#59 Kabbalah: History & Ideas Since the Ari (Part One – Revelation & Concealment)

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
  • tzimzum
  • 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.

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#40 A History of Mystical Encounters (part 4)

A Podcast on Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah

The revelation of the Zohar saw an enormous shift in the landscape of Jewish mystical thinking, including in the techniques and ideas focused on the quest to engage with the Divine. In this podcast episode, David examines the ideas, practices, and approaches to encounters with Gd as explored in the Zohar, Lurianic Kabbalah, and Hassidism. This final instalment of David’s four-part series, A History of Mystical Encounters, also includes discussions on Maggidic revelation and Jewish mystical meditation.

The illustration below is a rendition of Tzimtzum, a concept discussed in this podcast episode. For a reminder about the sefirot illustration provided last week, please click here.

Emanation of Sefirot according to Lurianic Kabbala. Public Domain.

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#13 Worlds in Transition: Jewish History of the 16th Century (part 2)

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.

Tree of Life. Created by PuckSmith with LView Pro 1.D2 and ACDSee 3.1 [Public domain]

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