Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Classics and Essentials in CDs & Vinyl Outdoors Gift Guide on Tikes
As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabba... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C)

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0804759137
ISBN-10: 0804759138
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $1.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$33.35 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$46.00 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
16 New from $30.00 18 Used from $28.99
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks
$46.00 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews


'Eitan Fishbane's (i)As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist(/i) is a major contribution both to the study of Jewish mysticism and to the wider world of comparative mystical research. Although Isaac of Akko has long been known as an important Kabbalist, this is the first systematic presentation of one of the most challenging and rewarding mystical teachers of Kabbalah. With impressive command of the sources, penetrating analysis of difficult texts, and, above all, with a masterly ability to to reveal the inner dynamics of Isaac's spiritual teaching, Fishbane presents us with a full account of a mystic whose teaching on topics such as authority and tradition, theurgy and devotion, as well as contemplation and union with God, show him to be a true sage of Judaism, as well as a significant conversation partner for students of other mystical traditions.' —Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus, Divinity School, University of Chicago

"Eitan P. Fishbane's compelling study of Isaac of Akko shines a light on one of medieval kabbalah's most unique thinkers. Fishbane's book contributes mightily to a wide range of issues in kabbalah scholarship: sociology of knowledge, kabbalistic hermeneutics, mystical practice, mystical experience, and mystical union. Throughout, Fishbane treats the reader with his engaging and sophisticated style, a fecund reading of this kabbalist's oeuvre, and impressive erudition. Moreover, the author brings a wide variety of methodological approaches that deepen and enrich the scholarly conversation."—H-Net

"Isaac of Acre, a fascinating, even unique medieval kabbalist, finally receives the broad scholarly treatment that he deserves in As Light Before Dawn. Eitan Fishbane's work is marked by extraordinary erudition, sophisticated methodologies, and a richly textured, nuanced analysis of this important contemplative mystic. This superb book is a distinguished contribution to the study of medieval Jewish mysticism." —Professor Lawrence Fine, Irene Kaplan Leiwant Chair of Jewish Studies, Mt. Holyoke College

"Isaac of Akko is one of the few early kabbalists who described, and reflected on, his own mystical experiences. Here Eitan Fishbane presents a dazzling, erudite analysis of Isaac's writings, exploring his theory and practice of contemplation. This book captures the excitement and creativity of Kabbalah by expertly presenting one of its boldest pioneers, who spanned the Mediterranean world and imbibed wisdom wherever he journeyed. A superb work of scholarship, sophisticated yet fully accessible." —Daniel Matt, editor and translator of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition

"Isaac of Akko, a seminal figure in the history of Jewish mystical thought, is here rescued from obscurity. The richness of his teachings combines with Fishbane's deeply creative scholarship to offer a true delight to students of Kabbalah, of meditative practice, and of the transmission of esoteric traditions in prior ages. Critical and comparative perspectives are well used to bring ancient wisdom to life in this model scholarly work." —Arthur Green, Irving Brudnick Professor, Hebrew College

About the Author

Eitan P. Fishbane is Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press (June 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804759138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804759137
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,628,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Eitan Fishbane serves on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses on Jewish mysticism and spirituality. Dr. Fishbane is the author or editor of five books, including: "The Sabbath Soul: Mystical Reflections on the Transformative Power of Holy Time" (Jewish Lights Publishing) and "As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist" (Stanford University Press). Leading scholars of mysticism have hailed Fishbane's "As Light Before Dawn" as "dazzling and erudite"; prominent religious leaders have praised "The Sabbath Soul" as "moving, inspiring, and deeply poetic." Most recently, Dr. Fishbane's "Shadows in Winter: A Memoir of Love and Loss" (Syracuse Library of Modern Jewish Literature) was named one of the best Jewish books of 2011 by Jewish Ideas Daily. He is also the co-editor of "Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections" (Jewish Lights) and "Jewish Renaissance and Revival in America" (Brandeis University Press). Fishbane's writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and The Forward; he has been interviewed on; in The Wall Street Journal; People Magazine; and Ha'aretz. He is a regular scholar-in-residence and guest speaker at congregations and community centers across North America.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Cheifetz on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The book provides an insightful view into the thinking of a significant figure in the Jewish mystical tradition. The framing of the book notes the significant "bridge" role that Isaac of Acco may have played across contemporary communities and Kabbalistic traditions in the Middle East and Europe.

The book is written in an approachable style -- While engaging in the details of academic interest, it is a readable text that sheds light on a real person, as well as on his theological-mystical ideas and innovations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a rare glimpse into the mystic teachings and experience of Isaac of Akko. Fishbane has beautifully translated important pieces of text which show that the mystical experience of this 13th century kabbalist resonates with that of mystics from other traditions, although Isaac couched his descriptions in kabbalistic and Sufi-influenced language. I especially like the way the Hebrew text is available for comparison with the English. And it's all beautifully typeset.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C)
This item: As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C)
Price: $46.00
Ships from and sold by
Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: kabbalah stanford university