Originally published in Conservative Judaism, 16th June 1997. The Schocken Book of Mystical Testimonies Louis Jacobs New York: Schocken Books, 329 pages Rabbi Louis Jacobs is no stranger to the readers of this journal. In his many fruitful years in the rabbinate, Rabbi Jacobs has served as a model of the rabbi/scholar, producing fine essays and books to illumine the teachings of Judaism for scholar and layperson alike. Over the years, some of ... Continue Reading ➨
Jewish Mystical Testimonies
The Schocken Book of Jewish Mystical Testimonies brings together the few accounts we have by Jewish mystics of their encounters with the divine. The sources collected in this volume--spanning two thousand years and including material from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East--include depictions of peak religious experiences and visions, examples of ecstatic prayer, and counsel on how to keep company with the divine. Supplemented with commentary by Louis Jacobs, one of the world's most knowledgeable scholars of Jewish mysticism, these accounts offer an exciting new window on Jewish religious experience and inspiration to spiritual seekers of all persuasions.
Originally published in Midstream, August-September 1979. Jewish Mystical Testimonies, edited by Louis Jacobs. Schocken, New York. 270 pp. The past half century has seen a tremendous explosion of interest in the subject of Jewish mysticism. If one compares, for example, the few articles on Kabbalah (the generally used term for Jewish mysticism) in the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia to the detailed coverage in the recent Encyclopedia Judaica, the ... Continue Reading ➨
Originally published in October 1979. JEWISH MYSTICAL TESTIMONIES. By Louis Jacobs. New York: Schocken Books, 1977. Pp. 270. Paper, $7.95. As this comprehensive anthology of “personal mystical testimonies” attests, there exists a wealth of Jewish literature which demonstrates the extent to which personal Jewish religious experience is expressed in the impersonal idiom of the rabbinic tradition. The value of this volume lies in its extensive ... Continue Reading ➨
Originally published in the Journal of Religion 59:2 (1979), pp. 253-4. Jacobs, Louis. Jewish Mystical Testimonies. New York: Schocken Books, 1978. 270 pp. $7.95 (paper). Jewish mystics are famous—or notorious—for their reticence in speaking directly about inner experience. A mystical literature that chooses to express itself almost exclusively in speculative terms must be a source of great frustration for those who seek easy access to ... Continue Reading ➨