Friday, June 5, 2009

The Kabbalah

The great stumbling block for all Gnosticism has always been the Old Testament. Many Christian Gnostic sects held that it was written by the Devil. Certainly Kabbalah is nothing more nor less than an elaborate device to juggle the plain words of the Biblical narrative and make them mean the opposite of what they all too obviously do mean. --Kenneth Rexroth, The Hasidism of Martin Buber, Bureau of Public Secrets, first published in Bird in the Bush (1959) and reprinted in World Outside the Window: Selected Essays of Kenneth Rexroth (1987)

From a kabbalistic perspective, one could see Judaism and theology as identical—and thus that everyone employing God-talk outside Judaism and its traditional vocabulary is not really taking about the one true God at all. Or, at their most charitable, adherents of this view might recognize some non-Jewish speakers about God as doing some kind of derivative Jewish God-talk, even if these speakers are largely unaware of the deeper meaning of their own words. --David Novak, God-Talk, First Things, February 2009, review of Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology, by Michael Fishbane

According to kabbala (Jewish mysticism), on the night on which "that man" - a Jewish euphemism for Jesus - was born, not even a trace of holiness is present and the klipot exploit every act of holiness for their own purposes. --Shahar Ilan, For them, it's wholly unholy, Haaretz, December 24, 2004, (via Catholic and Enjoying It!)

By and large the special details of Kabbalism which distinguish it from the mainstreams of Jewish thought are what is “occult” in occultism everywhere, and most of the world’s religions can be reinterpreted in these terms. They give Kabbalism its fascination but they do not give it its substance. ... beneath the glittering and mysterious superstructure of the Kabbalah, which purports to be occult Judaism, lies — Judaism. --Kenneth Rexroth 'The Holy Kabbalah', originally published as an introduction to a new edition of A.E. Waite’s The Holy Kabbalah (1960) and reprinted in Assays (1961)

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