Section 4: Reading Material
The following list contains books which are representative of both Jewish and
non-Jewish traditions. There are books which are utterly fanciful or derivative which have
not been included.
Many books have not been included simply because no one has suggested that they should.
If you feel strongly that a book should be included in this list then mail its details and
some (relatively) factual comments on its contents to email@example.com I'd like to
thank the following for their contributions:
- Le Grand Cinq Mars
- Greg Burton
- Bar Zadok, R. Ariel, "Yikrah B'Shmi (Call Upon My Name)", Yeshivat
- Merkabah practices
- Bischoff, Erich, "Kabbala", Weiser
- An interesting and generally well-informed little book written as an extended FAQ.
Refers only to traditional Jewish material. Originally published in German c. 1910
- Brown, Francis, "The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English
Lexicon", Hendrickson 1979
- The last word in Biblical Hebrew. Amaze and astound your friends with each and every
usage of every word in the Bible. Hold an audience entranced with your knowledge of
Arabic, Aramaic, Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, and Greek referents
- Crowley, Aleister, "777", Metaphysical Research Group 1977
- Tables of Kabbalistic correspondences, some from the Golden Dawn, some from Crowley,
- Epstein, Perle, "Kabbalah", Shambhala 1978
- Information on traditional Jewish Kabbalah by a student of Aryeh Kaplan. It contains
many biographical details, and useful information on practical techniques.
- Fortune, Dion, "The Mystical Qabalah", Ernest Benn Ltd, 1979
- One of the first books to relate the Sephirothic Tree to everyday experience, and for
this reason a useful beginners' book. It contains many digressions on matters circa 1930
which now appear extremely dated. Dion Fortune was strongly influenced by Theosophy and
Esoteric Christianity as well as Kabbalah, and it shows.
- Gikatilla, R. Joseph, "Sha'are Orah", Harper Collins, 1994
- The Gates of Light by Joseph of Castille is one of the great expositions of
Kabbalah, written in the thirteenth century by a pupil of Abraham Abulafia. Because of its
early translation into Latin it is also one of a small number of texts to exert a strong
influence on Christian Kabbalah. It provides an exposition on the divine names through the
10 sephiroth and is exceedingly heavy going. This translation lacks a commentary.
- haLevi, Ze'v ben Shimon, "Kabbalah & Exodus", "Work
of the Kabbalist", "School of Kabbalah",Weiser ???
- Good non-technical material - though he has an aversion to magick. A sort of
inbetweener - Wesoteric and Jewish. Very practical material for the sincere beginner.
- Locks, Gutman G., "Gematria, Spice of Torah",Judaica Press,??
- Gematria values for the Torah - the real thing
- Idel, Moshe, "Kabbalah: New Directions", Yale University Press
- Outstanding scholarship - a MUST read for theoretical background, and to put Scholem
- Idel, Moshe, "Ecstatic Kabbalah", Yale, ???
- Outstanding scholarship - a MUST read for understanding the work of Abraham Abulafia.
- Jacobs, Louis, "The Jewish Mystics", Kyle Cathie Ltd. 1990 (also
published in the US as "Jewish Mystical Testimonies"
- A fascinating compilation of texts spanning the history of Kabbalah from the earliest
times, an eclectic mixture which includes extracts from the Talmud and Zohar, letters,
personal diaries, legend, short lectures, visions, mystical experiences etc.
- Kaplan, Aryeh, "The Bahir Illumination", Weiser 1989
- A key Kabbalistic source text with an extensive and informed commentary by Kaplan
- Kaplan, Aryeh, "Meditation and Kabbalah", Weiser 1992
- Essential reading for the experienced Kabbalist. Not an introductory text. Many
biographical and historical details worth reading for their own sake.
- Kaplan, Aryeh, "The Sepher Yetzirah", Weiser 1991
- A key Kabbalistic source text with an extensive and informed commentary by Kaplan.
- Kaplan, Aryeh, "The Living Torah", Moznaim 1981
- A key Kabbalistic source text with an informed commentary by Kaplan. Contains both
Kaplan's translation and the Hebrew source text of the five books of Moses.
- Kaplan, R. Aryeh, "Innerspace", Moznaim, 4304 12th Ave. Brooklyn,
- Superb Introduction
- Kaplan, R. Aryeh, "Jewish Meditation", Weiser ???
- Introductory practices - can be used before "Meditation and Kabbalah"
or "Meditation and the Bible".
- Knight, Gareth, "A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism", Vols
1 & 2, Helios 1972
- Volume 1 provides an introduction to the Tree of Life and the sephiroth, and follows
the correspondences of the Golden Dawn and Dion Fortune. Volume 2 covers the paths on the
Tree, draws on the same basic correspondences, but contains more personal meditational
material. At the level of a personal commentary it provides many insights into the G.D.
- Levi, Eliphas, "Transcendental Magic", Rider, 1969
- A key text by an important and influential magician. Levi's factual information should
not be taken at face value
- Mathers, S. L., "The Kabbalah Unveiled", Routledge & Kegan
- A translation of a translation of three texts from the "Zohar", with an
introduction by both Moina and Samuel Liddel Mathers, which is interesting not only for
what it says about Kabbalah but also as a source of insight into two key members of the
Order of the Golden Dawn.
