CABALA, cab'a-la.

    Origin and Spread of the Cabala (§ 1).

    Doctrine of God (§ 2).

    Creation and the Sefiroth (§ 3).

    Names of the Sefiroth (§ 4).

    Triads of Sefiroth (§ 5).

    The Four Worlds (§ 6).

    Origin of Evil (§ 7).

    Doctrine of the Messiah (§ 8).

    Doctrines of the Soul (§ 9).

    Metempsychosis (§ 10).

    Mystic Biblical Exegesis of the Cabala (§ 11).

    Biblical Interpretation by Gematria (§ 12).

    Magic Powers of the Tetragammaton (§ 13).

    The Early Period of the Cabala (§ 14).

    The Sefer Yezirah (§ 15).

    Crystallization of the Cabala (§ 16).

    The Zohar (§ 17).

    Closing Period of the Cabala (§ 18).

    Influence of the Cabala on Judaism (§ 19).

    Relation of the Cabala to Christianity (§ 20).

The term Cabala designates the esoteric doctrines of Judaism. Although it claims to be a product of the tannaitic period and to be the work of such sages as Ishmael ben Elisha, Simeon ben Yohai, and Nehunya ben ha-Kanah, modern investigation has proved that it is purely a product of the Middle Ages. Nor does the name kabbalah (from kibbel, "to receive") occur with this special connotation before the thirteenth century, the term kabbalah denoting in the Talmud the Hagiography and the Prophets in contradistinction to the Torah, or Pentateuch.

1. Origin and Spread of the Cabala.

The Cabala originated at a period when a crassly anthropomorphic concept of God prevailed in Judaism. In Maimonides rationalism had reached its climax, the literal meaning alone being accepted, while all allegorical interpretation was rejected. The study of the Talmud had become purely legalistic, and worship had degenerated into formalism. Against this stereotyped faith born of Aristotelianism arose a reaction, the Cabala. This sought to give the soul the nourishment it craved by an esoteric interpretation of the Scriptures, vivid presentation, and dramatic narrative, even though, in its speculative fervor, it became involved only too often in hopeless haze, and evoked a dark superstition through its juggling with the names of God. Arising in Provence, the reaction against rationalism passed to Spain, the real home of the Cabala. Thence, with the expulsion of the Spanish Jews, it was carried to Palestine, whence it spread throughout Europe. The fundamental doctrines of the Cabala are derived from the Hellenistic Judaism, Neo-platonism, and Neo-Pythagoreanism, with occasional traces of Gnosticism. These elements are so interwoven, however, with the Bible and with a midrashic method of presentation, that the whole has been stamped with the seal of Judaism.

2. Doctrine of God.

According to the Cabala, God is the eternal and boundless principle of all, and is therefore called En Sof ("The Infinite"). The attributes given him are general, rather than specific. He is absolutely perfect, and is free from all blemish; he is unity and immutability; he is boundless and naught exists beside him; and since he may be known neither by wisdom nor by understanding, no definition can be given of him, no concept be formed regarding him, and no question asked concerning him. To all beings he is the concealed of all concealed, the hidden of all hidden, the ancient of the ancient; the first of all first and the primal principle.

3. Creation and the Sefiroth.

The cardinal cosmogonic doctrine of the Cabala is creation e nihilo. The reconciliation of the imperfect and transitory phenomenal world with the perfection and immutability of God, and the mutual relation of the two formed never-ending problems for the cabalists. To explain the riddle they assumed the existence of a series of independent and spiritual primeval potentialities, which were intelligible substances or demiurges emanating from the deity. These demiurges (sefiroth) are mentioned as early as the Sefer Yezirah, where their number is given as ten. According to this work, the first emanation was the spirit of the living God, from which proceeded the entire phenomenal world. This same spirit, furthermore, caused ether, water, and fire to emanate from each other. From ether arises the intellectual world, from water the material (the tohu wa-bohu of Gen. i. 2), and from fire the spiritual (the angels and the throne of God). These four sefiroth are followed by the six bounds of space, height, depth, east, west, north, and south. There is, however, no consistent view concerning the nature of the sefiroth, which are sometimes regarded as intermediaries between God and the visible world, and at other times as the manifestations of the powers and properties of God; and there is an equal divergence of opinion as to whether they are actual creations which form, in a sense, the basis of later creations, or emanations whereby God emerges from his concealment and assumes form. All attempts to reconcile these conflicting views by postulating the existence of God both in and above phenomena proved unsuccessful. The issuance of the sefiroth from God was regarded by the cabalists as imperiling the doctrine of his immutability and infinity. The first difficulty was obviated by the hypothesis that God's design to manifest himself had existed from all eternity. Since, however, God in his infinity filled the entire universe, no room was left for the sefiroth, until Moses ben Jacob Cordovero (1522-70) and Isaac Luria (1533-72) postulated two concentrations, one a contraction and the other a retraction. Many cabalists, however, felt themselves unable to accept this theory of concentration, which was closely connected, moreover, with the Gnosticism of Valentinian and Basilides, and preferred to assume that the emergence of God from his retirement was to be understood in terms of concept rather than of space, and some regarded the entire process as metaphorical.

