Abstract: The questions where the Kabbalah came from, how it appears, and under what circumstances, bothered the scholars of the Kabbalah, but no less the Kabbalists themselves in the Middle Ages. This article is concentrated on identifying and signifying three types of traditions in thirteenth-century Kabbalah, each of which reflects a unique stance concerning this topic. The first stance attributes the emergence of the Kabbalah to mystical revelation of Elijah to the ancestors of the first Kabbalistic circles in Provence. Another sees the Kabbalistic truths as part of the Torah of Moses and therefore as a national heritage. A third tradition, however, attributes the Kabbalah to Adam, the first person and the ancestor of mankind at whole. The article points out the self-consciousness behind each myth, the differences between them, and the hidden discourse between these traditions regarding the notion of the Kabbalah as universal wisdom and its cultural context in general.
Jewish Quarterly Review – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Feb 25, 2016
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