Kabbalah tradition of hidden knowledge * Z’ev Ben Shimon Halevi (isbn 0500810230)

This is the first book of Halevi that I read and I have got two more to go. This book is one in a series of the artbookpublisher Thames & Hudson about various esoteric subjects. As it seems all books come for a part in text and a large part in images. This Halevi book has about 30 pages of text and some 60 with images. In total there are 127 illustrations of which 14 in colour. This is not that much, but still.

Anyway, it seems that this book is not only a good introduction to the Brittish kabbalist that still lives, but also to the kabbalah in general. Halevi has a total different approach than what I am used to. You will get the basics of kabbalah, but Halevi has a more practical approach than most introductions. Not that he teaches gematria or notaricon, but he shows the kabbalah of daily life, the tree of life in the contitution of man, of the world, of the world of emotions, etc. This makes kabbalah more than just an interesting esoteric system, a way of looking at the world. Also his approach of teaching is very nice. One example is how he explains the 10 sephiroth using paintings by Rembrandt.

The images he took are well-chosen and go from classic kabbalah to our recent times. Each image comes with a short explanation and several are referred to in the text.

I am really curious what Halevi’s more ‘special’ books are like, but this one I can recommand to anyone interested in the real kabbalah and also those looking for a nice introduction in general.

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