4. Names of the Sefiroth.

The first sefirah was Kether ("Crown"), the primal source of all existence. The second was Hokmah (" Wisdom"), which, though enveloped in God, generated the ideas. The third was Binah ("Intelligence"), which carries out the ideas of


eternal Wisdom. The fifth was Hesedh ("Love"; sometimes called (Gedhulah, "Magnitude"), the fifth Din ("Law"; also called Gebhurah, "Might," or Pahadh, "Fear"), the sixth Tifereth ("Beauty"; also called Rahamim, "Mercy"), the seventh Nezah ("Firmness"), the eighth Hodh ("Splendor"), and the ninth Yesodh the ("Foundation"). The tenth sefirah was Malkhuth ("Kingdom"; also called Shekhinah, "Royalty"), and was united in marriage with the God who rules the world. The number of the sefiroth was doubtless influenced by the fact that astronomy then postulated the existence of ten spheres, and also by the sanctity ascribed to the number ten.

5. Triads of Sefiroth.

As early as the eleventh century Hai Gaon (998-1038) classified the ten primal potentialities into two groups, the first including three which produced the spiritual world, and the second comprising two triads which were united by a seventh, and these formed the source of the material world. The main outlines of this classification were retained by later cabalists. Azriel (1160-1238) distinguished three groups–intellectual, spiritual, and material, a classification evidently due to Neoplatonic influence. Each group forms a triad, and its members stand in the mutual relation of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. The first two members, moreover, sustain a polar relation to each other, and are united by the third. Thus, in the first triad, which consists of "Crown," "Wisdom," and "Intelligence," "Intelligence" forms the connecting link. In the second triad, which consists of "Love," "Law," and "Beauty," "Beauty" (or "Mercy") forms the bond of union, while in the third triad of "Firmness," "Splendor," and "Foundation," the last reconciles the first two. All three triads are subject to the tenth sefirah, "Kingdom," which binds them into a harmonious whole. The first triad, moreover, contained the "authors of the plan of the world," the second the "arrangers," and the third the "creators." Although the sefiroth are by no means comparable with God and do not condition his independence, they partake of his infinity and transmit his streams of blessings to the various worlds. For this purpose, on which their existence and activity depend, they are united with God by invisible canals (zinnoroth) which proceed from the throne of the divine majesty.

In so far as the sefiroth are the earliest manifestations of God, they form an ideal world which bears no relation to the material world, and in this aspect they are termed either "primeval man" (adham kadhmon) or "superman" (adham 'ilai), who is sometimes considered to be the sefiroth collectively, and sometimes regarded as the first manifestation whereby God revealed himself as the creator and ruler of the world. In this aspect he seems to be a revelation interposed between God and the universe, and thus a second god, as it were, or the Logos.

