An unprecedented annotated anthology of the most important Jewish mystical works, " A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader" is designed to facilitate teaching these works to all levels of learners in adult education and college classroom settings. Daniel M. Horwitz s insightful introductions and commentary accompany readings in the Talmud and Zohar and writings by Ba'al Shem Tov, Rav Kook, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and others.
Horwitz s introduction describes five major types of Jewish mysticism and includes a brief chronology of theirdevelopment, with a timeline. He begins with biblical prophecy and proceeds through the early mystical movements up through current beliefs. Chapters on key subjects characterize mystical expression through the ages, such as Creation and "deveikut" ( cleaving to God ); the role of Torah; the erotic; inclinations toward good and evil; magic; prayer and ritual; and more. Later chapters deal with Hasidism, the great mystical revival, and twentieth-century mystics, including Abraham Isaac Kook, Kalonymous Kalman Shapira, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. A final chapter addresses today s controversies concerning mysticism s place within Judaism and its potential for enriching the Jewish religion."