Page 68 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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ZEEV GRIES
A Decade of Books on Kabbalah
T
h e
l a s t
d e c a d e
has yielded many scholarly books in the field
of Jewish Mysticism. Our intention in this paper is to list the
major works. We have thus confined our review to published
books, and have omitted articles which may be found in jubilee
books or proceedings of conferences. The reader, however, may
gain easy access to these titles through the
Index of Articles on
Jewish Studies,
published by the Jewish National and University
Library Press, Jerusalem.
A quick review of the books under consideration will make
it clear that all periods of Jewish Mysticism have been the subject
of scholarly examination. Moreover, the death of Gershom
Scholem, the father of the modern scientific study of Jewish
Mysticism, has engendered various literary and analytical at­
tempts to review his work and to re-evaluate the major trends
of Jewish mysticism.1 First to appear was E. Schweid’s
Judaism
and Mysticism According to Gershom Scholem: A Critical Analysis and
Programmatic Discussion
(Hebrew) as supplement no. 2 to
Jeru­
salem Studies in Jewish Thought
(1983). This book was translated
and issued with an introduction by D.A. Weiner and published
by Scholars Press (Atlanta, GA, 1985). Schweid’s strictures were
dealt with only in part by some of the reviewers of his book,2
but a number of very important questions which he raised con­
cerning the actual role of Kabbalah in Jewish history and the
need of a new approach to the relationship between Jewish Mys­
ticism and the Jewish religious experience — including the rab­
binic and halakhic approaches — were not confronted.
Joseph Dan, a faithful disciple of Scholem’s school, later pub­
lished his
Gershom Scholem and the Mystical Dimension in Jewish
1. For a list o f works, see M. Idel,
Kabbalah: New Perspectives
(New Haven &
London, Yale University Press), pp. 283-284, note 79.
2. See the reviews by J. Dan, N. Rotenstreich and H. Lazarus-Jaffe, in
Jerusalem
Studies in Jewish Thought,
3(1983-84), pp. 427—492.
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