A River Flows from Eden: The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar

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Stanford University Press, Jun 29, 2009 - Religion - 488 pages
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In the Zohar, the jewel in the crown of Jewish mystical literature, the verse "A river flows from Eden to water the garden" (Genesis 2:10) symbolizes the river of divine plenty that unceasingly flows from the depths of divinity into the garden of reality. Hellner-Eshed's book investigates the flow of this river in the world of the Zoharic heroes, Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai and his disciples, as they embark upon their wondrous spiritual adventures. By focusing on the Zohar's language of mystical experience and its unique features, the author is able to provide remarkable scholarly insight into the mystical dimensions of the Zohar, namely the human quest for an enhanced experience of the living presence of the divine and the Zohar's great call to awaken human consciousness.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Companions of Rabbi Shimon in Their Own Eyes
62
with Which the Zoharic Circle Identifies
85
while you walk on the way
105
Wondrous Characters and Journeys in the Upper Worlds
146
methods
155
Verses of Awakening and Arousal
229
mystical experience in the zohar
253
General Characteristics of Zoharic Mystical Experience
309
The Zohars Three Main States of Mystical Consciousness
340
The Ability to Express Mystical Experience
352
On Books and Writing
365
Concluding Remarks
379
Bibliography 341
431
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About the author (2009)

Melila Hellner-Eshed is a Lecturer in the Department of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartmann Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.

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