Early in the 13th century), the founder of the modern Kabbalah and the author of the names for the 10 Sephiroth.
1497), a strong opponent of Kabbalah, was the author of the philosophical treatise Behinath ha-dath, but most of his work (on Averroes) was in Latin.
Foremost among these was Ilayyim Vital, author of the 'Ez hayyim, and his son Samuel, who wrote an introduction to the Kabbalah, called Shemoneh She`arim.
In the 17th century mysticism is represented in the philosophical field by the so-called Cambridge Platonists, and especially by Henry More (1614-1687), in whom the influence of the Kabbalah is combined with a species of christianized Neoplatonism.
Geiger Johann Reuchlin (1871), p. 167) introduced him to the Kabbalah, which had great fascinations for one who loved all mystic and theosophic speculation.
Pico was the first to seek in the Kabbalah a proof of the Christian mysteries and it was by him that Reuchlin was led into the same delusive path.
KABBALAH (late Hebrew kabbdlah, gabbalah), the technical name for the system of Jewish theosophy which played an important part in the Christian Church in the middle ages.
It is only since the 11th or 12th century that Kabbalah has become the exclusive appellation for the renowned system of theosophy which claims to have been transmitted uninterruptedly by the mouths of the patriarchs and prophets ever since the creation of the first man.
The cardinal doctrines of the Kabbalah embrace the nature of the Deity, the Divine emanations or Sephiroth, the cosmogony, the creation of angels and man, their destiny, and the import of the revealed law.
In this all-important doctrine of the Sephiroth, the Kabbalah insists upon the fact that these potencies are not creations of the En Soph, which would be a diminution of strength; that they form among themselves and with the En Soph a strict unity, and simply represent different aspects of the same being, just as the different rays which proceed from the light, and which appear different things to the eye, are only different manifestations of one and the same light; that for this reason they all alike partake of the perfections of the En Soph; and that as emanations from the Infinite, the Sephiroth are infinite and perfect like the En Soph, and yet constitute the first finite things.
The conjunction of the Sephiroth, or, according to the language of the Kabbalah, the union of the crowned King and Queen, produced the universe in their own image.
According to the Kabbalah all these esoteric doctrines are contained in the Hebrew Scriptures.
2 The Kabbalah itself is but an extreme and remarkable development of certain forms of thought which had never been absent from Judaism; it is bound up with earlier tendencies to mysticism, with man's inherent striving to enter into communion with the Deity.
5 On the other hand, the Kabbalah has been condemned, and nowhere more strongly than among the Jews themselves.
Jewish orthodoxy found itself attacked by the more revolutionary aspects of mysticism and its tendencies to alter established customs. While the medieval scholasticism denied the possibility of knowing anything unattainable by reason, the spirit of the Kabbalah held that the Deity could be realized, and it sought to bridge the gulf.
That this brought moral laxity was a stronger reason for condemning the Kabbalah, 1 See F.
6 The appearance of the Kabbalah and of other forms of mysticism in Judaism may seem contrary to ordinary and narrow conceptions of orthodox Jewish legalism.
Mirandola so convinced Pope Sixtus of the paramount importance of the Kabbalah as an auxiliary to Christianity that his holiness exerted himself to have Kabbalistic writings translated into Latin for the use of divinity students.
And the early Reformers were alike captivated by the charms of the Kabbalah as propounded by Reuchlin, and not only divines, but statesmen and warriors, began to study the Oriental languages in order to be able to fathom the mysteries of Jewish theosophy.
Thus the Kabbalah linked the old scholasticism with the new and independent inquiries in learning and philosophy after the Renaissance, and although it had evolved a remarkably bizarre conception of the universe, it partly anticipated, in its own way, the scientific study of natural philosophy.
Margoliouth, " The Doctrine of Ether in the Kabbalah," Jew.
On the influence of the Kabbalah on the Reformation, see Stbckl, Gesch.
Ginsburg, The Kabbalah, its Doctrines, Development and Literature (London, 1865); I.
Meyer, Qabbalah (Philadelphia, 1888); Rubin, Kabbala and Agada (Vienna, 1895), Heideritum and Kabbalah (1893); Karppe, Et.
Waite, Doctrine and Literature of the Kabbalah (London, 1902); Fliigel, Philosophy, Kabbala, eec. (Baltimore, 1902); D.
Finally Kabbalah is exemplified in Othiyyoth de R.
The view propounded by Clarke may have been derived from the Midrash, the Kabbalah, Philo, Henry More, or Cudworth, but not from Newton.
In the above acceptation of the term, the Neoplatonic doctrine of emanations from the supra-essential One, the fanciful emanation-doctrine of some of the Gnostics (the aeons of the Valentinian system might be mentioned), and the elaborate esoteric system of the Kabbalah, to which the two former in all probability largely contributed, are generally included under the head of theosophy.
The Talmud outlived the reactionary tendencies of the Qaraites (q.v.) and of the Kabbalah, and fortunately, since these movements, important though they undoubtedly were for the evolution of thought, had not within them the power to be of lasting benefit to the rank and file of the community.
On the authorship of the Zohar; see Kabbalah), they may sometimes preserve the recollection of a fact which only needs restatement (e.g.