In this superb anthology, Joseph Dan not only presents illuminating excerpts from the most important mystical texts, but also delves into the very meaning of mysticism itself.
Readers are guided through the historical development of Jewish mysticism, from late antiquity to the modern period. Join explorations of the Kabbalah, the secrets delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai; the emergence of Hasidism, and much more. Selection from the great texts are presented from Hekhalot Rabbati - The Greater Book of Divine Palaces, to The Zohar. For each piece there is an extended introduction that deftly places the work in the context of its time and its antecedents. In Dan's opening essay, he addresses the paradoxes inherent in Jewish mysticism, noting for instance the limitations of the English-Christian word "mysticism" to describe the complicated Jewish approach.
"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.