This domain is for sale. Leave a comment below if you are interested.
(FYI: I will refocus my Kabbalah books related activities to sefarim.net)
(FYI: I will refocus my Kabbalah books related activities to sefarim.net)
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2013/03/31/this-domain-and-itstwitter-is-for-sale/
Noam Zadoff (editor), Gershom Scholem and Joseph Weiss, A Correspondence 1948-1964, Jerusalem : Carmel , 2012
The correspondence between the Hassidism scholar Joseph Weiss (1918-1969) and his teacher Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) touches upon many different subjects. It describes different aspects of the academic life in Israel , England and the USA , and it tells an important chapter in the historiography of the Hassidic movement, in which Weiss played a central role. This book describes the friendship between a teacher and its student and it reveals the complex relationship between them throughout three decades. In a memorial lecture to Weiss held in 1970, one year after his death, Scholem said: “I considered him in many ways the closest of my pupils, and the dialogue between us, a dialogue in the true sense of a term so much abused nowadays, went on for nearly thirty years”. The letters brought in this volume are this dialogue and they reflect a relationship based on friendship and mutual respect between two of the most prominent Jewish intellectuals on the 20th century.
From an announcement on the Ha-Safran email list
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2012/04/13/zadoff-gershom-scholem-and-joseph-weiss-a-correspondence-1948-1964-2012/
I found in Tablet Magazine a note about Peter Cole dropping “a new anthology of poetry in translation today, The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition.” Here is the official description from the appropriate page of Yale University Press:
This groundbreaking collection presents for the first time in English a substantial body of poetry that emerges directly from the sublime and often startling world of Jewish mysticism. Taking up Gershom Scholem’s call to plumb the “tremendous poetic potential” concealed in the Kabbalistic tradition, Peter Cole provides dazzling renderings of work composed on three continents over a period of some fifteen hundred years.
In addition to the translations and the texts in their original languages, Cole supplies a lively and insightful introduction, along with accessible commentaries to the poems. Aminadav Dykman adds an elegant afterword that places the work in the context of world literature. As a whole, the collection brings readers into the fascinating force field of Kabbalistic verse, where the building blocks of both language and existence itself are unveiled.
And some related links:
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2012/04/12/cole-the-poetry-of-kabbalah-mystical-verse-from-the-jewish-tradition-2012/
In the current, Fall 2001, issue of Jewish Quarterly Review there are three essays dedicated to Kabbala, Jewish Mysticism. Let me quote below the beginning of the editorial introduction and then share the table of contents with the relevant abstracts.
Surveying the development of Jewish studies over the past century, one can hardly avoid being struck by the increasingly prominent role played by research into the various forms of Jewish mysticism. Of course, the towering figure in blazing new pathways in, and actively promoting, the study of Jewish mysticism was Gershom Scholem (1897-1982). Although Scholem overstated his nineteenth-century predecessors’ neglect of the material, it remains the case that the predilection of Wissenschaft des Judentums for rabbinics and philosophy gave way to a new scholarly interest in Jewish mysticism in the twentieth century. The impressive staying power of the field into the twenty-first century owes partly, but only partly, to Scholem’s extraordinary talents. Research into Jewish mysticism continues to attract some of the most linguistically adept and theoretically sophisticated scholars working in Jewish studies.
Hekhalot literature testifies to the heterogeneous nature of Jewish religious practice and authority at and across the boundaries of rabbinic Judaism. Yet, Hekhalot and rabbinic literatures do not reflect clear-cut social, cultural, and institutional divisions within Jewish society, nor are they complementary facets of a single, coherent religious system. Both of these options oversimplify the complex relationship between these rapidly evolving sites of Jewish literary culture. Rather, Hekhalot literature and the social groups that produced it were subject to the same institutional, technological, linguistic, and demographic transformations that reshaped Jewish society and culture more broadly toward the end of Late Antiquity (500-800 C.E.). The relationship between Hekhalot and rabbinic literatures can thus shed light on the dialectical process by which rabbinic authority was gradually extended into new areas of Jewish life, while itself being transformed in the process
Mystical texts, like all texts, are informed by the context in which they are written and read. The proliferation of Kabbalah in late 13th century Castile is an instructive example of how the construction of Jewish esotericism is shaped by the intellectual and cultural environment. Kabbalists during this period were able to compose a large number of texts which succeeded in acquiring legitimacy in at least some Jewish circles, due in no small part to the increased interest in esoteric knowledge in the broader cultural context. Moreover, by advancing a uniquely Jewish claim to ancient, revealed esoteric truth, kabbalists sought to counter Christian anti-Jewish claims, and present an alternative to rationalist interpretations of Jewish scripture and religious praxis. By considering the historical context in which kabbalistic texts take shape, we can better appreciate the way that kabbalistic texts advance a worldview and conception of Jewish identity that addresses the perceived needs of Jews in particular intellectual and political environments.
The academic discipline of Jewish mysticism has become one of the most robust in the field of Jewish Studies. Rarely has there been a disciple in the academy that has been so dominated by one individual, in this case Gershom Scholem. Scholem not only initiated the field, he also drew its boundaries and set the terms of scholarly method and debate. And, he became a subject in the field as well as a contributor. This essay explores Scholems ideas about contemporary Kabbalah and his invested scholarship as part of his larger cultural project of reconstructing Jewish existence through secularism and Zionism. I argue that Scholems denial of the possibility of authentic Kabbalah in the contemporary world was founded on his commitment to secularism (in the form of Zionism) as the only way Jews and Judaism could survive. Ultra-Orthodoxy, the community where authentic Kabbalah was housed, was, for Scholem a relic of the past that would eventually disappear or become irrelevant. On this Scholem was mistaken. This essay explores the ways in which scholars of Kabbalah have emerged from Scholems shadow in light of that fact and begun to take contemporary Kabbalah seriously. They have also challenged his larger historiographic and Zionist agenda and, by expanding the methods and theories deployed to analyze kabbalistic works, have shed new light on Kabbalah, not only as Jewish metaphysics but as a producer of cultural capital in Israel and the Diaspora
The remaning articles in the same issue are:
The journal can be viewed/purchased at Muse.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2011/12/11/jewish-quarterly-review-on-jewish-mysticism/
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is an epic original adventure inspired by an alternate telling of biblical mythology as narrated in the ‘heretical’ Book of Enoch, part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The game has been developed by a ‘dream team’ internal Japanese studio whose former credits include iconic multi-million selling franchises such as Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, and Monster Hunter.
