Archive for 'Contrarian wisdom'

Pop Kabbalah and the other forms of McMysticism

Q. I recently started reading about other religions to find one that suits me and came upon Kabbalah. I started reading about it (through the most accessible books to find by Yehuda Berg) and started digging the whole thing he was selling. I liked the theories presented in his books and I agreed with the fact that the Bible was never meant to be something lived by so literally. Not to mention many of the other things talked about in ...

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Questions with regard to the afterlife.

Q My cousin said to me that when we pass away, we automatically go to heaven. I have searched the Talmud and cannot seem to find anything like that at all. Would you please tell me where I can find this or any reference to us going to heaven?

A It seems to me your grandfather was referring to a famous Mishnah found in the beginning of the 10th chapter of Sanhedrin, which states:

All Israel have a portion in the ...

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Please explain the difference between Tanya and Zohar?

Q. Please explain the difference between Tanya and Zohar?

A. The Zohar (The Book of Splendor) is the central book in the literature of Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah). It is attributed to Shimon bar Yoh’ai, a second century Tanna, but modern scholarship has concluded beyond any shade of doubt, that the Zohar was compiled in Spain during thirteenth-century.

Citations from the Zohar first appeared in Kabbalistic writings after 1280, and analysis of the book’s terminology and prose style shows that its real author ...

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Conversation with Spinoza: Spinoza’s Interpretation of the Peshat.

No Jewish philosophy of biblical interpretation would be complete without mentioning the thoughts of Baruch Spinoza (1632–77), who deservedly is the one of the founding fathers of modern historical criticism. He was the first modern Judaic thinker to encourage the reader to move away from the traditional rabbinic and ecclesiastical authorities who defined the meaning of the text for their generations. He encouraged each person to make a scientific examination of the biblical ...

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