Customer Reviews


2 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book on the Origins of the Kabbalah.
Gerschom Scholem (Berlin 1897 - Jerusalem 1982) was a pioneer scholar who devoted himself to the philological-historical-critical analysis and study of the Kabbalah at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
'Origins of the Kabbalah' is the english traslation by Allan Arkush under the edition by R. J. Zwi Werblowsky of the book 'Ursprung und Anfaenge der Kabbalah' (german,...
Published on 16 Aug 2003 by JOSE E. ZABALA

versus
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't start here!
If you are fluent in Hebrew and have read the major primary sources like Zohar and Bahir, and have a scholarly temperament, this may interest you. But for beginners please avoid. There is nothing in here to assist those wanting Practical Kabbalah. It is largely about the medieval history. You will not learn very much about the deeper roots two millennia ago in the Sefer...
Published on 27 July 2006 by Zigguratclimber


Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book on the Origins of the Kabbalah., 16 Aug 2003
By 
JOSE E. ZABALA (BILBAO, BIZKAIA Spain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Origins of the Kabbalah (Princeton Paperbacks) (Paperback)
Gerschom Scholem (Berlin 1897 - Jerusalem 1982) was a pioneer scholar who devoted himself to the philological-historical-critical analysis and study of the Kabbalah at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
'Origins of the Kabbalah' is the english traslation by Allan Arkush under the edition by R. J. Zwi Werblowsky of the book 'Ursprung und Anfaenge der Kabbalah' (german, Berlin, 1962 - which further developes his ideas already presented in his book 'Reshith ha-Qabbalah', hebrew, Jerusalem, 1948). Along with 'Sabbatai Sevi. The mystical Messiah' (Princeton UP, 1973, ISBN 069101809X) and 'Mayor trends in jewish mysticism' (Random House USA Inc, 1995, ISBN 0805210423) one of his greatest scholar works.
It's a masterly written scholar-work for anyone involved or interested on the study of the origins of the Kabbalah. Not really recommended for beginners trying to introduce themselves into the Kabbalah with no hebrew-jewish background.
As stated by Werblowsky, Scholem supported the thesis "that the Kabbalah originated in one chronologicaly limited time-span and in one geographically limited area" (p. xiii). This book deals in detail with the esoteric Doctrine of the Creation and the Merkabah in pre-kabbalisytic Judaism; the literature of the Hekhaloth; the Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzirah); the Book 'Bahir'; the first kabbalists in Provence and the Kabbalistic center in Gerona.
Some of Scholem's thesis are nowadays subject to debate. For a critical aproach to Scholem's thesis read Eliezer Schweid's 'Judaism and mysticism according to Gerschom Scholem: A critical analysis and programmatic discussion', Scholars Press, Atlanta, 1985 (ISBN: 0891308873) or Joseph Dan's 'Gerschom Scholem and the mystical dimension of the jewish history', New York UP, 1987 (ISBN: 0814717799).
For a light reading on Scholem's life I should recommend 'Gershom Scholem. Un juif allemand à Jerusalem', by Maurice-Ruben Hayoun, Presse Universitaires de France, 2001 (French).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't start here!, 27 July 2006
This review is from: Origins of the Kabbalah (Princeton Paperbacks) (Paperback)
If you are fluent in Hebrew and have read the major primary sources like Zohar and Bahir, and have a scholarly temperament, this may interest you. But for beginners please avoid. There is nothing in here to assist those wanting Practical Kabbalah. It is largely about the medieval history. You will not learn very much about the deeper roots two millennia ago in the Sefer Yetzirah and the Hekhaloth and the Gnosis and Platonism, let alone the earlier Mesopotamian Mysteries such as the Assyrian Sacred Tree (which he probably wouldn't have accepted as relevant). The English translation from the German is very hard going.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Origins of the Kabbalah (Princeton Paperbacks)
Origins of the Kabbalah (Princeton Paperbacks) by Gershom Gerhard Scholem (Paperback - 21 Jan 1991)
£21.74
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews