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KABBALAH/QABBALAH/CABALA/QABALAH/KABBALAH MA'ASIT


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Author Topic: KABBALAH/QABBALAH/CABALA/QABALAH/KABBALAH MA'ASIT  (Read 1609 times)
Bianca
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« on: August 03, 2007, 08:28:14 am »







Early Medieval and Medieval Era: Kabbalah





Main Articles: Solomon ibn Gabirol; Isaac the Blind; Azriel (Jewish mystic); Nahmanides; Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia; Joseph Chiquitilla; Bahya ben Asher; Moses de Leon; Eleazar Rokeach.



The tree of life.                                                                                                                        



From the 8th-11th Century Sefer Yetzirah and Hekalot texts made their way into European Jewish circles. Modern scholars have identified several mystical brotherhoods that functioned in Europe starting in the 12th Century. Some, such as the "Iyyun Circle" and the "Unique Cherub Circle," were truly esoteric, remaining largely anonymous.

One well-known group was the "Hasidei Ashkenaz," or German Pietists. This 13th Century movement arose mostly among a single scholarly family, the Kalonymus family of the French and German Rhineland.

There were certain rishonim ("Elder Sages") of exoteric Judaism who are known to have been experts in Kabbalah. One of the best known is Nahmanides (the Ramban) (1194-1270) whose commentary on the Torah is considered to be based on Kabbalistic knowledge. Bahya ben Asher (the Rabbeinu Behaye) (d. 1340) also combined Torah commentary and Kabbalah. Another was Isaac the Blind (1160-1235), the teacher of Nahmanides, who is widely argued to have written the first work of classic Kabbalah, the Bahir.

Sefer Bahir and another work, the "Treatise of the Left Emanation", probably composed in Spain by Isaac ben Isaac ha-Cohen, laid the groundwork for the composition of Sefer Zohar, written by Moses de Leon and his mystical circle at the end of the 13th Century, but credited to the Talmudic sage Shimon bar Yochai, cf. Zohar. The Zohar proved to be the first truly "popular" work of Kabbalah, and the most influential. From the thirteenth century onward, Kabbalah began to be widely disseminated and it branched out into an extensive literature. Historians in the nineteenth century, for example, Heinrich Greatz, argued that the emergence into public view of Jewish esotericism at this time coincides with, and represents a response to, the rising influence of the rationalist philosophy of Maimonides and his followers. Gershom Scholem sought to undermine this view as part of his resistance to seeing kabbalah as merely a response to medieval Jewish rationalism. Arguing for a gnostic influence has to be seen as part of this strategy. More recently, Moshe Idel and Elliot Wolfson have independently argued that the impact of Maimonides can be seen in the change from orality to writing in the thirteenth century. That is, kabbalists committed to writing many of their oral traditions in part as a response to the attempt of Maimonides to explain the older esoteric subjects philosophically.

Most Orthodox Jews reject the idea that Kabbalah underwent significant historical development or change such as has been proposed above. After the composition known as the Zohar was presented to the public in the 13th century, the term "Kabbalah" began to refer more specifically to teachings derived from, or related, to the Zohar. At an even later time, the term began to generally be applied to Zoharic teachings as elaborated upon by Isaac Luria Arizal. Historians generally date the start of Kabbalah as a major influence in Jewish thought and practice with the publication of the Zohar and climaxing with the spread of the Arizal's teachings. The majority of Haredi Jews accept the Zohar as the representative of the Ma'aseh Merkavah and Ma'aseh B'reshit that are referred to in Talmudic texts.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2007, 08:59:04 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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