While the roots of Jewish mysticism can be found in the Torah, the past millennia have contributed numerous extraordinary developments and revelations in the field of Kabbalah. In particular, the teachings and ideas of 16th century kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria, also known as the Ari, have been profoundly influential on Jewish mystical thinking, literature, and life. In this podcast episode, David provides historical context to the emergence of the Kabbalah of the Ari and then explores the two primary paths that disseminated his monumental ideas, through the works of rabbis Chayim Vital and Israel Sarug.
David discusses many of the terms and concepts associated with Lurianic Kabbalah, including:
- the sefirot
- ein sof (the infinite)
- the four worlds
- adam kadmon (primordial man)
- the writing of the name of G-d
- shevirat hakelim (shattering of the vessels)
- the male and female aspects of G-d
- the concepts of tohu and tikkun (chaos and rectification).
Listeners who find this material new or challenging may wish to refer to the glossary of kabbalistic terms provided here
Find part two of the series here.
Find part three of the series here.
Find more of David Solomon’s podcast, with dozens of lectures on Jewish history, the Bible, Jewish philosophy, and Kabbalah here.
This three-part series was recorded in Jerusalem at the OU Israel Center in 2009.