The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Volume One


Daniel C. Matt - 2003
    Matt, cover more than half of the Zohar's commentary on the Book of Genesis (through Genesis 32:3). This is the first translation ever made from a critical Aramaic text of the Zohar, which has been established by Professor Matt based on a wide range of original manuscripts. The extensive commentary, appearing at the bottom of each page, clarifies the kabbalistic symbolism and terminology, and cites sources and parallels from biblical, rabbinic, and kabbalistic texts. The translator's introduction is accompanied by a second introduction written by Arthur Green, discussing the origin and significance of the Zohar. Please see the Zohar Home Page for ancillary materials, including the publication schedule, press release, Aramaic text, questions, and answers.Further information on the Zohar:Sefer ha-Zohar, "The Book of Radiance," has amazed and overwhelmed readers ever since it emerged mysteriously in medieval Spain toward the end of the thirteenth century. Written in a unique Aramaic, this masterpiece of Kabbalah exceeds the dimensions of a normal book; it is virtually a body of literature, comprising over twenty discrete sections. The bulk of the Zohar consists of a running commentary on the Torah, from Genesis through Deuteronomy. This translation begins and focuses here in what are projected to be ten volumes. Two subsequent volumes will cover other, shorter sections.The Zohar's commentary is composed in the form of a mystical novel. The hero is Rabbi Shim'on son of Yohai, a saintly disciple of Rabbi Akiva who lived in the second century in the land of Israel. In the Zohar, Rabbi Shim'on and his companions wander through the hills of Galilee, discovering and sharing secrets of Torah.On one level, biblical figures such as Abraham and Sarah are the main characters, and the mystical companions interpret their words, actions, and personalities. On a deeper level, the text of the Bible is simply the starting point, a springboard for the imagination. For example, when God commands Abraham, Lekh lekha, Go forth... to the land that I will show you (Genesis 12:1), Rabbi El'azar ignores idiomatic usage and insists on reading the words more literally than they were intended, hyperliterally: Lekh lekha, Go to yourself! Search deep within to discover your true self.At times, the companions themselves become the main characters, and we read about their dramatic mystical sessions with Rabbi Shim'on or their adventures on the road, for example, an encounter with a cantankerous old donkey driver who turns out to be a master of wisdom in disguise.Ultimately, the plot of the Zohar focuses on the ten sefirot, the various stages of God's inner life, aspects of divine personality, both feminine and masculine. By penetrating the literal surface of the Torah, the mystical commentators transform the biblical narrative into a biography of God. The entire Torah is read as one continuous divine name, expressing divine being. Even a seemingly insignificant verse can reveal the inner dynamics of the sefirot—how God feels, responds and acts, how She and He (the divine feminine and masculine) relate intimately with each other and with the world.

Meditation and Kabbalah


Aryeh Kaplan - 1982
    Meditative methods ofthe East might have been derived from the mystical techniques of the prophets, and this intriguing possibility, mentioned in the Zohar, is also discussed.

Kabbalah


Gershom Scholem - 1974
    Here is one of the most enlightening studies ever to plumb its complex depths and range over its rich history, written by the late Gershom Scholem, the world's leading authority on the Kabbalah.

Practical Kabbalah: A Guide to Jewish Wisdom for Everyday Life


Laibl Wolf - 1999
    Up until very recently the Kabbalah was reserved for the elite, those who only after years of scholarship and practice were allowed to enter this mystical realm. However, one doesn't need to devote one's life to intense study to reap the rich rewards of the Kabbalah. With just a basic understanding of a few key concepts, our lives can be enriched immensely. We can then begin to fulfill our deepest dreams and reach our most important goals, becoming the people we long to become.        By learning to understand the Sefirot--the ten spiritual properties that flow from the cosmic source into our heart--we can connect to the universe and profoundly transform our experience of daily life. For example, Hessed, or "loving-kindness," represents the desire to be generous, while Gevurah is the desire to focus intently or withhold. These properties must be balanced in order for harmony and well-being to occur. Rabbi Laibl Wolf shows how to maintain that balance and enjoy a healthy and productive life by using simple meditation and creative visualization techniques to grasp the spiritual nature of our life.        Practical Kabbalah draws upon ancient wisdom but offers a modern interpretation and easy-to-understand techniques for delving deeper into our selves and our world and for reaping the bounteous gifts that were always meant for us.

