NEW BOOKS: New Studies in Kabbalah

Daniel Abrams Discussion is proud to announce the following new titles of Kabbalah research

Isaiah Tishby, The Doctrine of Evil and the ‘Shell’ in Lurianic Kabbalah, Translated by David Solomon, (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 72), 222 pages, ISBN 978-1-933379-50-0 IN ENGLISH. The publication of an English translation of the foundational study of Lurianic Kabbalah by Isaiah Tishby is a major event for religious studies and all those who wish to gain a better understanding of Kabbalistic literature. Access to the Lurianic corpus is extremely limited given the dense and enigmatic style of the various Hebrew writings that comprise this immense corpus. There are very few programmatic studies of its central themes and most all of those are available only in Hebrew, often mirroring the opaque character of its sources. This may be inevitable for studies written in the language of the primary sources, which often boast a faithfulness to the original as they claim to preserve the multiple meanings contained within any expression or passage, but ultimately circumvent the difficult task of deciding on its contextual meaning. Isaiah Tishby advanced the study of this corpus with painstaking analysis and comparisons of all the major texts as he interpreted the main themes regarding the problem of evil. Even so, his contribution is taken to new heights in the meticulous translation of David Solomon who rendered both the Lurianic sources and Tishby’s interpretations into clear prose that provides unfettered access to what is arguably the most esoteric body of Kabbalistic literature. In this sense, the English translation before you is not the lesser shadow of the original Hebrew study, but perhaps a more important exposition of the study of Lurianic Kabbalah and its presentation of Tishby’s contribution.

Rabbi Abraham Yakhini: Vavey ha-Ammudim , אברהם היכיני: ווי העמודים, by Noam Lefler (Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 71), two volume set, 270+232 pages,  in HEBREW, 2022, ISBN 978-1-933379-98-2. Rabbi Abraham Yakhini was one of the most acclaimed Lurianic Kabbalists of the mid-17th century and a prominent figure in the Sabbatean leadership. In his last book, Vavey ha-Ammudim, Yakhini presented a sophisticated Lurianic manifesto that explains the death of Sabbatai Sevi and his support Abraham Miguel Cardozo’s campaign in the struggle over the leadership of the Sabbatean movement. Vavey ha-Ammudim was written in 1681-1682 due to Cardozo’s proclamation of himself as Messiah ben Joseph and his prophecy of the last redemption in Constantinople during Passover 1682. However, Yakhini died in the Autumn of 1682 and did not witness the falsification of Cardozo’s prophecy, his deportation from the capital city and his renunciation of his messianic title.

Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts 54 (2022) 332 pp. ISBN 978-1-933379-99-9

Studies in English

Daniel Abrams: Textual Variance in the Book Bahir: Alternative Versions in Marginal Glosses and Across Multiple Witnesses — A High-Resolution Inquiry to a Brief Passage

Daniel Abrams: Magical Metatron — Adjurations to Confirm the Identity of a Thief 

Studies in Hebrew

Hillel Feuerstein: Commentary on the Passover Haggada from the Circle of Sefer ha-Temuna — Study and Edition 

Liran Haim Lavi Breslaw: The Formation of a Work: The Kabbalist-Scribe as Co-Author: The Manuscript Witnesses to Sefer ha-Gevul