Professor Shimon Shokek, through his new approach to Kabbalah, suggests that the central ingredient in the spiritual teachings of Jewish mysticism is to be found in the Kabbalistic theme of Creation. Professor Shokek argues that Kabbalah is not just a religious phenomenon or an esoteric theology, but a practical wisdom for living, creativity and well being. Thus, he introduces Kabbalah as a spiritual Jewish way of living, an Art of Being . This book skilfully reveals the core questions that emerge from the wisdom of the Jewish sages. It considers in depth the Kabbalistic meaning of Creation, mysticism, communion with God, language and speech, the human soul, messianism and repentance. Professor Shokek asks: * what is the Kabbalistic perception of existence and being? * how and why have Kabbalistic ideas been integrated into the lives of the Jewish people, shaping their fate and identity? * what is the nature of Kabbalah and the truth behind it? * can we understand Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism in the light of world philosophy and contemporary psychological theories?
At a time when the study of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism is attracting a growing number of students, Kabbalah and the Art of Being opens an accessible and lively avenue of debate, for both the academic student and the interested general reader.
Shimon Shokek received his PhD from the Department of Jewish philosophy and Kabbalah at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he taught for several years. He is currently Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism at Baltimore Hebrew University, and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. He is the author of Jewish Ethics and Jewish Mysticism in Sefer Ha-Yashar, 1991 (English) and Repentance in Jewish Ethics, Philosophy, and Mysticism, 1995 (Hebrew).