1st Edition

Kabbalah and the Art of Being The Smithsonian Lectures

By Shimon Shokek Copyright 2001
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This new approach introduces Kabbalah as a spiritual Jewish way of living, a practical wisdom for living, creativity and well being, and not merely a religious phenomenon or esoteric theology. Professor Shokek suggests that the Kabbalistic theme of Creation is the central ingredient in the spiritual teachings of Jewish mysticism. He skilfully reveals the core questions that emerge from the wisdom of the Jewish sages, opening up a lively avenue of debate in this increasingly popular area of study.

    1. The Mystery of Creation I. The Stem Cell Called Creation II. The Existential Element in the Kabbalistic Creation Myth III. The Psychological Element in the Kabbalistic Creation Myth IV. Devekut and the Breaking of the One into the Two Notes for chapter 1 2. A Note on Creation in Philosophy, Mythology, and Gnosis I. Creation in the Philosophy of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity II. Creation in Mythology and Gnosis Notes for chapter 2 3. Kabbalah on God's Intent and Language in Creation I. Ein-Sof, Sefirot, and Atzilut II. God's Intent in Creation III. Kabbalah and Language: Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom Notes for chapter 3 4. Creation and Imitatio Dei: Lurianic Kabbalah and Hasidism I. The Creation Myth in the Kabbalah of Cordovero and the ARI II. The Creation Myth in Hasidism III. The Jewish Way of Imitating God Notes for chapter 4 5. Kabbalah and God's Individuation I. God's Shift from the Ayin to the Yesh II. The Worlds Below and Above: a Chain of Being III. God's Individuation Notes for chapter 5 6. Kabbalah and the Art of Being I. Awakening, Courage, Creativity, and Loving II. Kabbalah and Self Discovery Notes for chapter 6


    Shimon Shokek received his PhD from the Department of Jewish philosophy and Kabbalah at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he taught for several years. He is currently Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism at Baltimore Hebrew University, and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. He is the author of Jewish Ethics and Jewish Mysticism in Sefer Ha-Yashar, 1991 (English) and Repentance in Jewish Ethics, Philosophy, and Mysticism, 1995 (Hebrew).