A collection of lectures on the features of the movement of mysticism that began in antiquity and continues in Hasidism today. In the middle of the 19th century, German Jews with a rationalist cast of mind founded what they called the “Wissenschaft des Judentums/Science of Judaism,”. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Scholem, Gershom Gerhard, Major trends in Jewish mysticism / by Gershom Scholem; foreword.


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God's can be known only through Talmudic study of the Torah 2.

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Merkabah was heavily influenced by the Platonic concept of seven heavens. It also introduced magic practices into Judaism in the form of the gershom scholem jewish mysticism of the 10 primordial numbers the Sefiroth and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order to extract new meanings from the Torah.

Gnostic mystic elements were introduced.

Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism: Gershom Scholem: : Books

The next movement was Gershom scholem jewish mysticism Hasidism to AD or Prayer Mysticism in which the religious focus shifts from study to prayer. The Golem legend also appears. In the 13th century the Prophetic Kabbalism of Abraham Abulafia arrives whereby the prime goal of religious practice becomes "adhesion to God".


But Scholem wrote from a similar vantage. An adolescent and budding anarchist in Germany during World War I, he found himself trapped between a zealous nationalism and a bourgeois Jewish community that did nothing to prevent the bloodshed. Gershom scholem jewish mysticism the supposedly revolutionary Zionist gershom scholem jewish mysticism, which enchanted Scholem, proved to be a disappointment when Martin Buber, one of its most influential intellectuals, endorsed the war.

Later, after Scholem had moved to Jerusalem on a spiritual quest to deepen his engagement with Jewish literature and tradition, still trying to salvage redemptive threads of the cultural Zionist project, he again encountered devastation.

The idealized return to the holy land engulfed Palestine in violence, culminating in the riots that claimed hundreds of Jewish and Arab lives.

Scholem reacted to these waves of devastation by turning to the study of mystical movements in Jewish history. Working in Jerusalem at the National Library and, eventually, as a professor of Jewish mysticism at the Hebrew University, he revitalized interest in Kabbalah, an esoteric tradition within Judaism.

In the same way, Scholem produced the hypothesis that the source of the 13th century Kabbalah was a Jewish gnosticism that preceded Christian gnosticism.


The historiographical approach of Scholem also involved a linguistic theory. In contrast to Buber, Scholem believed in the power of the language to invoke supernatural phenomena.

Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism

In contrast to Walter Benjaminhe put the Hebrew language in a privileged position with respect to other languages, as the only language capable of revealing the divine truth. Gershom scholem jewish mysticism considered the Gershom scholem jewish mysticism as interpreters of a pre-existent linguistic revelation.

A Report on the Banality of Evil and decried her lack of "ahavath Yisrael" solidarity with the Jewish people.

Arendt responded that she never loved any collective group, and that she does not love the Jewish people but was only part of them.

Second, in the early decades of the 20th century the philosophies of Hermann Cohen and Martin Buber — the former a neo-Kantian rationalist, the latter a romantic existentialist—were immensely popular.

Scholem rejected both grand schemes in favor of careful historical analysis of the regnant literary sources of Judaism. Buber and Scholem both rejected the notion of an essence of Judaism yet both gershom scholem jewish mysticism on the alternative.


Buber focused on gershom scholem jewish mysticism notion of Erlebnis, or intuitive experience, as the anchor of a human's relationship to God via revelation or relation. That is, for Buber, experience was a meta-lingual phenomenon and thus language was inferior to pure experience.

For Buber, then, there is no essence of Judaism but there may be an essence of religious experience that transcends language and thus particularity.

Scholem rejected this and argued that Judaism can only be renewed through the historical consciousness of Erfahrung or concrete historical experience.

Gershom Scholem - Wikipedia

This kind of experience is mediated through language, specifically, the language of the textual tradition. For Scholem, therefore, there is no essential religious experience as all human experience is mediated through language and thus particular to a cultural and linguistic context.

He also held there was no essence of Judaism if by that we mean some core sets of values that can be exhibited in all forms of Jewish literature. Scholem's position against the Essentialist school surfaces in the first chapter of Major Trends where he struggles to define the mystical gershom scholem jewish mysticism.