I learned about it in The Press Democrat’s review, which was of mixed opinion, but at least it gave more information than the official page
[It] takes its inspiration from the Book of Enoch, a non-canonical Old Testament-era text. Enoch, a human scribe for God, travels to Earth to retrieve seven Watchers, powerful fallen angels who have fallen in love with humans and begotten a race called the nephelim. These Watchers have taken up residence in an enormous tower and, in typical video game fashion, have constructed their own distinct worlds. At Enoch’s side is Lucifel, yet to become the Prince of Darkness and still very much God’s right-hand man.
When firing up “El Shaddai”, you’ll immediately notice its lush visuals….
The gorgeous levels are complemented by a majestic, celestial soundtrack befitting an epic quest to hunt down rogue angels and spare humanity the purge of a great flood….
That’s not to say “El Shaddai” isn’t enjoyable. The track record of video games based on religious texts is dominated by the Bible and isn’t a good one. The source material, gorgeous levels and stirring soundtrack will mean the game appeals to players on the lookout for something new. But its flaws are noticeable and frustrating enough that for many players it will be a more appealing buy at $30 or $40 than its current $60 price tag.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2011/09/06/el-shaddai-ascension-of-the-metatron-a-videogame/
The creators of “The 36” a new graphic novels used Kickstarter, a crowdsourcing service to generate the funds necessary to go ahead with their project. With the help of 122 backers they generated $11,474. This was over their goal of $10,000, so the project is a go. Looking forward to the book when it gets published.
The 36 is a graphic novel based on the Kabbalistic belief that there are 36 people in the world upon whom it is saved by their simple existence. In times of need, these people emerge from anonymity and save us, then fade back into their lives.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2011/09/05/the-36-a-graphic-novel-got-funded/
As I mentioned at the time, in 2009 Jewish Lights Publishing published The Seven Beggars & Other Kabbalistic Tales Of Rebbe Nachman Of Breslov, translated by Aryeh Kaplan. A few months ago another translation or “retelling” came out, this time by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. The title of this book is Tale of the Seven Beggars. Beside the acknowledgements, preface, prologue, postrscript, notes, and notes about the authors the book includes the 6 original tales of beggars (Blind, Deaf, Mumbling, Twist-Necked, Hunchback, Handless) and the last one reinterpreted by Richard A. Siegel (“Seventh”). Still, the book ends up only 92 pages. You may want to compare this to the JLP book, with its 152 pages and 16 additional tales, beyond the 7 beggars’. But quantity doesn’t necessarily translate to quality. I haven’t read either so I can’t really compare them. Both translators are among my favorite authors, so I would probably enjoy both.
If you would judge a book by its cover my choice would go for the newer book, because its cover incorporates elements from a painting by one of may favorite Hungarian painters Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry. (And the back cover has a piece from another of his paintings.) This is not to belittle Sara Dismukes‘ work, who designed the cover of the other book, but I am partial to Csontváry. However, we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, so I won’t either.
One more word about the Schachter-Shalomi version. The back cover gives the website for the publisher (albion-andalus.com), but the URL leads to a parked/under construction site. I do judge an operation by the quality of its site. It’s OK to be under construction, happens to the best of us. But at least put up your own under construction page and not default to your ISP’s. That seems too unprofessional.
Nevertheless looking forward getting my hands on a copy of both books.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2011/02/13/tale-of-the-seven-beggars-2010/
Dr. A Nyland‘s book, the “Third Book of Enoch” became available on Amazon.com last October. The author started her blog only in November, so she didn’t mention it there. She published the book through CreateSpaces, which is Amazon.com’s self-publishing company but it is also available at Smashwords, a self-publishing companies for eBooks. Her bio there says that she “is an ancient language scholar and lexicographer as well as horse care researcher who served as faculty at the University of New England, Australia.”
With this book Dr. Nyland has finished the translation of all three volumes. They are all available on their own or the three as a single volume, both as printed books and ebooks. I am providing links not just to the paperbacks Kindle version but to the Smashwords pages as well, because there you can buy the books in a variety of eBook formats and you can read a 15% long sample from each. Considering that the 3 books combined is only 262 pages long, you may just want to get that. The official description is under each book’s listing below.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2011/02/08/nyland-enoch-2010/
The 7th Annual Kabbalah Day is today at the JCC Manhattan. The theme of this year’s event is, “Words to Live By: The Writings of Aryeh Kaplan.” Thus the main and only content at AryehKaplan.org is the poster for this event, see below. Here is the program at the JCC’s site and related links at the various sponsors’ websites: The Jewish Week, JInsider, Carlebach Shul, and Limmud NY.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2011/01/30/7th-annual-kabbalah-day/
Rabbi Jerry Winston, author of Colors from the Zohar: Drawn from the Classic of Jewish Mysticism and The Mystical Sabbath: Candlelight and Kabbalah has passed away on December 19, 2010
May his memory be for a blessing
Permanent link to this article: http://www.kabbalahbooks.co/2011/01/30/rabbi-jerry-winston/
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