Unraveling the web of ancient traditions hidden in such texts as the Sefer Yetzirah and the Zohar, this book traces history and offers an accessible introduction to understanding Kabbalah and its practices.
Jewish mysticism has flourished—sometimes brilliantly, sometimes darkly—over five thousand years. This pioneering, popular text on Jewish mysticism was the first written for a general audience, and in it, Perle Besserman offers a lively and accessible introduction to the methods, schools, and practitioners of this intriguing world. She traces the history of Kabbalah through the lives of its illustrious scholars and saints and unravels the web of ancient traditions hidden in such texts as Sefer Yetzirah and the Zohar. Running through these pages are the words of the outstanding Kabbalists and mystics—including Simeon bar Yohai, Isaac Luria, Abraham Abulafia, and the Baal Shem Tov—giving instructions on practices ranging from contemplation of the Bible’s secret teachings to ritual, ecstatic prayer, and intensive meditation.
About the Author
PEARL BESSERMAN, PhD, is a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov. She is the author of Teachings of the Jewish Mystics and the Shambhala Guide to Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism.