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Bahir: Illumination Paperback – 1 Jan 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser; Revised edition (1 Jan. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877286183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877286189
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was born in New York City and was educated in The Torah Voda'as and Mir Yeshivot in Brooklyn. After years of study at Jerusalem's Mir Yeshiva, he was ordained by some of Israel's foremost rabbinic authorities. He also earned a master's degree in physics and was listed in Who's Who in Physics in the United States. In the course of a writing career spanning only twelve years, Rabbi Kaplan earned a reputation as one of the most effective, persuasive, scholarly, and prolific exponents of Judaism in the English language. He died on January 28, 1983, at the age of 48. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Inside This Book

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First Sentence
1. Rabbi Nehuniah ben HaKana said: One verse (Job 37:21) states, "And now they do not see light, it is brilliant (Bahir) in the skies . . . [round about God in terrible majesty]." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
Aryeh Kaplan Z''L, is the only kabbalist I've been able to understand. He uses every text in Jewish literature available to explain such mystical teachings. He is not afraid of showing some of the deepest secrets of G-d. The best of it is that you get the hebrew text, then the translation and finally his commentary, followed by many notes. He follows the kabbalistic teaching regarding: "Reveal one cubit, buy always hiding two".
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Format: Paperback
Aryeh Kaplan's life work seems to have been to make the mysteries of the Kaballah accessible without cheapening or symplifying them. His other works - MEDITATION AND KABALLAH, SEFER YETZIRAH - go together with this to make a tritych of Kaballistic writing which is full of inisght and illumination. A truly liberating vision of religion which frees us from the dry, confining aridity of so much mainstream faith.

The Bahir is not as well known or as famous as the Zohar. Kaplan has therefore done us a service in translating it here. The text is clearly and lucidly rendered into English. Obscure and baffling as it is at first, Kaplan provides and exhaustive commentary but also shows us how to read it - non linearly, like a lattice, with passages referring and echoing off each other everywhere. The Bahir is a beautiful book, full of the joy, wisdom and divine humanism of the Kaballah. A real book of hope.

My only regret is that Kaplan never did a version of the Zohar itself. It would have been so helpful!
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Format: Paperback
Although the Sepher Yetzirah pre-dates the Book Bahir by possibly as much as a millennia, and other Jewish Mystical developments such as the Merkaba visionaries anticipate many aspects of medieval Kabbalah, the book Bahir was the first work to set many of the ground rules and symbols, as would be subsequently developed in the Zohar and other schools.
I mention this history, because Kaplan is a practising kaballist and he accepts many of the traditional claims as to the kaballah's extreme antiquity and it's divine origins. For an alternative, more objective and scholarly but nevertheless sympathetic understanding of the real history, the works of Gershom Scholem would be preferred.
Where Kaplan excels, is in connecting with the mystical reality behind the tradition. He knows his stuff and unlike other contemporary kaballist, Philip Berg, he is teaching the Kaballah as Kaballah, not as a New Age money making machine.
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By A Customer on 25 Sept. 1998
Format: Hardcover
Difficult but necessary to those who love Kabbalah
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