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Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts


Daniel Abrams and Avraham Elqayam, editors


Editorial Board:

Klaus Herrmann, Moshe Idel, Yehuda Liebes

Bernard McGinn, Charles Mopsik, Elliot Wolfson


The only printed scholarly journal

devoted exclusively to Jewish mysticism.


Kabbalah provides a platform for the publication of articles and relatively short scholarly editions of Jewish mystical works from manuscript in their original language, as well as studies, reviews and notes about related textual issues. Kabbalah covers the whole spectrum of Jewish mystical literature, from antiquity to the present, including magic and Christian Kabbalah. Kabbalah is an independent and international academic journal which encourages the composition of studies and introductions to editions in English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, or Spanish. Each volume includes a listing of new books in the field. The journal is an invaluable resource for every research library and student of Jewish mysticism.

All studies are refereed.

Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts is indexed in the ATLA Religion Database, published by the Americal Theological Library Association

Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts


ISSN 1081-8561; ISBN of volumes 1-5 (1996-2000): 0-9705369-0-9; 0-9705369-1-7; 0-9705369-2-5; 0-9705369-3-3; 0-9705369-4-1

Six volumes now available, 1996-2000.

Each volume 300-450 pages, hardbound only.

$72 per volume.  

Abraham Abulafia Kabbalist and Prophet

Hermeneutics, Theosophy and Theurgy

by Elliot R. Wolfson

Abraham Abulafia is without doubt one of the most colorful figures in the history of Jewish mysticism, a self-proclaimed prophet with messianic pretenses who was active in the second half of the thirteenth century, the precise moment that witnessed an impressive proliferation of mystical activity both within the land of Israel and the Diaspora. In contrast to most other kabbalists from this period, about whom we know more of their literary productions than their biographies, in the case of Abulafia, we have a relative wealth of information concerning his personal life, largely due to the meticulous fashion that he demonstrated in his compositions. As the information we have about his personal life attests, Abulafia was a man of contradictions, an impression that is corroborated by the style of thinking and argumentation employed in his voluminous corpus. In Abraham Abulafia Kabbalist and Prophet: Hermeneutics, Theosophy, and Theurgy, Elliot R. Wolfson reexamines the main features of Abulafias mystical thought and practice in light of his embracing of paradox as the main vehicle for expressing truth. It has been commonplace in modern scholarship to distinguish sharply between two  kinds of kabbalah, the theosophic and the ecstatic. The studies that have been assembled in this volume illustrate a somewhat more fluid and elastic exposition of Abulafias prophetic kabbalah in relation to the theosophic kabbalah of his generation. Indeed, even though Abulafia is to be credited with formulating the typological distinction, he is constantly transgressing the boundaries he set out to establish.

Elliot R. Wolfson is the Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Director of Religious Studies at New York University

Abraham Abulafia--Kabbalist and Prophet

ISBN 0-9640972-7-3 [2000]

In English, 247 pages. Hardcover, $42 per copy.

Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 7

Sefer Gematriot of R. Judah the Pious

Facsimile Edition of a Unique Manuscript

Introduced by

Daniel Abrams and Israel Ta-Shema

Sefer Gematriot is a collection of German pietist traditions, preserved in a unique manuscript copied at the end of the thirteenth century (or in the beginning of the fourteenth century) by one of the last students of this trend. The author records the various traditions in the name of R. Judah the Pious, author of Sefer Hasidim, and head of the esoteric circle of the pietists. The work is a rare document inasmuch as most of our knowledge of the esoteric teachings of R. Judah the Pious derives from the works of his student, R. Eleazar of Worms.

   The first introduction places Sefer Gematriot within a genre of commentaries which interpret the Hebrew Bible according to numerological associations. The reception of the work in late medieval literature, and its treatment in modern bibliographic studies is outlined in detail. The degree to which these traditions reflect the esoteric doctrines of R. Judahs principal student, R. Eleazar of Worms, is discussed, and comparisons are made to his works. The work further includes anti-Christian polemics based on numerological associations. The pietist background to these polemics is discussed, and the most striking examples are highlighted.

   The second introduction uncovers the Rabbinic background to Sefer Gematriot, documenting the cultural and religious setting in which this work was composed. Historical personalities are identified from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and their use of earlier sources is discussed.

Sefer Gematriot /

ISBN 0-9640972-6-5  [1998]

Hardcover, 6 + 153 Hebrew pp. + 5 English pp.

In Hebrew with an English abstract, $39 per copy.

Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 6


R. Moses De Leons

Commentary to Ezekiels Chariot


R. Joseph Gikatillas

Commentary to Ezekiels Chariot


Critically Edited and Introduced

by Asi Farber-Ginat

Maaseh Merkavah, The Account of the Chariot, has long been understood as one of the cornerstones of Jewish esotericism. Nevertheless, the medieval mystical and Kabbalistic commentaries to Ezekiel have remained in manuscript form, read only by a handful of scholars. Now, two of these works, written by members of the Circle of the Zohar, have been published in critical, yet readable editions, by Asi Farber-Ginat. These works are of great importance for the study of this major genre of medieval Jewish mystical literature, as well as the Zohar. These works enrich our understanding of thirteenth-century sefirotic symbolism, as well as the Kabbalistic doctrines of mystical vision, angelology, and evil.


These are two of the most important Kabbalistic treatises extant solely in manuscript, and are published here for the first time by a very fine scholar of Jewish mysticism. Moshe Idel, The Hebrew University

R. Moses De Leons Commentary to Ezekiels Chariot


ISBN 0-9640972-2-2  [1998]

Hardcover, 90 Hebrew pp. + 8 English pp.

Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 4


R. Joseph Gikatillas Commentary to Ezekiels Chariot

' '

ISBN 0-9640972-1-4  [1998]

Hardcover, 108 Hebrew pp. + 8 English pp.

Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 5

Each includes an extensive bibliography.

$30 per copy each.


R. Moses de Leons

Sefer Sheqel ha-Qodesh


Critically Edited and Introduced

by Charles Mopsik

with an introduction by Moshe Idel

Sefer Sheqel ha-Qodesh is an essential tool for understanding the enigma of Zoharic literature. In this book, De Leon cites various Zoharic passages which are not found in the known corpus of Zoharic texts. This work therefore provides some of the earliest testimony regarding the appearance of the Zohar in the late thirteenth century, and forms a unique test-case for understanding the redactional process behind the canonical work of medieval Jewish mystics.

   This work of De Leon is critically edited by Charles Mopsik from all the known sources. The edition is introduced and annotated to help the reader better appreciate and understand the Kabbalistic thought of the Castilian Jewish mystics. In his remarks, Moshe Idel suggests that de Leon composed this book as an introduction to the Kabbalah. The volume may serve this function today as well.


Sefer Sheqel ha-Qodesh /

ISBN 0-9640972-4-9  [1996]

Hardcover, 4 + III + 14 + 150 Hebrew pp.+ 6 English pp.

In Hebrew with an English abstract.

$36 per copy.

Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 3

R. Asher ben David:

His Complete Works and

Studies in his Kabbalistic Thought

Including the Commentaries to the Account of Creation by the Kabbalists of Provence and Gerona

by Daniel Abrams

R. Asher ben David, the grandson of R. Abraham ben David (Rabad) and the nephew of R. Isaac the Blind, was one of the few known Kabbalists active in Provence in the first third of the thirteenth century, when the first Kabbalistic writings emerged. His main work, The Book of Unity, is therefore one of the first Kabbalistic works written. It is presented here in its entirety for the first time.

   Gershom Scholem proposed that R. Asher was the main conduit for the teaching of Provençal mystical doctrines in Gerona and helped censor the literary dissemination of esoteric doctrines in Gerona. Whether or not R. Asher visited Spain, The Book of Unity is certainly the first, full-length Kabbalistic book to explain central esoteric doctrines to a wide audience. The work opens with the first known Kabbalistic poem.

   The edition includes various recensions of the Book of Unity, and presents transcriptions of quotes from R. Ashers works in later Kabbalistic texts as well as the partial Latin translation of Flavius Mithridates, which was prepared by Dr. Saverio Campanini. The volume is supplemented by a study which presents editions of the Commentary to the Account of Creation attributed to R. Asher, all parallel recensions found in manuscript, as well as the commentaries of R. Isaac the Blind and R. Ezra of Gerona. The volume is therefore a major source book for the study of the first generations of Kabbalists in southern France and Spain.

R. Asher ben David /   '

ISBN 0-9640972-3-2  [1996]

Hardcover, 362 Hebrew pp. + 16 English pp.

In Hebrew with an English abstract.

$42 per copy.

Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 2


The Book Bahir

An Edition Based on the Earliest Manuscripts


by Daniel Abrams

with an introduction by Moshe Idel


Supplemented by studies in:

The history of the books redaction and reception; the printing history and scholarly treatments of the work; listings of manuscript witnesses; annotated listings of commentaries to the Bahir; kabbalistic works which quote and comment on the Bahir; and unknown passages found in other works.


Included are:

Facsimiles of the earliest manuscript copied in 1298; passages of the Bahir printed in the editio princeps of the Zohar, Cremona 1558; and the editio princeps of the Bahir, Amsterdam 1651.

* * *

Abramss edition is the most comprehensive and critical presentation of all the known facts related to one of the classics of Kabbalistic literature. The book is a must for everyone interested in the study of Kabbalah.

Moshe Idel, The Hebrew University


I am certain that this book will quickly emerge as a major research tool for students of Jewish esotericism. 

Elliot Wolfson, New York University



The Book Bahir /

ISBN 0-9640972-0-6  [1994]

Hardcover, 16 pp. + 344 Hebrew pp. + 15 English pp.

Includes 44 pages of bibliography.

In Hebrew with an English abstract.

$59 per copy.

Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 1

Bibliography of the Writings of

Professor Moshe Idel

A Special Volume

Issued on the Occasion of his Fiftieth Birthday


Professor Idel is one of the most important and prolific scholars in Jewish studies today. His many publications have appeared in Hebrew, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Rumanian, Russian and Catalan. The bibliography provides annotated listings of all of his published works, including articles published in journals and collected studies volumes, book reviews, encyclopedia entries, introductions to books, critical editions and manuscript facsimiles, full-length monographs, and volumes which were published and distributed in limited copies within Israeli universities.

   The bibliography is organized chronologically with annotations in Hebrew which refer the reader to translations, abridgments, and expansions of published and unpublished versions. Appendices which are not enumerated in the titles of the studies are also listed, including significant primary sources and reproductions of pages from rare books. Manuscript sources to editions partial as well as complete have been listed with the microfilm number from the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts housed in the Jewish National and University Library. The bibliography is followed by an alphabetic listing of all titles in Hebrew and other languages, an index of historical figures, a title index, a subject index, and an index of manuscript sources.


Bibliography of the Writings of Professor Moshe Idel


ISBN 0-9640972-5-7  [1997]

Hardcover, 66 pp.

Foreword in English and Hebrew

$22 per copy.