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. 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, tzimzum, shevirat hakelim (shattering of the vessels), the male and female aspects of G-d, and the concepts of tohu and tikkun (chaos and rectification).
Jewish life in the Ottoman Empire flourished in the 16th century. In this podcast episode, David Solomon examines factors across the empire that would come together during this period to create revolutionary developments in Jewish law and mysticism. David examines the lives and work of key individuals involved in this revolution, providing an overview of the profound new ideas that emerged and the lasting impact they would have on the world.