Gershom Scholem was born Gerhard Scholem in Berlin in By he was immersing himself in any kabbalistic works he could find. Kabbalah has ratings and 13 reviews. Kenneth said: There's nothing new age about this book. This is the best academic book on the history of Kabbal. Kabbalah [Gershom Scholem] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Illumined in this fascinating work are the centuries of efforts by Kabbalists.


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These names will probably be known to some of people who study the Kabbalah now, and that is all thanks to Gershom Sholem. Without whom, their radical religious ideas would have been lost to history.

It is all neatly summated here in this book, which makes for a heavy but gershom scholem kabbalah read.

Gershom Scholem

Mind you, the book mainly concentrates on the development of the Kabbalah through history, although gershom scholem kabbalah is a substantial chunk that introduces many of basic ideas of the Kabbalah.

There is even a section of "personalities," or influential people associated with the Kabbalah.


An excellent primer on an otherwise obscure subject for those willing gershom scholem kabbalah do heavy reading. And if you are, this book will not disappoint. Oct 22, Enoch Ben rated it really liked it Wonderful, scholarly book.


Gershom scholem kabbalah example, the ecstatic mystic Abraham Abulafia wrote commentaries to Maimonides' rational work and did not consider his own project as contradictory to Maimonides.

One of the vexing questions in Scholem's historiographical rendering of Kabbala is the place of myth in medieval kabbalistic literature. On the one hand, Scholem seems to prefer symbol over myth when discussing Kabbala, suggesting that Kabbala's reification of the biblical narrative does not yield a mythic drama, including a cadre of mythic figures, but rather a series of symbolic clusters or hypostatic forms that are identified through the prism of the personalities in the Hebrew Bible.

On the other gershom scholem kabbalah, in numerous places Scholem suggests Kabbala re-introduces myth into the Jewish discourse as a critique of Judaism's rational expositors.

Critics have suggested Scholem underestimated the mythic nature of theosophic Kabbala the Zohar and its interpreters and was too invested in notions of symbolism that were common in his time e.

Kabbalah by Gershom Scholem

In any event, the question of myth versus symbol in Kabbala remains an important issue to be examined by Scholem's readers and future scholars. One important consequence of this question is whether one defines Scholem's dialectical gershom scholem kabbalah as Hegelian or psychoanalytic.

If we say myth yields to symbolism in Kabbala, Kabbala's new Jewish theology would better fit into the Hegelian mode as an antithesis to medieval rationalism.

In any case, it is gershom scholem kabbalah to know exactly how seriously Scholem intended us to take his dialectical historiography or whether, in fact, it served more as a heuristic tool to enable us to see a sweeping picture that subsequent generations could revise.

Gershom scholem kabbalah the waning belief in grand narratives, Scholem's historiography has met sharp criticism yet there is gershom scholem kabbalah doubt its main features have thus far stood the test of time. A second component that accompanies Scholem's dialectic of myth, rationalism, and mysticism is his theory of esotericism.

Scholar and Kabbalist: The Life and Work of Gershom Scholem

Committed to the notion that social and cultural change are driven by ideas more than events, Scholem adds that the ideas that often have the most profound impact are esoteric ones that are suppressed yet surface when certain historical conditions arise.

This serves as one of his main criticisms of Wissenschaft des Judentums, that gershom scholem kabbalah, that the presentation of Judaism without its esoteric components is not only bad history but misunderstands the main forces that drive change in Jewish life and ideas.

As history unfolds, it often adjusts and survives its own inner challenge but other times, as in Sabbateanism, it does gershom scholem kabbalah only by gershom scholem kabbalah combination of draconian means this often backfires or by exercising its own elasticity to absorb the heretical and thereby make it normative.


For Scholem, the one case where tradition gershom scholem kabbalah not have been able to recover is modernity. For him modernity, and the secular, undermines the central pillar of tradition, its belief in the divine nature of Scripture.

Scholar and Kabbalist: The Life and Work of Gershom Scholem

Once this goes, he posits, in some way the dialectic is broken in that mysticism needs tradition as its foil in order to gershom scholem kabbalah. The shattered ideational foundation of Jewish identity in modernity can only be replaced with something that is heretical, messianic, and secular: He may mean that he believes, as mentioned above, that Judaism has no essence but is only a series of connected yet not always coherent textual traditions and sets of ideas.

He may also mean gershom scholem kabbalah he believes controlled anarchy as the demise of any heteronomous authority sets the proper conditions for the discovery of suppressed esoteric trends in gershom scholem kabbalah society.

  • Gershom Scholem (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  • On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism by Gershom Scholem |
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In this second case, anarchy appears synonymous with secularity. Zionism As mentioned, Scholem became a Zionist in when he was 14 years old. In many ways, and like many in his generation and locale, his Zionism was one of protest against the bourgeois lifestyle and assimilated Gershom scholem kabbalah identity of his parents.