On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead
Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah
By Gershom Scholem
(Schocken, Paperback, 9780805210811, 336pp.)
Publication Date: February 25, 1997
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"A major contribution to our understanding of the Kabbalah."
--Arthur Green, Professor of Jewish Thought, Brandeis University
In the Zohar and other writings of the Kabbalah, Jewish mystics developed concepts and symbols to help them penetrate secrets of the cosmos that cannot be understood through reason or intellect. These ideas about God, human beings, and creation continue to fascinate and influence spiritual seekers of all persuasions today.
In clear and easy-to-understand prose, Gershom Scholem, the pioneer of the modern study of Jewish mysticism explains the basic concepts of the Kabbalah: the mystical "form of the imageless God"; good and evil; the Tsaddik or righteous soul; the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of God; gilgul, the transmigration of souls; and tselem, the concept of the astral body. For anyone seeking to taste the mysteries of the Kabbalah, this is an essential book.
Gershom Scholem was a professor of Jewish mysticism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem until his death in 1982. Among his most important works are Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, The Messianic Idea in Judaism, and On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism.