A question for our Jewish brothers and sisters, or anyone else who knows anything about the Kabbala.

I’ve been re-reading Michener’s The Source, and just finished a long chapter that deals with this Kabbala. It provides a lot of information about what it is, but this chapter takes place in the 16th century, some of it in Spain, some of it in Israel (Safed).

I’m wondering what the modern understanding of Jewish mysticism is, and if anyone can give a link to good info about it.

I’ve done a little browsing, and it seems apparent that there is a pop culture version of the Kabbala that probably isn’t valid.






Kabbalah is a term for the general “field” of jewish mysticsm. But it is a unique branch and not typrical religious mysticsm. It covers a lot of stuff so it’s hard to pin down. The main book that people tend to discuss is the Zohar, which was most likely written in the 16th century but attributed to a much earlier time period (in an attempt to give it more authenticity).

If you are really interested in this subject, there are a number of good books. I happen to like “Kabbalah. A definitive History of the Evolution, Ideas, Leading Figures and Extraordinary Influence of Jewish Mysticism” (How’s that for a title?). By George Scholem. It will most likely answer all your questions, definitely make you the resident Kabbalah expert on CA, and make you an instant hit at dinner parties.

However, since it takes 1/2 a day just to get through the title, don’t exptect it to be a quick read.

Ha Ha, not to worry. I’m a pretty slow reader, so I expect to have to spend days on anything complicated.

Thanks for the reference, I will get that book.

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