Jewish Mysticism

Jewish Mysticism: Tracing the History of Kabbalah

Moving beyond Madonna, red strings, and pop-culture, this study provides a deep, accurate, and intellectually honest understanding of the historical backdrop that led to the birth of an esoteric Jewish tradition alongside the societal and cultural changes that shaped and reshaped it throughout the centuries. This course offers learners the framework to understand how Jewish mysticism developed while utilizing the primary texts that have been central to the tradition. While deeply grounded in scholarship, each class will include discussions that address the timeless mysteries of human existence along with numerous other eternal and universal questions.

Table of Contents

Lesson 1 – The Genesis of Jewish Mysticism: Biblical and Rabbinic Encounters with God

Lesson 2 – In Search of God: The Secrets of the Chassidei Ashkenaz

Lesson 3 – The Ten Sefirot

Lesson 4 – In the Image of God: Sustaining or Destroying Through our Actions

Lesson 5 – Controversy and the Spread of Kabbalah

Lesson 6 – Sefer HaZohar: Reading from the Book of Splendor

Lesson 7 – Mystical Visions and Voices: From Spain to Safed

Lesson 8 – Lurianic Kabbalah: Creation, Destruction and Individual Tikkun

Lesson 9 – Hasidism: Seeking God in a Troubled World

Lesson 10 – Kabbalah in a New Age: 20th Century and Contemporary Forms of Jewish Mysticism