1. Forgotten
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    18 Oct '05 03:49
    i wondered if there were any other kabbalist around here
    or any one familiar with enochian chess??
    i have studied kabbala for over 28 years
    long before maddonna discoved it
    cheers
    art
  2. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 08:59
    I'm interested in the Kabbalah although I wouldn't call myself a practitioner. What form does your practice take?
  3. London
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    18 Oct '05 10:57
    Originally posted by aspviper666
    i wondered if there were any other kabbalist around here
    or any one familiar with enochian chess??
    i have studied kabbala for over 28 years
    long before maddonna discoved it
    cheers
    art
    I've heard often enough of the Kabbalah, but most of my (really woeful) understanding comes from Foucault's Pendulum.

    Care to give a brief primer?
  4. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Oct '05 14:304 edits
    Am not a kabbalist; have studied some kabbalah--but not the occult stuff.

    A primer on kabbalah on here? LH could you give a brief primer on, say, Roman Catholic religious orders--theory, practice, history and the underlying theological base? As well as the history and specifics of each order? On here? Not that kabbalah is a religious order--it isn't; I'm just looking for some order-of-complexity for comparision here.

    For a "first reader," I'd suggest Daniel Matt's The Essential Kabbalah. Then, oh, maybe Marc-Alain Ouaknin's Mysteries of the Kabbalah, still at the intro level. If your interested in the theological base of Kabbalah (which, really is "orthodox" theology in Judaism--notice, I didn't say the "orthodox" theology), I heartily recommend Kabbalah and the Art of Being by Shimon Shokek, from his Smithsonian lectures. This is not intro: But both LH and BdN could certainly dive into it after Matt's book.

    NOTE: Although you can be--at least according to some--a Kabbalist and not a Jew, or even without a background in Judaism, I would also recommend Ouaknin's The Burnt Book: Reading the Talmud to get an idea how Hebrew exegesis works. (Ouaknin os both a Rabbi and a university philosopher.) This, too, is a tough book, diving in at the deep end, so to speak, but BdN and LH could both handle it. (I've read it twice, and a third reading would help me: it's that kind of book.)

    EDIT: LH, to pick one of your favorites, you can probably get as much understanding of Kabbalah from Focault's Pendulum--well, I'm talking the Dan Brown debate here! You want Kabbalah in fiction: Chaim Potok's The Book of Lights or Mitchell Chefitz's The Seventh Telling. Chefitz's book is not really well-written (it has some "first-novel" flaws), and Potok's (now there really is a great writer) has little info on kabbalah as such, but they are both rabbis and both know what they're talking about.

    EDIT AGAIN: Ah, as an intro and a really good read: Stalking Elijah by Rodger Kamenetz. I'd still read Matt's intro too.
  5. London
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    18 Oct '05 15:19
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Am not a kabbalist; have studied some kabbalah--but not the occult stuff.

    A primer on kabbalah on here? LH could you give a brief primer on, say, Roman Catholic religious orders--theory, practice, history and the underlying theological base? As well as the history and specifics of each order? On here? Not that kabbalah is a religious order--it isn't; ...[text shortened]... ally good read: Stalking Elijah by Rodger Kamenetz. I'd still read Matt's intro too.
    Looks like a great bibliography - gets a rec.

    In the meanwhile, are there any good websites you would suggest?
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Oct '05 15:392 edits
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Looks like a great bibliography - gets a rec.

    In the meanwhile, are there any good websites you would suggest?
    Thanks. I used to have some websites, but they got lost when our old computer "wiped out." I'd say avoid the Kabbalah Centre, only because they have received some criticism for being too "new age" from some serious Kabbalists--I don't know, just passing that on; maybe they're fine, but the couple of books I read from the Centre did not impress me.

    Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan is another good book. And I'd recommend The Book of Letters by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner for an intro to the depth of the Hebrew alphabet, which is important in Kabbalah. His Honey from the Rock is also a good intro-level book for Kabbalah (though, again, I think I'd read Matt and/or Kamenetz first).

    The pre-eminient Kabbalah scholar is Gershom Sholem, who was not himself a Kabbalist; some of his work may be dated.

    I did not mean to imply that a non-Jew cannot learn Kabbalah (I am not a Jew though I have some Jewish heritage, which has been my impetus for study and exploration, and my "contemplative" approach to Kabbalah)--just that some "grounding" may be missing if Jewish theology and religious study is not part of it. Especially understanding the Talmudic and midrashic approach to exegesis.
  7. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 15:44
    I would buy a book. Z'ev Ben Shimon Halevy (if I remember his name correctly) provides a good introduction, Researching Kabbalah on the Web is almost pointless.
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Oct '05 15:521 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I would buy a book. Z'ev Ben Shimon Halevy (if I remember his name correctly) provides a good introduction, Researching Kabbalah on the Web is almost pointless.
    Yeah, Halevy's Kabbalah: Tradition of Hidden Knowledge, is kind of an "illustrated guide" intro. I have it, like it; was one of the first ones I read. Good supplement to, say, Matt. I think the only reason I didn't list it is a fear that someone could come away from it with a sense that this is "new age" stuff. I didn't, though, so.... His various presentations of the "Tree of Life," for example, can be very useful if your reading in Matt and can't visualize what he's talking about.

