The Heart and the Fountain:An Anthology of Jewish Mystical Experiences: An Anthology of Jewish Mystical Experiences

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Joseph Dan
Oxford University Press, USA, Apr 18, 2002 - Religion - 336 pages
Author of more than fifty books, winner of the 1997 Israel Prize, Joseph Dan is one of the world's leading authorities on Jewish mysticism. In this superb anthology, Dan not only presents illuminating excerpts from the most important mystical texts, but also delves into the very meaning of mysticism itself.Dan takes readers through the historical development of Jewish mysticism, from late antiquity to the modern period. He explores the Kabbalah, the esoteric tradition that delves into the secrets delivered by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, and the emergence of Hasidism, and much more. He presents the great texts, from Hekhalot Rabbati, "The Greater Book of Divine Palaces," set in the temple in Jerusalem; to the apocalyptic vision of Abraham Abulafia in the thirteenth century; to the Zohar, perhaps the best-known volume of all. For each piece, he offers an extended introduction that deftly places the work in the context of its time and its antecedents. Equally important, in his opening essay, he addresses the paradoxes inherent in Jewish mysticism, noting for instance that "mystical" is a Christian concept, one that poorly describes the relevant strains of Judaism, and that a mystical approach to religious truth springs from a deep doubt that language can communicate divine truth."Mysticism is that which cannot be expressed in words, period," Dan writes. In this remarkable volume, he guides us through that seemingly impenetrable barrier to show how the inexpressible has been expressed in some of the most profound and challenging writing in existence.

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The heart and the fountain: an anthology of Jewish mystical experiences

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Dan is the Gershom Scholem Professor of Kabbalah at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, winner of the Israel Prize in 1997, a leading authority on Jewish mysticism, and the author of more than 50 books ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Joseph Dan is the Gershom Scholem Professor of Kabbalah at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A winner of the Israel Prize in 1997, he is recognized as one of the most influential scholars of Jewish mysticism in the world today.

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