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The Paradoxical Ascent to God: The Kabbalistic Theosophy of Habad Hasidism (SUNY Series in Judaica): Kabbalistic Theosophy of Habad Hasidim (SUNY Series in Judaica: Hermeneutics, Mysticism & Religion) [Paperback]

Rachel Elior , Jeffrey M. Green

Price: £21.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press; New edition edition (19 Nov 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791410463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791410462
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,316,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A study concerned with the spiritual character of Habad Hasidism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, defining the basic assumption of Habad thought, elucidating the elements that are combined within its spiritual universe, and clarifying the mystical and theoretical background to the movement. Translated from the Hebrew. Paper edition (unsee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This author really knows her stuff and presents it well. 2 Mar 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Elior has studied Jewish mysticism in general, and Habad mysticism in particular, for the last several decades. Her teacher and mentor was the great Gershom Sholem, pioneer in the field. She presents the material logically, clearly, and, most of all, entertainingly and in a way the general public can understand. Read it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On Habad and G-D 23 Aug 2013
By Eric Maroney - Published on Amazon.com
Rachel Elior's The Paradoxical Ascent to God: The Kabbalistic Theosophy of Habad Hasidism, is a scholarly treatment of early Habad thought on the nature of God, and its expression in religious practice.

The title reveals much of thesis. Merging with God, devekut, is strongly stressed in Habad, often in linear language. One ascends to God, moves up to God; but in reality, God is everywhere in Habad theology, so there is no up, no down.

The struggle between God as transcendent and imminent, as separate from the world and as permeating the world, guides Elior's study. She explores how early Habad struggled with its own unique conception of a God as both present and absent from the world.

On the negative side, Elior repeats herself a great deal. This book would have made an excellent long paper, but in book form, it often covers the same or similar ground. She also tends to treat the material a-historically, not giving enough context for when and where the text she is studying was produced and read.

At times this gives the book the feel of a high end manual on Habad practice and thought, and not an historical study.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RACHEL ELIOR IS PROFOUND AND OBJECTIVE 8 July 2013
By Richard F. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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