2010). "Maimonides: The Life and World of one of Civilization's Greatest Minds". Doubleday & Co Inc.


Krassen, Mosheh Aaron. “Introduction: Rabbi Israel Ba’al Shem Tov: Prophet of a New Paradigm.” In Israel ben Eliezer. Pillar of Prayer. Translated by Menachem Kallus. Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2010.


Lobel, Diana (2021). "Moses and Abraham Maimonides: Encountering the Divine". Academic Studies Press.


Miller, Moshe (translated by) (1994). "The Palm Tree of Devorah". Targum.


Russ-Fishbane, Elisha (2015). "Judaism, Sufism, and the Pietists of Medieval Egypt: A study of Abraham Maimonides and his times". Oxford University Press


Scholem, Gershom (1995). "Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism".   Schocken Books; Revised edition.


Scholem, Gershom (1996). "On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism".   Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; Revised ed. edition.


Wolfson, Elliot R. (1997). “Jewish mysticism: A Philosophical Overview,” in History of Jewish Philosophy, Daniel Frank, Oliver Leaman (eds.).


Wolfson, Eliot R. (2011). “Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia and the Prophetic Kabbalah”. In Jewish Mysticism & Kabbalah (ed. Frederick E. Greenspahn). New York University Press.




0:00 Intro

1:38 What is Mysticism?

3:59 Mysticism in the Biblical Prophets

6:00 Apocalypticism and Early Jewish Philosophy

7:15 Merkavah & Hekhalot Mysticism (ESOTERICA)

18:11 The Sefer Yetzirah & Sefer Ha-Bahir

23:05 The Origins of Kabbalah

26:34 What is Kabbalah?

28:19 Abulafia & Prophetic/Ecstatic Kabbalah

32:06 Early Kabbalistic Circles & The Zohar

35:47 Theosophical Kabbalah

43:59 Safed, Moshe Cordovero & Imitatio Dei

47:13 Isaac Luria & Lurianic Kabbalah

50:40 Multiple kinds of Kabbalah & Jewish Mysticism

53:14 Hasidism (Seekers of Unity)

1:02:37 Modern Developments

1:04:07 Unio mystica

1:07:54 Jewish Mysticism today & Conclusions




#kabbalah #judaism #mysticism