We’ll begin with a brief discussion of the meaning of mysticism; then the focus will move to the unique characteristics and history of Jewish mysticism. We will look at a variety of texts including the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation), Sefer Bahir and texts from the school of Abulafia before looking more intensively at the great 13th century classic of Kabbalah, the Zohar. After an overview of the architecture and literary qualities of this enormous library of esoteric books, we will begin reading passages from the Zohar with an emphasis on understanding the theosophical constructs of the book, how it views the life of God in the universe, and how we are included in that life. Using the ten sefirot of the Tree of Life as a key should open up this abstruse and mythic text to any interested reader. We will end with a reading of one of Rabbi Nachman’s tales.

Taught by Ira Steingroot – one of my favorite mystical teachers!

4 Wednesdays, April 17 – May 8
7:30 to 9pm
Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: $50
$40 for Temple Sinai members

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