The Essential Zohar: The Source of Kabbalistic Wisdom


Philip S. Berg - 2002
    The central text of Kabbalah, the Zohar is a commentary on the Bible’s narratives, laws, and genealogies and a map of the spiritual landscape. In The Essential Zohar, the eminent kabbalist Rav P. S. Berg decodes its teachings on evil, redemption, human relationships, wealth and poverty, and other fundamental concerns from a practical, contemporary perspective. The Zohar and Kabbalah have traditionally been known as the world’s most esoteric sources of spiritual knowledge, but Rav Berg has dedicated his life to making this concentrated distillation of infinite wisdom available to people of all faiths so that we may use its principles to live each day in harmony with the divine.

Kabbalah For Dummies


Arthur Kurzweil - 2006
    "Kabbalah For Dummies" also shows how Kabbalah simultaneously presents an approach to the study of text, the performance of ritual and the experience of worship, as well as how the reader can apply its teaching to everyday life.

The Thirteen Petalled Rose: A Discourse on the Essence of Jewish Existence and Belief


Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz - 1980
    In this classic work, world-renowned scholar Adin Steinsaltz answers the major questions asked by modern Jews about the nature of existence in God's universe. The title The Thirteen Petalled Rose is taken from the opening of the classic Jewish text on mysticism, the Zohar, and refers to the "collective souls of the Jewish people," which scholars have likened to the fullness of a rose and its thirteen petals. Along with a new preface by the author, this edition contains a new chapter on prayer that provides the most up-to-date account of the Kabbalistic view of devotion. Another new chapter recounts and interprets the prophet Elijah's Introduction to the Zohar. "Steinsaltz possesses a mind of the quality that occurs perhaps once or twice in a generation, or several generations... In [The Thirteen Petalled Rose] one can encounter the classical Jewish mystical view of reality, delineated lucidly, concisely, profoundly and, what is so rare, believingly. It is an utterly authentic expression of Judaism yet so unknown even among the well-informed and therefore so necessary, so welcome." (Herbert Weiner, Oxford University)

A Guide to the Zohar


Arthur Green - 2003
    It is, however, a notoriously difficult text, full of hidden codes, concealed meanings, obscure symbols, and ecstatic expression. This illuminating study, based upon the last several decades of modern Zohar scholarship, unravels the historical and intellectual origins of this rich text and provides an excellent introduction to its themes, complex symbolism, narrative structure, and language. A Guide to the Zohar is thus an invaluable companion to the Zohar itself, as well as a useful resource for scholars and students interested in mystical literature, particularly that of the west, from the Middle Ages to the present.

A Passion for Truth


Abraham Joshua Heschel - 1973
    In this work Heschel explores despair and hope in Hasidism as he experienced it himself through study of the Baal Shem Tov and the Kotzker.

The Power of Kabbalah: Technology for the Soul


Yehuda Berg - 2000
    In The Power of Kabbalah, renowned teacher Yehuda Berg shows how to view and navigate through life by tapping Kabbalistic truths. He explains the key process of transforming from a reactive to a proactive being that will in turn trigger increased creative energy, greater personal power, and a stronger and more satisfying sense of life. These teachings include embracing rather than avoiding problems and obstacles as true opportunities for spiritual development; making miracles through positive thinking; and accepting responsibility for what happens in one's life.

The Book of Letters: A Mystical Hebrew Alphabet


Lawrence Kushner - 1975
    Folktales about and exploration of the mystical meanings of the Hebrew Alphabet. Open the old prayerbook-like pages of The Book of Letters and you will enter a special world of sacred tradition and religious feeling. More than just symbols, all twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet overow with meanings and personalities of their own.

Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism


Douglas Rushkoff - 2003
    As the religion stands on the brink of becoming irrelevant to the very people who look to it for answers, Nothing Sacred takes aim at its problems and offers startling and clearheaded solutions based on Judaism’s core values and teachings.Disaffected by their synagogues’ emphasis on self-preservation and obsession with intermarriage, most Jews looking for an intelligent inquiry into the nature of spirituality have turned elsewhere, or nowhere. Meanwhile, faced with the chaos of modern life, returnees run back to Judaism with a blind and desperate faith and are quickly absorbed by outreach organizations that—in return for money—offer compelling evidence that God exists, that the Jews are, indeed, the Lord’s “chosen people,” and that those who adhere to this righteous path will never have to ask themselves another difficult question again.Ironically, the texts and practices making up Judaism were designed to avoid just such a scenario. Jewish tradition stresses transparency, open-ended inquiry, assimilation of the foreign, and a commitment to conscious living. Judaism invites inquiry and change. It is an “open source” tradition—one born out of revolution, committed to evolution, and willing to undergo renaissance at a moment’s notice. But, unfortunately, some of the very institutions created to protect the religion and its people are now suffocating them.If the Jewish tradition is actually one of participation in the greater culture, a willingness to wrestle with sacred beliefs, and a refusal to submit blindly to icons that just don’t make sense to us, then the “lapsed” Jews may truly be our most promising members. Why won’t they engage with the synagogue, and how can they be made to feel more welcome?Nothing Sacred is a bold and brilliant book, attempting to do nothing less than tear down our often false preconceptions about Judaism and build in their place a religion made relevant for the future.From the Hardcover edition.

God Is a Verb


David A. Cooper - 1997
    More recently, Kabbalah nearly disappeared—as most of its practitioners perished in the Holocaust. Now this powerful spiritual tradition, after centuries of secrecy and near-extinction, is explained clearly in this book by one of its most prominent teachers.Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? How do we get there? These questions have fueled Kabbalists for nearly a millennium. Rabbi David A. Cooper is the first to bring this obscure and difficult tradition to a mainstream audience in a way that gently leads us to the heart of the subject, showing us how to transform profound teachings into a meaningful personal experience—and appreciate fully this great mystical process we know as God.

The Key of the Mysteries


Éliphas Lévi - 1861
    The Key of the Mysteries represents the culmination of Le'vi's thoughts and is written with subtle and delicate irony. It reveals the mysteries of religion and the secrets of the Qabalah, providing a sketch of the prophetic theology of numbers. The mysteries of nature, such as spiritualism and fluidic phantoms, are explored. Magical mysteries, the Theory of the Will with its 22 axioms are divulged. And finally it offers "the great practical secrets."The true greatness of this work, however, lies in its ability to place occult thought firmly in Western religious traditions. For Le'vi, the study of the occult was the study of a divine science, the mathematics of God.

The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception Mystic Christianity (1922)


Max Heindel - 1911
    It is: not controversial, but is; sent forth in the, hope- that it may help to clear some of the difficulties which have beset the minds of students of the deeper philosophies in the past. In order to avoid serious misunderstanding, it should be firmly, impressed upon the mind of the student, however, that there is no infallible revelation of this complicated subject, which includes everything under the sun and above it also. An infallible exposition would predicate omniscience upon the part of the writer, and even the Elder Brothers tell us that they are sometimes at fault in their judgment, so a book which shall say the last word on the World-Mystery is out of the question, and the writer of the present work does not pretend to give aught but the most elementary teachings of the Rosicrucians. The Rosicrucian Brotherhood has the most far-reaching, the most logical conception of the World-Mystery of which the writer has gained any knowledge during the many years he has devoted exclusively to the study of this subject So far as he has been able to investigate, their teachings have been found in accordance with facts as he knows them. Yet he is convinced that the Rosicrucian Cosmo-conception is far from being the last word on the subject; that as we advance greater vistas of truth will open to us and make clear many things which we now "see through a glass, darkly." At the same time he firmly believes that all other philosophies of the future will follow the same main lines, for they appear to be absolutely true.