- Mathers, S. L., "The Key of Solomon the King", Routledge &
- Classic magical grimoire with a Kabbalistic flavour.
- Mathers, S. L., "The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage",
- The authenticity of this text has been questioned, but its influence on 20th. century
magic and practical Kabbalah cannot be. It may be based on an authentic technique for
acquiring a "Maggid" or angelic teacher, something widely employed by Jewish
Kabbalists in the past.
- Ponce, Charles, "Kabbalah", Garnstone Press, 1974
- A straightforward and not too fanciful introduction to Kabbalah with a Jewish flavour.
A good all-round introduction.
- Regardie, I., "The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic", Falcon
- Essential reading for anyone interested in the development of non- Jewish,
"Hermetic" Kabbalah this century.
- Schachter, R. Zalman, "Fragments of a Future Scroll" (out of
- Introduction to Jewish Renewal, which includes a great deal of kabbalistic
- Scheinkin, David, "Path of Kabbalah", Shambala ???
- Excellent introduction by another student of Kaplan's. A great one to read first
- Scholem, Gershom G. "Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism", Schoken
- This is the seminal work by the founder of 20th. century Kabbalah scholarship. Scholem
is a writer who can transform difficult topics by writing with great clarity and beauty,
and his extraordinary erudition makes him essential reading for anyone with an interest in
the historical basis for Kabbalah.
- Scholem, Gershom G., "Origins of the Kabbalah", Princton 1990
- Traces the origins of Kabbalistic thought through the book "Bahir", the
Kabbalists of Provence, and the Kabbalistic circle of Gerona. Gripping stuff for the
academically and historically minded
- Scholem, Gershom G. "Kabbalah", Dorset Press 1974
- I believe this is a compilation of essays, combined with articles written for the
Encylopedia Judaica. Good for its breadth and its biographical information. Essential
reading for anyone with an interest in the historical basis for Kabbalah.
- Scholem, Gershom G. "Sabbatai Tzevi, The Mystical Messiah",
Princeton University Press 1973.
- A massive, minutely researched book describing the lives and heresies of Sabbatai Tzevi
and Nathan of Gaza. A good source of information on Nathan's unusual and highly
influential version of Lurianic Kabbalah
- Scholem, Gershom G. "Kabbalah and its Symbolism", Schocken 1969.
- A selection of very readable essays on a wide variety of topics, including Kabbalistic
ritual and the idea of the Golem
- Scholem, Gershom G. "On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead",
- More deeply researched essays on the Kabbalah, including as topics good and evil, the
Shekhinah, the transmigration of souls, and the astral body.
- Simon, Maurice & Sperling, Harry, "The Zohar", Bennet 1959
(also recently reprinted by Soncino)
- A translation a major part of a key Kabbalistic text. Oh, that Kaplan had lived long
enough to translate The Zohar! You might be better with Tishby's superb anthology of Zohar
texts and extensive commentaries
- Suares, Carlos, "The Quabala Trilogy",Shambala,??
- Heavy going, but it can give you a good sense of what's going on kabbalisticly in the
Torah from a gematria perspective.
- Tishby, Isaiah, & Lachower, Yeruham Fishel, "The Wisdom of the Zohar"
Oxford University Press 1989
- An anthology of texts systematically arranged and rendered into Hebrew by Fischel
Lachower and Isaiah Tishby ; with extensive introductions and explanations by Isaiah
Tishby; English translation by David Goldstein. An expensive three volume set which
contains a definitive translation of large parts of the Zohar, the texts arranged by
subject matter and greatly clarified by a voluminous commentary and extensive footnotes.
An essential text.
- Waite, A.E., "The Holy Kabbalah", Citadel
- A large volume on Kabbalah by a key member of the Golden Dawn, greatly diminished by
Waite's verbose and circumlocutious writing style. Scholem thought this book was the best
example of Kabbalistic commentary in the Hermetic camp, but personally I find Arthwaite's
prose style about as attractive as a patent attorney's love letters.
- Zalewski, Pat, "Golden Dawn Kabbalah", Llewellyn, 1993
- Very good exposition of additional Golden Dawn material, and some interesting thoughts
Section 5: Information Available on the Internet
- FTP Sites:
- ftp.funet.fi has an ftp archive on various occult and magical topics. Some material on
Kabbalah can be found in
- Ceci Heningsson (firstname.lastname@example.org) has created an ftp archive of magical and occult
material which is available via anonymous ftp to pub/magick on ftp.lysator.liu.se.
- rtfm.mit.edu has an archive from soc.culture.jewish in pub/usenet/news.answers/judaism.
A very useful reading list for Jewish Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism can be found in
- Shawn Clayton Knight's WWW page is very good and references many other WWW pages on
- Usenet Newsgroups:
- Useful information and discussion on Jewish sources and Judaism in general can be found
in soc.culture.jewish Information and discussion on Kabbalah as a part of the framework
for modern (non-Jewish) ritual or ceremonial magic can be found in alt.magick, a site
which was once very active but which has become a haven for Bible-Thumping cross-posts and
individuals who have opinions on every subject under the sun, and a burning desire to air