6. The Four Worlds.

According to a later view, various grades of emanation produced four worlds, in each of which the ten sefiroth were repeated. The first of these was the 'Olam ha-Azilah ("World of Radiation"), which contains the powers of the divine plan of the worlds. These powers have the same nature as the world of the sefiroth or the Adham kadhmon, while, according to the Zohar, it also contains the throne of the Shekinah and God's mantle of light. From the 'Olam ha-Azilah emanated the 'Olam ha-Beriah ("World of Creation"), the home of the organizing powers and potencies. There were the treasuries of blessing and life, and there was the throne of the glory of God, as well as the halls of all spiritual and moral perfection, where the souls of the righteous dwelt. In its turn, the 'Olam ha-Beriah produced the 'Olam ha-Yezirah ("World of Creation") with the angels and Metatron as their chief. To him are subject the evil spirits (kelifoth, "husks"), who dwell in the planets and other heavenly bodies, or in the ether. The fourth world is the present material and phenomenal 'Olam ha-'Assiyah ("World of Action"), which is subject to constant change and delusion. Like the sefiroth, the four worlds are closely connected with God as the primal principle, and receive continual streams of divine blessing. This cosmology of four worlds is based on the theophany of Ezek. i. and seems to be first mentioned in the Massekheth Aziluth, a small treatise of the first half of the thirteenth century. The anthropomorphic tendencies of the cabalists led them to make distinctions of sex among the sefiroth. The masculine principle, which is white in color, appears chiefly in "Love," although it underlies both the other two sefiroth of the right side ("Wisdom" and "Firmness"); while the passive red female principle, which owes its existence to the male, dwells chiefly in "Law," yet also forms the basis of the other sefiroth of the left side ("Intelligence" and "Splendor").

7. Origin of Evil.

Side by side with the heavenly sefiroth exist the sefiroth of evil, and Adham kadhmon, in like manner, has his counterpart in Adham Beliyya'al. The realms are related to each other as the right and the left wing. In the kingdom of evil, as in the realm of good, there are ten grades. Under the leadership of Samael and his queen, the great adulteress, the dark sefiroth toil unceasingly for the destruction of the world. Since, however, the sefiroth of darkness, like the sefiroth of light, were regarded as emanations, there was danger that the Infinite might be considered the author of evil. To obviate this, the older cabalists advanced the hypothesis that the origin of evil was to be sought in the distances of the emanations from their divine author, since the further they went from God into the material world, the more degenerate they be came. The younger cabalists like Lucia, on the other hand, held that the vessels of the sefiroth were unable to contain and conduct the fulness of the divine blessing and burst, thus giving rise to evil. Penance, self-mortification, prayer, and rigid observance of the prescribed ceremonies, however, would gradually reconcile the upper and lower realms and restore the original harmony of the universe. It is noteworthy that this doctrine of the opposition of the two kingdoms is a late


development of the Cabala, and that it was not fully developed until the thirteenth century.

8. Doctrine of the Messiah.

The Messianic teachings of the Cabala are closely connected with the doctrine of the realm of the evil sefiroth. When through their piety and virtue mankind shall steadily have diminished the kingdom of the kelifoth, the Messiah will appear and restore all things to their original condition. Under his rule all will turn to the divine light, and idolatry will cease. In its account of the nature and task of the Messiah the Cabala diverges a little from the views advanced by the Talmud and the Midrash.

In its anthropology the Cabala generally adopts the tenets of Talmudic and Gaonic mysticism, so that its new developments may be summarized briefly. Earthly man is a type of the prototype Adham kadhmon, and thus comprises within himself all that the ideal creation contains. He is, therefore, a microcosm. The Cabala also teaches the dual nature of man, who consists of body and soul. Every member has its symbolic meaning, while the body, as the garment of the soul, typifies the merkabah (the heavenly Throne-Chariot of Ezek. i., x.). The soul, however, is far superior to the body, since it is derived from the divine all-soul, and through the "canals" (zinnoroth) can influence the intellectual world and draw down its blessings to the lower world. It appears under the three designations of nefesh, ruah, and neshamah. The first is blind impulse, the second is the seat both of good and evil impulses, and the third is able to unite with God sad the kingdom of light.

9. Doctrines of the Soul.

The Cabala also teaches the pre-existence of the soul. All souls destined to enter human bodies have existed from all eternity in a fixed number, nourished by the sight of the divine radiance of the Shekinah. The entrance of the soul into a body is a misfortune, and it implores God to spare it such imprisonment. Before their entrance into human bodies souls are androgynous, while marriage unites the severed halves to a single whole. This doctrine, like the preceding, is reminiscent of Plato and Philo, as is the cabalistic doctrine that all earthly learning is but a reminiscence of what the soul had known before it came to earth.

10. Metempsychosis.

Of special interest is the cabalistic doctrine of reincarnation. Each soul which is united with a body is to undergo a period of trial in this world, and if it is found able to preserve its original purity it returns immediately at death to its place of heavenly origin. If, on the other hand, it falls into sin, it is subjected to a purification, and is obliged to remain in lower forms of existence, such as animals, trees, stones, and rivers, until it has fully atoned for its evil and has regained the purity requisite for its return to its celestial home. Occasionally, however, the sin-laden soul wanders in the world with its fellows, naked and ashamed, until it finally receives its purification in hell. New souls are seldom born, the greater number being reincarnations. This is a proof of the corruption of the human race, and though exalted spirits sometimes descend to earth for the welfare of man and assume human form, all the souls created from the beginning have not yet been able to be born on account of the number of reincarnations necessitated by human wickedness, and the Messiah consequently has not come. During sleep the souls of the righteous frequently leave their bodies, ascend to the celestial regions, hold converse with the spirits there, and receive revelations of future mysteries. Evil souls, on the other hand, descend to the realms of darkness and impurity and converse with demons, who give them false and lying words. To enable mankind to hold communication with the world of light during terrestrial existence, the cabalists exacted a scrupulous observance of the ceremonial law and, above all, prayer, to which was ascribed as influence over God himself. Among other agencies stress was laid on asceticism, flagellation, retirement from the world, the practise of all good works, the wearing of white garments, and the use of the phylacteries and the prayer-mantle.

11. Mystic Biblical Exegesis of the Cabala.

Aristotelian scholasticism gave rise in Judaism to a system of exegesis which resulted in a view of religion as a matter of the head, rather than the heart. Yet at this very time the increasing persecution of the Jews evoked a need for spiritual strength and revivification, and these requirements were met by the cabalistic opposition to the purely intellectual interpretation of the Bible and by the substitution of a new method of hermeneutics, which sounded the depths of the Scriptures and thus strengthened the sinews of religion. As early as the Talmudic and Mishnaic period the feeling had prevailed in certain quarters that in addition to the literal meaning of the Bible (peshat) there was an allegorical meaning (derush). The cabalists went still further, and regarded the letters, words, and names of the Bible as possessed of deeply hidden divine mysteries, while such accounts as those of Hagar, Esau, and Balak contained far more than mere history. They therefore laid little stress on the literal sense of the Bible, though not a letter might be added to it or taken from it. In their endeavor to unlock the divine mysteries they employed various systems of exegesis.

12. Biblical Interpretation by Gematria.

Of these the chief was the gematria, or study of letters. As early as the Sefer Yezirah the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet were divided according to sound, form, and numerical value. To the first class belonged the three "mothers," aleph, mem, and shin, which represented the three primal elements, aleph standing for air (awwer), mem for water (mayim), and shin for fire (esh). The seven "double" letters which formed the second division (beth, gimel, daleth, kaph, pe, resh, and taw) were symbolic of the seven planets, the seven days of the week, the seven gates of the soul, the seven seas, and the like; while in virtue of their twofold pronunciation, by either aspirated or unaspirated, they typified the seven antitheses of man: life and death, wisdom and folly, riches and poverty, peace and war, beauty and hideousness, fertility and desolation, power and slavery. The twelve "simple" letters, which


constituted the remainder of the alphabet, symbolized the twelve activities of man: sight, hearing, smell, speech, eating, cohabitation, toil, walking, wrath, laughter, reflection, and sleep. The numerical value of the letters, moreover, rendered numbers sacred, so that twelve, for example, typified the twelve tribes, the twelve months, and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Subsequently gematria was divided into arithmetical and figurative, the first considering the letters according to their numerical value and the latter devoted to the mode of writing the letters.

