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History of Jewish Mysticism and Esotericism
Volume Seven: Early Kabbalistic Circles
Contents


Chapter One: The Mystical and Esoteric Message of the Book of Contemplation
1 The Place of the Circle of Contemplation in the History of Jewish Mystical Thought
2 The Book of Contemplation, Its Structure and Its Sources
3 The Hidden Divine Glory and the Perfect Unity
4 Multiple Powers Within the Divine Unity
5 The Supreme Source of Emanation, The Eternal Wisdom and the Light of Life
6 The Hashmal, The Holy Name and the Celestial Chariot
The Supreme Powers, the Sefirot and the Chariot 7

Chapter Two: The Book: Fountain of Wisdom and Its Intense Mystical Visions

1 The Unique Characteristics of The Fountain of Wisdom
2 The Holy Name and Its Letters
The Divine Lights3
4 The Revelation to Moses and the Mystical Experience
5 The Hierarchy of the Supreme Divine Powers
6 The Panorama of the Beginning
7 Conclusion

Chapter Three: The Exegesis of the Tetragrammaton

The Meaning of the Four Holy Letters1
2 The Book of Creation and the Making of a Golem
3 The Holy Name of 42 Letters and the Intention of Prayer

Chapter Four: The Holy Name and the Structure of the Divine Realm: The Midrash of Shimeon the Righteous

1 The Name and the Celestial Powers
2 Seven and Thirteen Hypostases
3 Merging with the Kabbalah: Sefer ha-Yihud

Chapter Five: The Place of Sefer ha-Bahir in the History of Jewish Mysticism

1 "Mythos", "Symbol", "Gnosis"
2 Multi-Levels Analysis and "The Spirit of the Nation"
3 History of Schoalrship on Sefer ha-Bahir
4 The Sources and the Problem of Originality
5 Did Sefer ha-Bahir Originate in Ashkenaz?
6 The Style and Character of the Author of the Bahir
Two Conflicting Conceptions of History7

Chapter Six: The Concept of the Creation and of the Letters in Sefer ha-Bahir

1 The Work of Genesis: Tradition and Innovation
2 Tohu and Bohu, Light and Darkness, Good and Evil
3 The Midrash of the Letters, the Vocalization Marks and the Musical Signs
4 The Letters Aleph, Shin and Beth
5 The Mem, the Nun and the End of Days
6 The Musical Signs and Vocalization Marks

Chapter Seven: The Commandments, Theurgy and the Meaning of Sanctity

1 The Conception of the Commandments in Sefer ha-Bahir
2 Elements of Theurgy
3 Sanctity, Prayer and Sacrifice

Chapter Eight: The Holy Names


Chapter Nine: Satan, The Concept of Evil and the Transmigration of Souls

The Characteristics of the Devil and His Role1
2 Satan and the Snake in the Garden of Eden
3 The Gilgul Belief: The First Positive Presentation
4 The Parables Presenting the Gilgul
5 The Position of the Gilgul in the Sefer ha-Bahir

Chapter Ten: The Divine Tree, the Garden and the Fountain in Sefer ha-Bahir

1 The Tree and the Divine World
2 The Tree and the "Arms of the Universe"
3 The Tree and the Sefirot

Chapter Eleven: The Shekhinah as a Feminine Divine Power

1 The Problem of Two Genders and the Sources of the New Conception
2 The Descriptions of the Feminine Power
3 The Parables: Queen, Princess, Matron
4 Conclusion

Chapter Twelve: The Ten Ma'amarot (Utterances)

1 What Are the Ten Utterances?
2 The Heavenly Powers
3 The Seventh and the Eighth
4 The Lower Utterances
5 Conclusion: The Uniqueness of the Sefer ha-Bahir

Chapter Thirteen: The Beginning of the Kabbalah in Provence: Historical Analysis

1 The Place of the Kabbalists of Provence in the History of Jewish Mysticism
2 Kabbalah and Philosophy in Provence
3 A Review of the Texts
4 Background: Movements in the Christian World
5 Background: The Jewish Torah Academies
6 The Revelation of the Prophet Elijah: Beginning of Mysticism or Beginning of Kabbalah?

Chapter Fourteen: Rabbi Abraham ben David, Rabbi Jacob ha-Nazir and the Intentions of Prayers


1 Rabbi Abraham ben David: Esotericist or Kabbalist?
2 Sacred Sexual Union and the Denial of Rationalistic Philosophy
3 The Beginnings of the Mystical Prayer in the Kabbalah in Provence
4 Silent Prayer and the Words of Public Prayer
5 The Intentions of Prayers According to the RABAD and Rabbi Jacob
6 The Criticism of Kabbalistic Prayer by Rabbi Shimeon of Narbonne
7 "The Gate of Intention by the Early Kabbalists"

Chapter Fifteen: Rabbi Isaac the Blind

1 Rabbi Isaac's Position in the Kabbalah in Provence and Gerona
2 The Concept of Evil and the Eschatological Theory of Rabbi Isaac the Blind
3 Rabbi Isaac's Epistle to Gerona

Chapter Sixteen: The Emanation of the Divine Powers According to Rabbi Isaac's Commentary on the Book of Creation


1 The Characteristics of Rabbi Isaac's Commentary
2 The Exegesis of the First Passages in the Book of Creation
3 The "Books", the Essences and the Sefirot
4 The Divine Powers
5 The Midot , the Mystic and Mystical Contemplation

Chapter Seventeen: The Letters and the Creation in Rabbi Isaac's Commentary

1 Letters and Sefirot
2 "Mothers" and "Fathers", Male and Female, Silence and Speech
3 Contradictions and Conflicts
4 The Six "Ends" and the Created Universe

Chapter Eighteen: Rabbi Asher ben David

1 The System of the Sefirot and the Meaning of the Holy Name
2 The Shekhinah and Prophecy
3 The Concept of revelation
4 Rabbi Asher's Theory of Revelation
5 Computing the Date of End of the World
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