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Meditation and Kabbalah Paperback – May 1, 1989

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Language Notes

Text: English, Hebrew (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was born in New York City and was educated in The Torah Voda'as and Mir Yeshivot in Brooklyn. After years of study at Jerusalem's Mir Yeshiva, he was ordained by some of Israel's foremost rabbinic authorities. He also earned a master's degree in physics and was listed in Who's Who in Physics in the United States. In the course of a writing career spanning only twelve years, Rabbi Kaplan earned a reputation as one of the most effective, persuasive, scholarly, and prolific exponents of Judaism in the English language. He died on January 28, 1983, at the age of 48. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books; Reissue edition (May 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877286167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877286165
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Valasek on December 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book for those that are competent in the basic terminology of Kabbalah. If you're not, you will struggle with this text. This book gives the reader a very broad appreciation for the art of meditation through a broad compilation of the various Kabbalistic literature that is unaccesible to most people and nearly impossible to taste if your language is only English. This book covers all of the major schools and their most noticeable differences and provides enough "meat" to contemplate the various methods of meditation themselves. This book is not an expositon on the Bible, but it is biblicaly based although not readily apparent. If you're looking for your first book on meditation, don't start here, this isn't a beginners text. Instead try Kaplan's other book, "Jewish Meditation." However, if you're ready to take a deeper look and wan't to gain a broader perspective on the various methods, this is an excellent text.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom VINE VOICE on July 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is the best, most Jewishly-authentic book on kabbalah available in English today. Neither a pop "new age" book nor a contemporary attempt to "update" Judaism, it was written by a practicing orthodox rabbi who knew what he was talkng about! Rabbi Kaplan's clear explanations and lucid translations of important source texts were among the first to appear in English, making this almost-forgotten meditation tradition more accessible once more. Should be on the shelf of every serious Jewish seeker.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Rabbi Kaplan, Z"L, as ever, does a great job by inheriting the world the first translation of the almost forgotten methods of meditation used by the Talmudic sages, Chasidim, R. Abulafia, R. Luria, Baal Shem Tov, etc. They all seem dangerous (if you understand Kabbalah fully and are guided by an excellent teacher, there will be no problem) but are a good reference on the evolution and diversification of these techniques to attain revelation and ecstasy. 100% recommendable, easy to read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on November 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
The late Aryeh Kaplan was a Rabbi, scholar, and Kabbalist. In addition to his valuable and readable commentaries on Sefer Yetzirah and Sefer Bahir, he wrote three books on meditation. The other two are: "Meditation and the Bible" and "Jewish Meditation." From a practical perspective, "Jewish Meditation" is far and away the best, however, reading the other two provides one with a more inclusive, theoretical background and context within which to practice. This volume is quite valuable and a contribution to both meditation per se and to Kabbalah. I'd put it in the middle of the 3 in value if forced to choose. It's rare to find an author who is both scholar and practitioner, so Kaplan's books on Kabbalah are particularly valuable and accessible to the reader. Of course, they are not introductory books--of which there are innumerable versions in bookstores. It helps to have a solid background in the basics before tackling Kaplan's texts. But it isn't essential--especially for "Jewish Meditation." I would place them as intermediate level texts--more or less on a par with the average Ze'v ben Shimon Halevi texts. Kaplan's are more scholarly in nature, however. They are appropriate to both the serious student and the serious practitioner of Kabbalah.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By LordC on September 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Without the Kabbalah, a lot of meditation regarding what the prophets have done in the Bible, would be difficult to comprehend. There are couple of points I do suggest:
1. After reading the introduction, I suggest to read, Pg 306 (because it is the summary of the whole book). From the line: "The techniques of the Hekhalot and Abulafia are highly advanced and dangerous.....Rabbi Nachman's method was the most universal, and could be used literally everybody". Rabbi Nachman's methods can be found in the book "Jewish Meditation" by Aryeh Kaplan, extensively.
2. Pg 40, it explains that a system of purification is needed after the ashes of the Red Heifer no longer exist.
3. Pg 114, It says a summary about Rabbi Abulafia's teachings by Rabbi Albotini. Pg 77, it starts to explain the journey to find a purification through the permutation (Tzerufath) of the NAMES of GOD.
4. Pg 195-198. I will suggest to read it at least twice. The Elijah's path is another safest way of purification(and most realistic, you will also see that in Meditation and the bilble by Aryeh Kaplan, Pg 21). About the mechanism how an Advocated Angel will work on you, I read more or less the same thing in eastern mystic book.
5. Pg 231 the meditation on the mystical name YBK (Psalm 20th) and "Meditation and the bible" by Aryeh Kaplan Pg 139-140 Psalm 119th, it is a good combination.
5. Pg 185, it's a big summary of the Ten Sephirot, about its letter, vowel, meditation word (Tetragammaton). You just need to add the color and english translation write on Pg 181.
6. From a more scientific propose, like Aryeh Kaplan would say in his book Jewish Meditation, Pg 120: "....
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Areyh Kaplan is the single most athoritative writer on the Kabbalah today. Although I must include Zev ben Shimon Halevi in that pantheon. Both of these authors bring much need light onto a subject that is now very "chic." Not so Kaplan, a true scholar. But it is not for beginners. Althought I must say that the knowledge in the Kabbalah is not for beginners, period. There was a reason that both the Cordoverian and Lurianic schools insisted that the study of the Kabbalah should be started at the age of 40. And this was centuries ago when life expectancy was much less than it is today. I must warn you that this very dense and speaks directly to the "real" Kabbalah, and not all of the western appropriated magicians of the turn of the century. If you are sincere in studying Kabbalah and are willing to put in the time and effort, this is a must!
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