Saturday, December 13, 2008

Writing about Kabbalah - Charles Mopsik attempt

Charles Mopsik was French Jewish philosopher who specialized in general studies of Jewish mysticism and of Kabbalah in particular. The book "La cabale" which I read in translation to Polish, is an attempt to write about Kabbalah in both objective (say, "scientific") way and with passion characteristic for young French philosopher (Charles died at the age of 46 in 2003).
In fourteen chapters he explains is Kabbalah, what are its relations to Judaism, describes fundamental Kabbalistic authors and texts. His accounts about Abraham Abulafia stress the importance of linguistic and hermeneutical component of Kabbalah. There are parts of the book, that are historical and ... sorry to say so - quite funny - when the author writes about "Christian" Kabbalah.... Of course we had in history such mixtures (e.g. in Pico de La Mirandola legacy), but if someone had a little of Jewish mysticism - can only read such chapters with ... a smile.

Generally - the book is very good, and in the time when a hordes of followers (like Maddona) go after Rav Berg's Kabbalah Centre, like in blindness – it’s good to see Kabbalah from rather objective perspective.

Personal note: I spoke to one of the Orthodox Jewish Rabbi recently. After this incredible meeting I talked to one of his students, and I know that true Kabbalah is almost never spoken of. It exists, it is important, and is living. But there is no way to speak of its secrets without such deep knowledge and wisdom, that is hardly attainable by us mere mortals...

The far feeling of it I was able to experience in my recent trip to Tzfat...


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