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The Heart of Jewish Mysticism

Daniel C. Matt

Technical Information

Cover of Kabbalah

From the Foreword:

“KABBALAH, the Jewish mystical tradition, is precious and well hidden. Its symbolism, allusions, and multiple layers of meaning have attracted and confounded readers for centuries. Having studied Kabbalah for some twenty-five years, my attraction has not abated; my confoundedness has not been eliminated, but seasoned by wonder.

In this book I offer a selection of what I consider to be essential teachings from the immense trove of Kabbalah. I have translated the passages from the original Hebrew and Aramaix texts, and supplied notes to guide you through the maze. The introduction traces the history of Kabbalah and explains its salient concepts and symbols. A brief bibliography suggests titles for further study. In rendering the passages from Kabbalah into English, I have at times omitted material. I have taken the liberty of not indicating these omissions with ellipses, so as not to interrupt the flow of the translation. Precise citations are provided in the notes, so that interested readers can refer back to the original.”

Table of Contents

The Ten Sefirot
Introduction: A Glimpse of the Orchard
p. 1
The Purpose
The Nature of God
p. 21
p. 22
Ein Sof: God as Infinity
God's Encampment
The Chain of Being
Ein Sof and You
You Enliven Everything
Ein Sof
Divine Life
Evolution and Kabbalah
Heretical Faith
p. 23
p. 24
p. 25
p. 26
p. 27
p. 28
p. 29
p. 31
p. 31
p. 32
Ein Sof and the Sefirot
Water, Light, and Colors
Ein Sof and the Sefirot
Divine Qualities
The Creation of God
The Aroma of Infinity
The Wedding Celebration
p. 37
p. 38
p. 39
p. 50
p. 52
p. 54
p. 55
p. 63
Ayin: Mystical Nothingness
The Name of Nothingness
Being and Nothingness
The Wisdom of Nothingness
Think of Yourself as Ayin
p. 65
p. 66
p. 67
p. 68
p. 69
p. 71
p. 72
The Ten Sefirot
The Body of God
The Ten Sefirot
The Cosmic Tree
The Righteous Pillar
The Power of the Righteous
The Secret of Sabbath
Human and Divine Limbs
The Palm Tree of Deborah
p. 73
p. 74
p. 76
p. 77
p. 78
p. 79
p. 80
p. 81
p. 83
The Hidden Light
Concealing and Revealing
The Divine Breath
Tsimtsum: Creative Withdrawal
Tsimtsum and Shevirah: Withdrawal and Shattering
Shattering and Growth
Creative Arousal
p. 89
p. 90
p. 91
p. 92
p. 93
p. 94
p. 96
p. 97
p. 98
p. 99
Letters of the Alphabet
Letters of Creation
Unsheathing the Soul
The Proof of Wisdom
Aloneness and Abundance
p. 101
p. 102
p. 103
p. 105
p. 108
Mind, Meditation, and Mystical Experience
Imagine that You Are Light
An Extra Spirit
Joining the Divine
The Mirror of Thought
The Annihilation of Thought
Beyond Knowing
Mental Attachment
Gathering Multiplicity
Kindling the Heart
Gazing at the Letters
Climbing the Ladder
Gates of Holiness
What Are We?
The Voice of God
The River of Already
Go to Your Self
Beyond Capacity
p. 109
p. 110
p. 111
p. 112
p. 113
p. 113
p. 113
p. 114
p. 115
p. 116
p. 117
p. 118
p. 119
p. 120
p. 121
p. 122
p. 124
p. 125
p. 126
p. 127
p. 128
Dangers of Contemplation
The Origin of Thought
p. 129
p. 130
p. 131
Revelation and Torah
The Essence of Torah
How to Look at Torah
The Old Man and the Ravishing Maiden
Unripe Fruit of Wisdom
Without Vowels
p. 133
p. 134
p. 135
p. 138
p. 145
p. 146
Living in the Material World
The Journey of the Soul
Bringing Forth Sparks
Tasting the Sparks
The Greatest Path
Raising the Sparks
Everything Aspires
Secular and Holy
The Song of Songs
Sexual Holiness
Holy Pleasure
The Gift of Holiness
p. 147
p. 148
p. 149
p. 150
p. 151
p. 152
p. 153
p. 153
p. 154
p. 155
p. 157
p. 158
The Wisdom of Kabbalah
How to Approach Kabbalah
Hidden Wisdom
p. 159
p. 160
p. 162
p. 163
Suggested Reading
p. 165
p. 219

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