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An insightful exploration of Jewish mysticism—written especially for Christians.
Kabbalah is well known as the foundation of the Jewish mystical tradition, but few are aware that Kabbalah’s spiritual applications extend beyond Jewish life. In this accessible, intelligent guide, Tamar Frankiel, PhD, a leading teacher of Jewish mysticism, demystifies the intricate world of Kabbalah. You will find that the teachings of Kabbalah are not only for Jewish scholars—anyone can incorporate this enduring wisdom into everyday life if they have an open mind and a willing heart.
Unlike the faddish books that discuss Kabbalah as simply a “magical system,” this book discusses the evolution of Kabbalah from its origins in Judaism and gives Christian readers the vocabulary and tools to begin to understand this long-standing mystical tradition. It also explores the similarities and differences between Jewish and Christian mysticism, placing both in a larger and more comprehensive framework. Explore the kabbalistic Tree of Life to discover how God is expressed in the world around us. Examine your life and discover how it can be understood as part of an unfolding spiritual path. Travel through your personal and collective histories to find a more personal perspective on the principles of Kabbalah. ... and more
God isn't only for Jews and neither is Kabbalah," according to Frankiel. Maintaining that "Kabbalah as a theosophy is primarily about understanding what God is (as far as humans can understand) and who we are as refractions of the divine image," Frankiel delivers a thoughtful overview of the often elusive cornerstone of Jewish mysticism. Her years of experience as a teacher are reflected in the ease of her presentation and in her gentle suggestions for active explorations of thought and practice. Frankiel takes a logical approach to explaining the often confusing map of the divine energies by initially working top down, then bottom up and finally interlacing the energies, encouraging readers to begin building the layers of understanding needed to peel back the layers of the Kabbalah itself. The glossary, diagrams and notes provide a good basic reference for those seeking an overview of Kabbalah, and the smattering of illustrative Talmudic tales adds a bit of flavor. However, despite a few references to Christian concepts and devotions, and a handful of allusions to Buddhism, Sufism and even Jainism in conjunction with Christianity, nothing makes this book particularly "for Christians."