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The Work of the Kabbalist [Paperback]

Z'ev Ben Shimon Halevi


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Book Description

1 Nov 1999
Concerned with making ancient knowldege immediate for today, this practical book explains the reasons for ritual, relates the Tree of Life to depth psychology, and gives a number of useful exercises to practise.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser; New edition edition (1 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087728637X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877286370
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,333,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
The root of all practical kabbalistic work goes back to the source of everything that exists. 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very inspiring book 26 Aug 2000
By Martin A. Schell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The first book of Halevi's that I read was *School of the Soul: Its Path and Pitfalls*, which he published several years after this book. *School of the Soul* describes the development of spiritual groups, while *The Work of the Kabbalist* focuses more on the individual.
People who have heard of (or experienced) the Kabbalah as a strictly Jewish path full of precise rules will find this book refreshing (or perhaps shocking). Although Halevi provides several detailed diagrams based on the traditional Etz Chaim (tree of life), he also devotes a large portion of the text to exercises that seem primarily imaginative.
A key theme in Halevi's books is the awareness that Kabbalah is a living tradition which must adapt to changing circumstances. This flexibility dovetails with his inclusive, welcoming attitude to readers who belong to traditions other than Judaism.
From the outset, the reader will recognize that this book is rooted in many years of personal experience as both student and teacher. Halevi's wisdom and compassion shine through in every chapter, but each reader will naturally find "good parts" that resonate with his or her individual perspective.
I take the liberty of quoting a paragraph from his chapter on Integrity:
"The practice of integrity is vital to a spiritual tradition, for it not only safeguards the individual, but the Work. Over the last few centuries Kabbalistic ideas have been stolen and adulterated by those who only sought magical powers, with the result that an image of dangerous hotchpotch has overlaid the real purpose of Kabbalah. Because of this, the tradition has fallen into disrepute amongst Jews who see it as a degenerate form of occultism. Thus, by the last century the reputation of Kabbalah had fallen from high respect during its most original period in Medieval times to a superstitious repetition of magical formulae. This happened because the Work was not protected in the right way. It is not secrecy that guards the tradition, but correct conduct, and if this is not present, then people do not find the door to the inner path which is their birthright. The lack of real spirituality today amongst clergy has made many Jews and Christians turn to the Eastern religions for their esoteric instruction. This is sad because they have within their own Western traditions all the higher knowledge and methods they need for the development of the Occidental psyche and spirituality."
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5+ rarity 13 Nov 2004
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Halevi has written quite a few introductory level books on Kabbalah which are highly recommended for their conciseness and clarity. This is NOT one of them. Of the dozen of his books I've read, I'd rate this my favorite. Probably because it's one of the most advanced. The other advanced (and more practical in the generic sense) is "School of Kabbalah"). Halevi is a practicing Kabbalist, as opposed to Kabbalistic historians such as Gershom Scholem. Each has his/her place. I'd recommend a sound grounding in Kabbalah before tackling this book. Read some Scholem and some of Halevi's other works first. This is a fine book which includes exercises and visualizations appropriate to the aspiring Kabbalist. It is somewhat reminiscent of "The Shining Paths" by Ashcroft-Nowicki but, perhaps a bit more down to earth. Advanced mystics know that one has to keep one's feet on the ground while one's head is in the clouds. Halevi has his sights set. As he stated in "Introduction to the Cabala" (or the "Tree of Life"), Samuel Weiser, York Beach, ME 1972/1991 p.202, "The rabbis have said that the reason for Existence is that it acts as a vast mirror of contemplation by which God may behold God...the Holy One beholds the Holy One through our experience." Tread the Path, but tread it carefully.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem For The Working Cabbalist 3 Feb 2000
By Ian D Broadmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The work of the Kabbalist by Shimon Halevi is a good basic introduction into entering into the upper worlds of manifestation. This is a practical book with much advice, some hidden for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. I reccomend that the serious student pays particular attention to the chapters on Trials, provendence, and companions as there is much wisdom contained therin which will be of benefit.As with all of Halevis books they are easy to read . However I would like to see more practical work on merkabah riding, or chariot riding for the more advanced student, perhaps Mr Halevi will write on this in a future book ?. For all souls of light that seek the cloak of elija buy this !
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like having a personal teacher 21 Sep 2006
By Eric Orion - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found the author's sectioned chapters very informative and enlightening. His writing style, though unfamiliar at first, soon came to feel like lessons laid out by my personal rabbi. This is the first book that I've read of the author's and I am definately reading more. This is a book that I will go back to again and again.

Eric Orion

author Quantum Qabala
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 18 Jan 2007
By Mark Perlsweig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author, his real name is Warren Kenton, seems to come from the practical Kabbalah side of this tradition. However, the book is well written and internally coherent and I feel that he puts forth his point of view well in both a theoretical manner and as an experientially based guide. His interpretation of the tree of life and its relationship to the four worlds and the ability of humans to move their focus of attention up and down is an outstanding original contribution. Beats the heck out of the biopsychosocial model used in medicine and is generalizable to many personality types found in the world. It really provides an elegant and cohesive understanding of the states of consciousness that are not in the standard ego mode. This model can be used as a wonderful teaching aid to those who are aware of their spiritual self but are too bogged down in society or bad previous religious experiences to understand non-ego states of being.

The experiential meditation examples are very welcome and helpful, but are not really as well linked into a fabric of understanding. Its kind of like getting a calculus book with a great problem example solution from chapter 15. It is good but where is the context?

Additionaly missing from this author is the sense of historicity, holiness, dangerousness and submission to God's will that must be part and parcel of this work. For this aspect, I would read Aryeh Kaplan's Meditation and Kabbalah.
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