Thread: The GD Kabbalah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyros View Post
Kabbalah probably began from Merkabah mysticism which was (probably, maybe) the formal beginnings of proper Jewish mysticism, around 800 BC.
I'm not so sure about that. Merkabah mysticism seems to have been something separate and distinct. It is only in modern times that it has been absorbed under the 'umbrella definition' of Kabbalah.

The same thing seems to have happened to the Sepher Yetzirah. Was it originally a cosmological treatise or an early Jewish grammar? Who knows? But at a later date it gets pulled within the umbrella heading of Kabbalah and it instantly becomes one the earliest Kabbalistic texts! Revisionist history?

Even the term 'Jewish mysticism' is problematic in relation to Kabbalah. The early "Chariot Riders" may indeed have been Jewish mystics, seeking direct experience of the divine. But when the Kabbalah appears in the middle ages it is mainly concerned with scriptural exegesis and theological speculation. It's almost the exact opposite of mysticism. But fast forward to today and Kabbalah means Jewish Mysticism to most people because a lot of different strands of thought have been absorbed within the term, Kabbalah.
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