Solzhenitsyn's attitude to the Jews in Russia and in the world is neither ambivalent nor enigmatic. It is a consistent and integral constituent of his particular Russian Orthodox Christian world view. Theodore H. Friedgut Hebrew University of Jerusalem Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction, by Joseph Dan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 130 pp. $18.95. Joseph Dan's recent monograph is a gem that admirably fulfills the promise of its title and more. In just over 100 footnote-free pages, Dan offers a methodical overview of the major doctrines and theoreticians of the Jewish mystical tradition. Given the vast expanse of material that he covers, spanning more than 800 years of extensive literary activity, this consistently informative introduction highlights Dan's magisterial expertise and his enviable ability to make the arcane accessible. Joseph Dan is arguably Scholem's most accomplished disciple. For many years he has served as the Gershom Scholem Professor of Kabbalah at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Like his protean mentor, Dan has published on all aspects of Jewish mysticism, from ancient to modern times. Especially noteworthy is his four-volume study of each major period, as well as his superb anthology of primary sources, The Heart and the Fountain.
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Feb 13, 2009