- Paperback: 340 pages
- Publisher: Providence University; Mul edition (March 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781897352175
- ISBN-13: 978-1897352175
- ASIN: 1897352174
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,677,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pardes Rimonim, Orchard of Pomegranates - Vol.1, Parts 1-4 Mul Edition
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IF YOU ARE A SERIOUS STUDENT OF KABBALAH, BUY THIS BOOK NOW AND ASK QUESTIONS LATER!
Keep in mind that the publisher is only asking for a higher price for these texts in order to support the translation process by Providence University. Your purchase helps sponsor this translation effort, making it possible for the complete 12-volume set to be eventually produced. We are extremely fortunate to have Rabbi Moshe Cordovero's (RaMaK) masterpiece Pardes Rimonim being made available to English readers.
Rabbi Cordovero was the foremost Kabbalist of his day, thriving at the height of 16th century Safedian Kabbalistic fervor. It is in some ways unfortunate that RaMaK was almost immediately eclipsed by Rabbi Isaac Luria, leading to a major shift in the orientation of Kabbalistic thought right up to the present day. Cordovero focuses on the emanationist perspective, while Luria addressed the Tikkun HaOlam (restoration of the world.) For the most part Rabbi Cordovero's work has been sadly neglected and it is a blessing that he's making a comeback. It was as if the Kabbalistic world forgot that a great Rabbi came right before Luria and exposed the meaning of Kabbalistic metaphysics and theosophy in clear language. The intention of the work was to give clear and lucid expression to the writings that had up to his time been written in esoteric symbolic language, guarded from being understood by all except those who had access to oral instruction.
RaMaK's writing is systematic and philosophical, and his thinking gives us a clear view of the Sephirotic world and its dynamics. Those wanting to really understand how to think about the Sephirot will find all the details in Pardes Rimonim. The format of the text is systematic and encyclopedic. The work is divided into 32 treatises, each with multiple chapters. The chapters usually begin by presenting passages from earlier esoteric texts such as Sepher Yetzirah, the Zohar, the Bahir, and numerious other medieval writings. RaMaK then proceeds to explain the meaning of the passage in clear terms, and the reader's understanding will always be enlightened by the process. This is not to say that it is an easy work, which is a testament to the depth of thinking found here.
The work is organized by structural and philosophical themes. For example, the first treatise is called "Ten and not Nine", and provides detailed exegesis on this keycode from Sepher Yetzirah. Rabbi Cordovero is addressing the structure of the Sephirot: why are they exactly ten and not more or less? He examines the writings of earlier commentators and shows flaws in their thinking. The second treatise deals with a primarily theological/philosophical issue of: what is the reason for the emanation? Why did the emanation happen, what was the purpose for creating the world, and why does man turn toward his source?
The third treatise returns to the primarily structural questions that are taken up in most of the treatises: is the Infinite the same as Crown? He again examines the work of earlier commentators and highlights the subtle flaws in structural understandings. Some thought that Keter is co-substantial with Ain Soph, since some Kabbalistic texts alternatively call Keter "Ain" or "Nothingness" while Chokmah is sometimes called "Rashit" or "Beginning". So does Keter or Chokmah begin the count? This is a difficult question due to the subtlety of the highest levels, but Cordovero gives a thorough analysis and shows how to proceed. The fourth treatise is called "Substance and Vessels". RaMaK demonstrates the errors of earlier commentators who thought the Sephiroth were either substance or vessels, since actually it is both! And RaMaK when explains this difficulty, we really begin to see his genius shine.
It is very tantalizing to read this text, since the work overall is highly interwoven within itself. This is really great because Kabbalistic thought follows this same pattern of self-interconnectedness. For example, in nearly every chapter there is some idea that can only be sufficiently explained by refering to other Sephirotic concepts, and RaMaK enjoys luring the reader deeper into the work by saying such things as: this has not been sufficiently explained, but you will learn more about it in a later treatise. Likewise there are many backward references, and although one's understanding is illuminated greatly on an initial reading, the fullest appreciation would come through re-reading. Thus the book serves both those who desire a good understanding of the Sephirotic world in order to fully appreciate other Kabbalistic authors, but is invaluable to those who feel the dedication to pursue these matters to the fullest. It works good for those who are going to read the book once and move on, but it is pure gold for those who will read it over and over again. There is great potential here for both modest study and intense contemplation.
For those interested in further pursuing Rabbi Moshe Cordovero's work in English, there has been a doctoral dissertation recently written by Dr. Zohar Raviv focusing on RaMaK's life and work. It is called "Fathoming the heights, ascending the depths: Decoding the dogma within the enigma. The life, works and speculative piety of Rabbi Moses Cordoeiro". You can find a PDF version of it, and it is also available here in paperback: Decoding the Dogma Within the Enigma: The Life, Works, Mystical Piety and SystematicThought of Rabbi Moses Cordoeiro (aka Cordovero;Safed, Israel, 1522-1570)
Some other things about this edition as a whole: the complete English translation is projected to appear in 12 volumes, 4 of which are currently available. Each volume contains the original Hebrew at the end, and all of Cordovero's diagrams are put in both sections of the text. Let me say again that your purchase helps sponsor this translation project. Know that by buying this book you will be helping to bring this illumination into the world!
It is a very invaluable text in that it includes excerpts from lost books and treatises that we no longer possess.
But more importantly, it is also a restorative text on the ancient Qabbalah that is most momentous before much was corrupted with the advent of Yitzhak Luria! For example, the Ramak brialliantly proves how Eyn Sof is outside the 10 Sfiroth while the incorrect blashepmous Lurianic school includes it within the Sfriroth!!!
More relevantly, this treatise is a must in that it highlights many of the issues and debates around the ancient Israeli esoteric wisdom that persisted around that age as much of it was being redacted into writing for the second time! Unfortunately, even Ramak was unaware as to certain errors he upheld in his treatise that quite simply went over his head such as the correct diagram to the Sfiroth! But I digress on holy matters, were which this is not the forum or place to discuss...
The feelings i hold toward, the wisdom contained within the writings of the Ramack is beyond expression.(this work i was* relatively unfamiliar with...although(not anymore), this is a beautiful, sweet, and nourishing, record of the teachings of the creator.
A background of my studies in the mysteries of the Torah, is that i have studied the wisdom of the esoteric teachings(kabbalah), going on 4 years of serious study and devoting my heart, soul, and exceedings, to the wisdom of the creator manifest through the reality we so desire to be connected to.
(may hashem bring a smile upon your face...its a glories mitzvah :D ).
His(the Ramak's), ability to illustrate in a humble and meek manner, the fabric of this universe, using the Sephirot and Torah as the true and eternal means of manifesting Ore', is truly a gift that many do not even hear in their life-time...Let alone acquire, internalize, and walk within. May we, as talid'im follow and hear the creators voice, through the rabbi's teachings. Baruck hashem.
if you are detoured by the price...then please do not purchase...for the one who understands what the words within these precepts contain... would pay much more then these prices..Just to hear the words of the Torah flow from heaven, as rain to the earth. baruck hashem.
One should be familiar and well attached, in the books of, Sepher Ha'Torah*, Sepher yetzeriah*, Serpher bahir*, Sepher ha'Zohar. for this book to bring palatable, and nourishing, tikkun into your life. Shalom shalom