The Mystic Quest: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism

David S. Ariel, Author
David S. Ariel, Author Jason Aronson $41.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-87668-928-8
Reviewed on: 07/07/1977
Release date: 07/01/1977
The Jewish mystical tradition is unknown to most Jews today, yet for centuries prior to the French Revolution mysticism was an important current in Judaism. Rabbis in second-century Israel practiced visualization techniques and meditation. Kabbalists, beginning in Provence around 1175, deciphered the ``ten numerals''God's personal aspect. To the early Jewish mystics, God's wisdom ( Hokhmah ) prefigured everything that might come into existence; each person possessed a higher and lower soul; and God's feminine, caring aspect ( Shekhinah ) was locked in holy marriage with his masculine component. Jewish mystics' detailed deathbed visions, as reported here, bear direct comparison to modern parapsychologists' accounts of after-death experiences. Ariel's ( Eastern Dawn of Wisdom ) brilliant study is the first comprehensive history of Jewish mysticism to make its ideas accessible to the nonspecialist. Readers, Jewish or non-Jewish, with an interest in mysticism will find much knowledge here. (August)
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