Shalom Sharabi and the Kabbalists of Beit El by Pinchas Giller

Shalom Sharabi and the Kabbalists of Beit El

byPinchas Giller

Hardcover | February 15, 2008

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Pinchas Giller offers a wide-ranging overview of the most influential school of kabbalah in modernity, the Jerusalem kabbalists of the Beit El Yeshivah. The school is associated with the writings and personality of a charismatic Yemenite rabbi, Shalom Shar'abi. Shar'abi's activity overwhelmedthe Jerusalem Kabbalah of the eighteenth century, and his acolytes are the most active mystics in contemporary Middle Eastern Jewry to this day. Today, this meditative tradition is rising in popularity in Jerusalem, New York, and Los Angeles, both among traditional Beit El kabbalists and members ofthe notorious Kabbalah Learning Centers. After providing the historical setting, Giller examines the characteristic mystical practices of the Beit El School. The dominant practice is that of ritual prayer with mystical "intentions," or kavvanot. The kavvanot themselves are the product of thousandsof years of development and incorporate many traditions and bodies of lore. Giller examines the archaeology of the kavvanot literature, the principle of the sacred names that make up the majority of kavvanot, the development of particular rituals, and the innovative mystical and devotional practicesof the Beit El kabbalists to this day. The first book in the English language to address the character and spread of Jewish mysticism through the Middle East in early modernity, it will be a guidepost for further study of this vast topic.

About The Author

Pinchas Giller is a Professor of Jewish Thought at the University of Judaism.
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Details & Specs

Title:Shalom Sharabi and the Kabbalists of Beit ElFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:February 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195328809

ISBN - 13:9780195328806

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"Pinchas Giller's Shalom Shar'abi and the Kabbalists of Beit El is a fascinating window into an influential yet largely unexplored moment in the reception of Lurianic Kabbala. The Beth El School of Shalom Shar'abi and its labyrinthine structure of contemplative prayer was a crucial part ofearly modern Kabbala and was adopted by many elites from the hermetic mystics of the Levant and Eastern Europe to contemporary Kabbalists in Israel and the Diaspora. Giller's book is a detailed study of the history of this school and its enigmatic leader and gives us an accessible and learnedpresentation of Shar'abi's system. It is an important contribution to the history of the reception of Lurianic Kabbala from the seventeenth century to the present." --Shaul Magid, author of From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala