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(PUBSchocken)Pathbreaking study dividing rabbinic ascent mysticism into Merkavah (divine chariot) and Hekhalot (celestial palaces) traditions, positing an especially strong flowering after the Jewish expulsion from Spain to the rise of eastern European Hasidim. 481 pages, softcover.
A collection of lectures on the features of the movement of mysticism that began in antiquity and continues in Hasidism today.
Gershom Scholem was professor of Jewish mysticism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem until his death in 1982. He is also the author of The Messianic Idea in Judaism, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead and Zohar.
"A crucially vital work in the long history of Jewish esoteric spirituality. Aside from its intrinsic importance, the book's influence has been enormous, and is likely to continue all but indefinitely."--Harold Bloom, Yale University
"Major Trends [is] the canonical modern work on the nature and history of Jewish mysticism. For a sophisticated understanding, not only of the dynamics of Jewish mysticism, but of the exquisite complexities of Jewish history and tradition, Major Trends is a major port of entry through which one must pass."--Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Columbia University