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Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation)

Product no.: 0-87728-726-0
Now in its 7th printing since republication in 1997, the Sefer Yetzirah has established itself as a primary source for all serious students of Kabbalah.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Rabbi Kaplan's translation of this oldest and most mysterious of all Kabbalistic texts provides a unique perspective on the meditative and magical aspects of Kabbalah. He expounds on the dynamics of the spiritual domain, the worlds of Sefirot, souls and angels.

This translation is based on the Gra version of the Sefer Yetzirah and includes the author's extraordinary commentary on all its mystical aspects including kabbalistic astrology, Ezekiel's vision and the 231 gates. Also included are three alternative versions to make this volume the most complete work on the Sefer Yetzirah available in English.

Reviews
"The heart of this extraordinarily insightful and erudite work is Kaplan’s translation and extensive commentary on the Sefer Yezirah. The author presents the original Hebrew, his concise translation, and detailed exegesis. Citing numerous, well-documented Jewish authorities, he sheds valuable light on possible meanings of each passage of this often mysterious and obscure text. Essentially, Kaplan views Yezirah as 'a meditative text, with strong magical overtones' and finds support for his position in early Talmudic traditions and elsewhere.

Topics addressed in detail also include alternate translations, the Sephiroth, mystical and esoteric interpretations of the Hebrew alphabet (including multiple astrological correspondences), and application of the alphabet for meditative and magical purposes. The author notes that scholars have often interpreted Yetzirah in ways different from his, and implies that they have failed to penetrate the text fully. However, he fails to explain exactly why his interpretation better captures the meaning of the text."      ~James W. Revak

Excerpt

"The Sefer Yetzirah is without question the oldest and most mysterious of all Kabbalistic texts. The first commentaries on this book were written in the 10th century, and the text itself is quoted as early as the sixth century. References to the work appear in the first century, while traditions regarding its use attest to its existance even in Biblical times. So ancient is this book that its origins are no longer accessible to historians. We are totally dependent on traditions with regard to its authorship.

Careful study indicates that it is a meditative text with magical overtones. Talmudic traditions indicate that it could be used to create living creatures, including the Golem! The Sefer Yetzirah is a small and concise book, only 1300 words long in the short version and 2500 words long in the long version. The first chapter discusses the Sefirot; The second chapter is a discussion of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and the 231 gates; Chapters three to five discuss the divisions of the letters in relation to astrology.

The text was deliberately written in a fashion so that it would be meaningless to those who read it without an extensive background in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and Midrash. To guide the novice, Rabbi Kaplan takes great care to introduce the necessary knowledge to the reader, making it accessible for the very first time to English speakers without a Kabbalistic background."      ~Intro

Author Abraham
Coauthor Kaplan, Aryeh
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 424 pp.
Publisher Samuel Weiser, Inc. 1993
Gold Medal

Gold Medal

 
 

  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Kabbalah and the Sepher Zohar, Torah, Talmud and Midrash, Jewish Merkabah Meditation, Spiritual Astrology, Gold Medal Essential Reading

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