The Beliefnet Guide to Kabbalah

Arthur Gold­wag
  • Review
By – July 16, 2012
Thanks large­ly to celebri­ties like Madon­na and Demi Moore, inter­est in Kab­bal­ah— the ancient Jew­ish mys­ti­cal tra­di­tion — has enjoyed a resur­gence in recent years. Some might even call it a fad. The cur­rent trendi­ness of Kab­bal­ah belies its pro­found­ly seri­ous, ethe­re­al and com­plex nature, how­ev­er. That’s why books like this one are so use­ful to those who are explor­ing Kab­bal­ah for the first time. The Beliefnet Guide to Kab­bal­ah pro­vides an objec­tive overview of Kabbalah’s roots, his­to­ry, major play­ers, key ideas, med­i­ta­tive and mag­i­cal prac­tices, and sym­bol­ism. It dis­cuss­es Kab­bal­ists’ beliefs in such things as the nature of God and the soul, angels and demons, the after­life, and the role of human beings in the world. Ques­tions and answers in shad­ed box­es keep the vol­ume user-friend­ly, as do side­bars fea­tur­ing key facts and anec­dotes. There is also a mini anthol­o­gy of mys­ti­cal texts, includ­ing the Zohar. Bib­lio., gloss.
Robin K. Levin­son is an award-win­ning jour­nal­ist and author of a dozen books, includ­ing the Gali Girls series of Jew­ish his­tor­i­cal fic­tion for chil­dren. She cur­rent­ly works as an assess­ment spe­cial­ist for a glob­al edu­ca­tion­al test­ing orga­ni­za­tion. She lives in Hamil­ton, NJ.

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