Kabbalistic Revolution: Reimagining Judaism in Medieval Spain

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The Zohar—central to the mystical strain of Judaism known as Kabbalah—is a 13th-century commentary primarily on the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah. That might make it sound dull; it is anything but. Imagine the Old Testament as written by H. Lovecraft, Bible stories tripping on acid, rendered in difficult-to-decipher Aramaic, full of wisdom and beauty but shrouded in obscurity, a 1,page text written more than years ago whose teachings have been embraced by celebrities like Madonna but not fully understood even by most scholars of Judaism.

Some have even compared the cosmology of the Zohar to the conception of the universe suggested by quantum physics, string theory in particular.

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Hartley Lachter

Upload Sign In Join. The Zohar Unlocks the Secrets of Jewish Mysticism Scholar Daniel Matt spent 18 years translating the ancient text into English, making accessible a strain of Judaism that emphasizes personal spirituality over rationality. You're reading a preview, sign up to read more. Start Your Free Month.

How did Kabbalah Begin? Brief History of Jewish Mysticism

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Divine Secrets and Jewish Power: Jewish-Christian Polemics and the Development of Medieval Kabbalah

Kabbalah envisioned this marginalized group at the center of the universe. In the Kabbalistic worldview, Jews are secret heroes, who by practicing Jewish law in these subordinate communities are actually the ones who sustain the universe.

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It was a very bold presentation of Judaism that transformed how many Jews understood themselves. Find Maps. View Events. Graduate Studies Research Magazine. Read Research Review. Learn about Mountaintop. Request Info.

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