Moshe Idel s Phenomenology and its Sources

Ron Margolin


This article opens with a brief phenomenological comparison between Gershom Scholem s Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism and Moshe Idel s Kabbalah: New Perspectives. Scholem s book is diachronic or historical in approach while Idel s is primarily synchronistic, focusing on devekut (devotion) in Jewish Mysticism, the concept of Unio Mystica, a variety of mystical techniques, Kabbalistic theosophy, theurgy, and Kabbalistic hermeneutics. The author concentrates on four characteristics of Idel s studies in Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism: ecstatic Kabbalah, the definition of Jewish mysticism, Hasidism as a spiritual movement and the study of Jewish magic. In addition he discusses key criticisms leveled at Idel s treatment of these subjects.


Phenomenology of Jewish Mysticism, Models, Methodology of Kabbalah, Ecstatic Kabbalah, Mystical experience, Hasidism, Theurgy

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