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Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation Paperback


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Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation + The Bahir + Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books; Rev Sub edition (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877288550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877288558
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Hebrew

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Text: English, Hebrew

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Notably, he wrote 3 books on Jewish Meditation and commentaries on both the Sefer Yetzirah and the Book Bahir.
Neal J. Pollock
It of course will be a necessary addition to the library of anyone seriously studying Kabbalah, and it requires much study and repeated readings to glean it's wisdom.
Timaeus
Kaplan's book is the MOST DETAILED and MOST COMPLETE, and most skillfully written and it is not difficult to understand why his books are popular.
Tan Kwan Seng

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 101 people found the following review helpful By M. Johnson on September 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
There is a lot of garbage that is printed on the various aspects of and subjects pertaining to Kabalistic thought and creation, but this is NOT one of them. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was a truly phenomenal man, worthy of praise from mystics, rabbis, and the curious alike. It is truly a wonderful coincidence for those lucky enough to meet or sit in on lectures with Rabbi Kaplan that he lived in the last century. Rabbi Kaplan made Kabala accessible to those whose only language is English. While I would recommend other books by this great man, I would also recommend, more than words can express, this work in particular. If you SERIOUSLY want to learn about the Kabalistic paths, this book is one of the best in English to help you along your journey, safely, and honestly. Good Luck!
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129 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on November 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Before his tragic death, Rabbi Kaplan was a practicing Kabbalist who wrote several ground-breaking books on Kabbalah. Notably, he wrote 3 books on Jewish Meditation and commentaries on both the Sefer Yetzirah and the Book Bahir. His Sefer Yetzirah provides considerable commentary and explanation of the text, though much of it is still a mystery--so don't expect a complete exposition of a definitive sort. None exists at least in English as far as I can determine. But, this one is about as good as you get today. The so-called Book of Creation (actually in Kabbalah/Hebrew it's really the book of Formation since Yetzirah is the World of Formation and Beriah is the World of Creation) is replete with esoteric symbology. Symbols (as opposed to signs) do not have a definitive meaning. They aren't supposed to. They have many "meanings." Thus, this text, though obviously very heavy duty metaphysically, is very difficult to understand today. It is also one of the 3 main texts in Kabbalah. So, this is a book for the serious student of Kabbalah to ponder and meditate upon for a long, long...time.
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75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Valasek on January 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a text that is absolutely necessary for any in-depth study of Kabbalah. Besides the Zohar, this book is the next most influential text. Although the original author(s) is debated, its antiquity is unchallenged.
This particular rendition by Aryeh Kaplan has a huge commentary, that makes it accessible to even average students of the English speaking world. However, this book is definitely not for the casual reader, you really have to pay attention to details.
The book itself is broken down line by line and delves into the esoteric nature of the study of Kabbalah. This is one of the true practical Kabbalah manuals with its endless combinations and meditations, and workings of the mystical tree that all but the most advanced will find themselves re-reading paragraphs.
The addition of other versions makes this book a good one for the linguistic study of the text and is shown in the original Hebrew as well as English.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1997
Format: Paperback
There are many books on the qabbala, kaballah, or cabala. As far as current scholarship on the key text of qabbala within the contemporary Jewish tradition (post Lurianic) this work is the best and simplest serious study of the texts themselves. Kaplan discusses all the known texts, gives voice to all major scholars in the field as to the date of this text, then carefully analyzes this mystical text line by line. There are many great works out there Kaplan refers us to (Scholem of course), and alternative directions (Lullian and hermetic), but for a very comprehensive yet straightforward look at the major qabalistic text from a traditional Jewish view of today, you can't go wrong with Kaplan
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Beside the Sephir Yetzirah translated by Carlo Suares and published by Shambhala Books, this is the best. I don't know if the Suares translation is available anymore, but his knowledge of the cabalistic code is how I first learned Cabala. Notwithstanding, there is nothing by Rabbi Kaplan that is not excellent. He was a great scholar. This is by far the most complete treatment of all the Yetziratic material there is. The Sephir Yetzirah is a very holy book.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Hakuyu on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
There have been so many good reviews of this text, adding more praise seems enough. Other reviewers have given brief summaries of what Sefer Yetzirah is about. It is worth noting some things about the Kabbalistic tradition - generally.

I find it fascinating that the Kabbalistic tradition - of which this text is a part - has more or less remained inviolate

from cheap proselytising (or until Madonna claimed to be into it!). In Jewish tradition, the person wishing to approach such things ought to be mature, if not middle aged, married - and a respected member of the community. It poses something of a contrast then, with traditions stressing celibacy and a remoteness from every-day life. Why is this? I think it is a very Kabbalistic point of view. Lived wisely, marriage and family life mirrors the cosmic process. This is not a dogmatic position - you can study the Kabbala as an unmarried, young person. Its just that The Kabbala and Sefer Yetzira translate deep meaning out of seemingly mundane or common processes.

You and your life, your loved ones, your neighbours, your co-workers - your neighbourhood - your planet, the cells in your body, the stars in space - are the material you must work with.

Sefer Yetzirah means the 'book of formation' (creation implies a static process, unless we say living creation). Everything is this process, but we miss the links and connections, the hidden veins. Sefer Yetzirah is about becoming conscious of those veins and cosmic arteries, energising them, understanding 'formation' - living, formative elements.

Shalom!
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