13. Magic Powers of the Tetragrammaton.

A second exegetical system was the notarikon, the acrostic use of the letters in such a way that each letter of a word formed the initial letter of a new word. The third method was ziruf, the combination of letters, and the fourth was temurah, the creation of new words by the permutation and interchange of letters. The names of God were special subjects of cabalistic jugglery, since they were no longer the means whereby God had emerged from his concealment and become manifest to the understanding, but were now agencies to work upon the intelligible powers and to perform miracles of all kinds. The most marvelous powers were ascribed to the divine tetragrammaton YHWH. Whosoever possessed the true pronunciation of this name might come into relation with the upper world and receive revelations from the All-Soul. Each letter of the name was portentous. The yodh represented the Father as creator, and the double he the upper and lower Mother, while the waw typified the creation. Through permutation of the letters of the tetragrammaton was obtained a wealth of divine names, to which, in like manner, were ascribed miraculous powers. In the "practical" Cabala these new names played an important part, being used in formulas, amulets, and conjurations, their correct enunciation and the gestures with which they were spoken being leading factors in all these operations. In like manner, the twelve-lettered, twenty-two lettered, twenty-four-lettered, and seventy-two lettered name contained great mysteries, influenced the Supreme Being and averted threatening doom, while the names of the angels were subjected to similar manipulation. The net result was the total loss of any comprehension of the actual meaning of the text of the Bible.

14. The Early Period of the Cabala.

The history of the Cabala comprises a period of a thousand years, since its beginnings may be traced to the seventh century, while its last adherents belonged to the eighteenth. This lapse of time may be divided into two periods, the first from the seventh to the thirteenth century, and the second from the fourteenth to the eighteenth. From the seventh to the ninth century flourished the mysticism of the Merkabah, devoted to descriptions of "the great and small halls," and describing the throne of God and his court of angels according to Byzantine models. God the Infinite, the sefiroth, and transmigration are still unknown, and the authority cited on all occasions is the Tanna Ishmael ben Elisha, who flourished in the first and second centuries A.D. The juggling with the alphabet is represented by the "Alphabet of Rabbi Akiba," which treats of the letters according to name and form, and connects them with all manner of moral and religious teachings.

15. The Sefer Yezirah.

With the appearance of the Sefer Yezirah ("Book of Creation") in the eighth century, the mystery of the Throne-Chariot gave place to the mystery of the creation, and a cosmogonic element was introduced which increased steadily in importance in the subsequent period. Here the doctrine of emanation appears in the form in which it had originated in Alexandria. The twenty-two letters are connected, moreover, with the ten divine emanations, and thus form the thirty-two paths of esoteric wisdom and constitute the basis of all things. God is not only the creator, but also the sustainer and ruler of the world. The letters of the alphabet are "real powers" which underlie all phenomena, while their permutation and their evaluation, like their connotation, are of importance. The Sefer Yezirah is the earliest work which unites cabalistic speculation in a systematic whole. According to it there are four basal principles, emanating in order from each other–spirit, spirits, primeval water, and primeval fire, all united by the three dimensions and their antitheses into a decade. All things are in continual flux, dissolving old combinations and forming new ones, while throughout phenomena rules the law of antitheses, which are united by the mean between them. A remarkable work of the same period is the Sefer Raziel, which teaches the influence of the planets and the figures of the zodiac on the earth. The angel Raziel here takes the place of Metatron, the angel of the presence, as he who possesses and communicates astrological and astronomical mysteries.

16. Crystallization of the Cabala.

In the thirteenth century the crystallization of the Cabala began and the doctrine of the sefiroth was fully developed. To the same period probably belongs the composition of the "Luminous Book," also called the "Midrash of Nehunya ben ha-Kanah," which teaches the main outlines of metempsychosis, while the ten divine emanations, which are not yet called sefiroth, but ma'amarim ("commands"), appear as categories possessed of creative force and connected with the attributes of God. A tendency toward visionary prophecy was impressed upon the Cabala by Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia (d. about 1304), who laid special stress on a knowledge of the divine name as determined by the exegetical methods of gematria, notarikon, ziruf, and temurah, while his pupil Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla devoted himself to the mysteries of the alphabet, which he brought into close association with the doctrine of the sefiroth. The cabalistic speculation begun by Isaac the Blind reached its climax in the Zohar, apparently written by Moses ben Shem-Tob of Leon (d. 1305). If the Sefer Yezirah be called the Mishnah of the Cabala, the Zohar is its Talmud. Ostensibly it is a midrashic commentary on the pericopes of the Pentateuch, but practically it is