    EDIT: I generally agree with you about researching on the web; if you don't already know what you're looking for, it's hard to tell the wheat from the chaff. There's a lot of just occult stuff.
  9. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 15:54
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I think the only reason I didn't list is a fear that someone could come away from it with a sense that this is "new age" stuff.
    I don't think the Brotherhood is monitoring our conversation...Do you think Kabbalah & Catholicism are compatible?
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Oct '05 16:01
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I don't think the Brotherhood is monitoring our conversation...Do you think Kabbalah & Catholicism are compatible?
    Well... Kabbalah in it's "contemplative" form, maybe. But it's theology of emanation? The Four Worlds and Judaism's four levels of soul? That, I think might stretch it. There was a guy named Pico della Mirandella (sp.?) who dod "Christian Kabbalah," but I don'recall much about him.
  11. London
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    18 Oct '05 16:08
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I don't think the Brotherhood is monitoring our conversation...Do you think Kabbalah & Catholicism are compatible?
    The "Brotherhood"?
  12. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 16:09
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Well... Kabbalah in it's "contemplative" form, maybe. But it's theology of emanation? The Four Worlds and Judaism's four levels of soul? That, I think might stretch it. There was a guy named Pico della Mirandella (sp.?) who dod "Christian Kabbalah," but I don'recall much about him.
    Giordano Bruno also investigated the matter.
  13. London
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    18 Oct '05 16:102 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Well... Kabbalah in it's "contemplative" form, maybe. But it's theology of emanation? The Four Worlds and Judaism's four levels of soul? That, I think might stretch it. There was a guy named Pico della Mirandella (sp.?) who dod "Christian Kabbalah," but I don'recall much about him.
    As I understand it, there were some who argued that the Trinity equated to the three pillars of the Tree of Life.

    Also, the Gnostics were quite into the theology of emanation.

    I'll have to know more about both Catholic mystical thought and Kabbalah before I can say if there are points of commonality.
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Oct '05 16:363 edits
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    As I understand it, there were some who argued that the Trinity equated to the three pillars of the Tree of Life.

    Also, the Gnostics were quite into the theology of emanation.

    I'll have to know more about both Catholic mystical thought and Kabbalah before I can say if there are points of commonality.
    But more generally, a lot of early Christian thought into the Trinity (especially neo-Platinist/Christian thought) was in terms of emanations.

    I didn’t realize that. For some reason, Pseudo-Dionysus’s apophatic theology in “The Names of God,” comes to mind here too.

    In Lurianic Kabbalah (which Aiden Steinsaltz said really has become the major theology for Judaism, at least since the 12th or 13th century), the whole cosmos (ha olam) emanates from the Godhead (Ein Sof, literally the “without end” )* in a descending series of sephirot—actually, in a descending series of “worlds” or levels of existence, each being manifest according to the s'ferot. One of the burning theological questions of the Kabbalists was, “Where could there ever have been that God was not?” That is, how could there have been some nihil that, as it were, stood vis-à-vis God, bounded the Ein Sof. Now, it needs to be realized—even in my simplistic notes here—that all of this is in a sense allegorical, symbolical, metaphorical. The first “act of creation” was the act of Ein Sof’s withdrawing from itself to create a space—a “nihil”—in which to emanate the or ein sof, the “light of the infinite,” the original energy, which eventually takes form in forms. This “withdrawal” is called the tsimtsum, or contraction. Underlying all of the cosmos are the ten s’pherot, as “archetypal” manifestations of this energy (actually, to borrow looosely from string theory, these s'ferot could be though of as 10 basic strings, I suppose; though I don't know how far that analogy can be pushed).

    Now, as I say all this, I keep hearing in my head the words of Paul—“I must be mad!”—to attempt such a simplistic presentation, from my own limited knowledge...

    * Godhead in a sense similar, I think, to that of Meister Eckhart. Kabbalah is pretty monistic in outlook, and is the Jewish expression of the “perennial philosophy;” Ein Sof might be thought of as a more “active” Brahman.
  15. Forgotten
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    18 Oct '05 18:08
    WOW ! !
    i expected a few posts ...but this is way cool
    dion fortune wrote the best ( i think) introduction into the kabbala
    called "The Mystical Kabbala" i am not sure off hand which spelling she used C Q or K lol
    the books suggested by others are very good also but fortune puts most concepts in a way a non practioner of the occult or a non jew or non christian can understand
    and yes it is possible to be a non jew and still study the kabbala
    kabala isnt a religion it is a way of looking and catogorizing and understanding god and his many eminations
    of which you and i are all a part of
    cheers
    art
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