#61 Kabbalah – History & Ideas Since the Ari (Part 3)

Chassidism marked a moment of revolutionary change in Jewish life and spiritual engagement of the 18th century. Heavily influenced by the teachings of the Ari, early Chassidic thinkers explored and contributed to the development of Jewish mysticism. In this podcast episode, David discusses the lives and work of several early influential Chassidic figures, including;

  • the Baal Shem Tov
  • the Maggid of Mezricth
  • Rebbe Nachman
  • the Alter Rebbe.

David places these figures and their contributions in historical context and unpacks some of their fascinating and complex mystical ideas.

Other concepts discussed in this episode:

  • Kabbalah & Jewish mysticism
  • Lurianic Kabbalah
  • the Zohar
  • chassidism
  • chochma
  • hitbonenut
  • hitlahavut
  • keter
  • otiot
  • tzimtzum
  • kli
  • sovev
  • bina

Listeners who find this material new or challenging may wish to refer to the glossary of kabbalistic terms (with illustrative graphics) provided here. 

Find part one of the series here

Find part two 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.

Rebbe Yisroel Hopsztajn, a great promulgator of Hasidism in Poland and a student of the Maggid of Mezeritch, blessing acolytes c. 1800. Public Domain.

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#60 Kabbalah – History & Ideas Since the Ari (Part 2)

The teachings of Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Ari (AR”Y), have been profoundly influential on Jewish mystical thought of the past five hundred years. In this episode of the podcast, the second lecture in a series exploring post-Lurianic Kabbalah, David discusses the historical background, lives, and ideas of two iconic Jewish intellectual and spiritual figures – the Vilna Gaon and Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto. In doing so, he examines their remarkable contributions to kabbalistic thought on G-d, the world, and Divine revelation.

Listeners who find this material new or challenging may wish to refer to the glossary of kabbalistic terms provided here. 

This lecture includes discussions on:

  • the Zohar and Lurianic Kabbalah
  • Jewish explorations of alchemy
  • revelation and redemption, the geula
  • the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment)
  • Shabtai Zvi and Nathan of Gaza
  • Jewish messianic movements
  • the Ramchal, Rabbi Chayim Luzzatto
  • the Maggid of Mezritch, Rabbi Dov Ber ben Avraham of Mezeritch
  • Rabbi Joseph Ergas
  • Rabbi Immanuel Hai Ricci
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
  • ein sof and marshal
  • the Khmelnytsky massacre

Find part one of the series here

Find part three of the series 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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#28 Kabbalah ‘in one hour’

De-mystifing the mystical: in this podcast episode David Solomon explores the complex and profound field of Kabbalah to provide an overview of its texts and ideas, together with their historical background. David also explains exactly where popular Kabbalah comes from and provides the one thing that it is missing: context.
Image by Eliak: Version of the Tree of Life based on that which appears in the Bahir, but with the Sephiroth labelled with Latin letters, and showing both Keter and Da’ath (properly, only one would be shown, and the number of Sephiroth would therefore be ten). 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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