filled with a mass of cabalistic and other mystical speculations, and with allegorism run mad, especially concerning the names of God, the accents, and the vowel-points. In like manner, the kingdom of evil, with its demons and evil spirits which continually oppose the realm of righteousness, is described in terms of wildest fantasy. Its statements are placed in the mouth of Simeon ben Yohai, a Tanna of the second century A.D., who, according to the Talmud, lived in association with the angel Metatron, who communicated to him the divine mysteries. Yet it is by no means a uniform work, among its older components being the "Book of Mystery," which is devoted to the creation and the events which preceded it; the "Great Holy Assembly," which forms a compend of cabalistic speculation and finds the type of all sefiroth in man, through whose mental processes the upper world of light is united with the lower world of sense, while the authropomorphisms of the Old Testament are declared to be mere metaphors; and the "True Shepherd," which explains the nature of the primal emanations.

17. The Zohar.

The later elements of the Zohar are as follows: the "Small Holy Assembly," which gives a clearer exposition of the subjects treated in the "Great Holy Assembly"; the "Book of the Mystery of Mysteries," devoted to physiognomy and cheiromancy; the "Book of the Halls," which describes the abodes of the souls in the Garden of Eden and in hell; the "Hidden Midrash," which recounts the return of the souls to their new and perfect human forms after the resurrection, and portrays the meal prepared for the righteous; the "Ancient," which describes the transmigration of souls and the punishments of hell; the "Young," an exposition of various cabalistic teachings; and "Mishnas and Tosefta," which is devoted chiefly to the mystical meanings of the divine names. Despite the opposition of Talmudists and philosophers the Zohar gained an enormous following and was regarded as a revelation from heaven. Through it Spain became the real home of the Cabala, and even to the present day it is considered authoritative in some Judaistic quarters.

18. Closing Period of the Cabala.

With the exile of the Jews from Spain the Cabala was carried into all lands, and Safed in Palestine became its new center. There, in the sixteenth century, Moses ben Jacob Cordovero and Isaac Luria systematized the Cabala and filled many a gap which had existed in the Zohar, the former emphasizing the metaphysical and speculative, and the latter the ascetic and ethical side. Through them the Zohar was well-nigh deified, and in a like spirit many cabalists of the seventeenth century, such as Shabbathai Zebi and Jacob Frank, proclaimed themselves prophets or asserted that the Shekinah or the soul of the Messiah had become incarnate in them. From this time on, however, the Cabala has steadily declined, and the names of its representatives are too unimportant to require mention here.

19. Influence of the Cabala on Judaism.

Though the Cabala was devoted to a spiritualization of religion, the pagan elements which it adopted brought to Judaism a view of the universe which was entirely foreign to it, and worked it grave injury. The Biblical concept of a monotheistic God was superseded by a vague Gentile theory of emanation with a pantheistic tendency, and the doctrine of the unity of God was thrust into the background by the ten sefiroth, who were regarded as divine in essence. Since prayer was no longer addressed immediately to God but to the sefiroth, a genuine sefiroth-cult was evolved. The Talmud and philosophy were disdained by the cabalists, and even the study of the Bible was neglected, since it was no longer read for its own sake, but solely with the aid of cabalistic methods of hermeneutics. Nor did the ritual escape change and mutilation, and the phylacteries and the prayer-mantles were now put on to the accompaniment of various cabalistic formulas, especially prominent being the prayers to the sefiroth. Worst of all was the growth of superstition. That the soul might attain to the realm of light after death, the severest mortification of the flesh was practised, while the mysterious names of God were believed to heal the sick and quench the flames, and God altered his divine will at the prayer of the cabalist. The very kingdom of dankness was subject to the proper formulas of prayer, and the damned were freed from their torments by use of the magic names of God.

