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While a number of other introductory type books regarding Kabbalah stray too far to the side of purely academic or purely spiritual, Rav Gillar's stays true to the middle path. This book is both concise and accessible to the beginner. It lays out an excellent basic background, including main characters in the kabbalistic 'narrative', history and main points of the major works, and a realistic look at contemporary kabbalistic practices. This shouldn't be the only book you read if you're intereste ...more
Professor Giller offers the standpoint of a scholar who also wants to believe. His book is written for a non-specialist reader, but it doesn't water down or evade the complexities of the history and sociology of Jewish mysticism. He refrains from condemning today's popularizers, instead putting them in historical context. Don't read this to be initiated into the secrets of the universe, but don't expect a dry academic approach, either. Your sense of wonder will be with you from beginning to end. ...more