On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah

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"Scholem's treatment is complex and stylistically brilliant as he systemically analyzes the history and intellectual background of these critical ideas. Highly recommended."--Library Journal.

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On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah is Gershom Scholem's introduction to the essential terms of Jewish mysticism. His chapter on Shekhinah--the kabbalist symbol of the female element of the godhead--helps explain why Kabbalah has a growing following among women. His chapter on Gilgul, or reincarnation, is fascinating for its description of how a spiritual phenomenon is formed, following the process from revelation to writing to teaching. And his final chapter on Tselem, or the astral body, will make you think twice about laughing at Shirley MacLaine. The astral body, according to Kabbalah, is the spiritual nature of each human being--the image of God described in Genesis 1. Scholem quotes pages of medieval rabbis' fantastic discoveries of their astral bodies, such as the following:

When I wished to find knowledge of the secrets of Creation, I came upon a dark vault within the depths of the earth, filled with blowing winds.... Then there appeared to me in my sleep a shape of most wondrous beauty [giving me instructions on how to conduct myself in order to attain knowledge of the highest things]. I then said to him: "Who are you?" And he answered: "I am your perfected nature."
--Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author:

Gershom Scholem was a professor of Jewish mysticism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem until his death in 1982. Among his most important works are Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, The Messianic Idea in Judaism, and On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780805210811: On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah (Mysticism and Kabbalah)

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ISBN 10:  0805210814 ISBN 13:  9780805210811
Publisher: Schocken, 1997
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9780805210088: On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah

Schocken, 1993
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