20. Relation of the Cabala to Christianity.

During the period of the Reformation the Cabala attracted wide attention because of the alleged kinship and agreement of its doctrines with the dogmas of the Christian Church. The opinion accordingly prevailed that it formed the means by which Judaism and Christianity might easily be united, especially as it was believed to contain the doctrines of the Trinity, the Messiah as the Son of God, and his work of atonement. In his missionary zeal for the Saracens in the thirteenth century Raymond Lully considered the Cabala a divine revelation, and after the converted Jew Paulus de Heredia (about 1480) had shown in his "Letter of Secrets" that all the chief truths of Christianity were contained in the Cabala, Christian scholars became rivals in their eagerness to study esoteric Judaism. In 1486 Pico de Mirandola published at Rome his Septuaginta-duœ conclusiones cabballisticœ, and invited all scholars to Rome to attend a disputation to convince themselves of the kinship between the Cabala and Christianity. The first German to investigate this subject was Reuchlin, who devoted to it his De verbo mirifico (Basel, 1494) and his De arte cabbalistica (Hagenau, 1517). Latin translations of various portions of cabalistic works were made by Baruch of Benevento at the request of Cardinal Ægidius of Viterbo and by the convert Paul Riccio, physician in ordinary to the emperor Maximilian I., but the most important work which sought the truths of Christianity in the Cabala and gave translations from it was the Kabbala denudata of Christian Knorr von Rosenroth (4 vols., Sulzbach and Frankfort, 1677-84), the source for all subsequent scholars.


It is now recognized that the concepts of God and the creation are entirely divergent in the Cabala and Christianity; the first triad of the sefiroth does not actually correspond to the Trinity, nor does the Christian doctrine of Christ as the Son of God find an analogue in the Adham kadhmon of the Cabala. According to Christianity, redemption is possible only through Christ, while the Cabala postulates that man can save himself by his mystic influence on God and the world of light through rigid observance of the law, asceticism, and similar agencies.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The literature up to about 1860 is arranged in J. Fürst, Bibliotheca judaica, iii. 329-335, Leipsic, 1863. The best book in Eng. is C. D. Ginsburg, The Kabbalah, its Doctrines, Development, and Literature, London, 1865. A most valuable work is A. Franck, La Kabbale, ou la philosophie religieuse des Hébreux, 3d ed., Paris, 1892 (Germ. transl., Leipsic, 1844). Of older literature the following may be mentioned: J. F. Buddeus, lntroductio ad historiam philosophiœ Hebrœorum, Halle, 1721; J. Basnage, Histoire de la religion des Juifs, vol. iii., Rotterdam, 1707-11; J. F. Kleuker, Ueber die Natur und den Ursprung der Emanationslehre bei den Kabbalisten, Riga, 1786; F. A. Tholuck, De ortu Cabbalœ, vol. i., Hamburg, 1837. Of later literature the following are suggested as worthy of study: A. Jellinek, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Kabbala, 2 vols., Leipsic, 1852 (of great value) idem, Auswahl kabbalistischer Mystik, ib. 1853; J. W. Etheridge, Jerusalem and Tiberias, Sora and Cordova, London, 1856; S. Munk, Mélanges de philosophie juive et arabe, pp. 461-511, Paris, 1857; G. des Moueseaux, Le Juif, pp. 509 sqq., ib. 1869; C. Siegfried, Philo . . . als Ausleger des Alten Testaments, Jena, 1872; F. Ueberweg, History of Philosophy, i, 417, New York, 1876; F. Weber, System der altsynagogalen palästinischen Theologie, Leipsic, 1880; L. Wogue, Historie de l'éxègese biblique, Paris, 1881; Die Kabbala, Ihre Hauptlehre, Innsbruck, 1885; Simeon ben Yochai, Kabbala denudata. Kabbalah Unveiled, London, 1887; I. Meyer, Qabbalah; Philosophical Writings of Solomon . . . Gebirol or Avicebron and their Connection with the Hebrew Qabbalah, Philadelphia, 1888; P. Bloch, Geschichte der Entwickelung der Kabbala, Trier, 1894; J. Hamburger, Real-Encyklopädie für Bibel und Talmud, Leipsic, 1896-1901; The Canon; an Exposition of the Pagan Mystery Perpetuated in the Cabala, London, 1897; M. Mielziner, Introduction to the Talmud, Cincinnati, 1897; J. H. Weldon, The Cabbala of the Bible, 1897-1900; C. A. Briggs, Study of Holy Scripture, chap. xviii., New York, 1899; W. Begley, Biblia cabalistica, London, 1903; E. Bischoff, De Kabbala Inleiding tot de joodsche mystick, Amsterdam, 1906; S. A. Binion, The Kabbalah, in World's Best Literature, ed. C. D. Warner, pp. 8425-42; JE, iii, 456-479, where other literature is mentioned. At the head of the article in Hauck-Herzog, RE is a very full list of works, including periodical literature.


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