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Describe the early development of Jewish Mysticism.

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Adele Cotterell R.S. Essay (Jewish mysticism) 1) Describe the early development of Jewish Mysticism (15) Many great scholars have defined mysticism as "Something that has direct spiritual influence". What this essay will hopefully betray is how this spiritual power has influenced the Jewish religion and how it has developed over the years. The word Mysticism comes from the Hebrew word muein, which means to close the lips or eyes - this initiates that the secret cults were instructed to keep silent about what they experienced. The aim of mysticism is to attain a partnership with the Divine. Within Judaism the mystic is understood as one who seeks to gain an experience with God. Religions world wide have long histories of mysticism and Judaism is no exception, in fact during the almost constant persecution of the Jews in the middle ages they had more reason than most to find some form of spiritual escape. Over the centuries a body of work has built up around mysticism, it's now known as the Kabbalah (traditional knowledge). ...read more.


According to Kabbalists God created the universe with letters of the Hebrew alphabet together with 10 divine emanations, they go on to explain how the individual, world and time are linked through the process of creation by means of the Hebrew alphabet. The Hasid (pios men of Germany, and Eastern Europe, to be a Hasid was a religious ideal) was perceived as capable of mastering magical powers. The writings of Eleazar Ben Judah of Worms for example found tracks on magic and the effectiveness of God's secret names as well as recipes for creating the Golem (an artificial man) through letter manipulation. Kabblists explain that the Torah has a deeper, spiritual meaning to those who can understand it. One great Kabblist ibn Latif states: "Kabbalah was superior to philosophy, - the highest intellect understanding reaching only the 'back' of the Divine whereas the 'face' was disclosed only in supra-intellectual ecstasy. True prayer led to communion with the active intellect, and then to union of the active intellect with the first created thing" Jewish mystics believe that the domains of good and evil are intermingled and it is the individuals duty to separate them. ...read more.


what some would regarded as fairy tales, technology and science has moved on from the times that mysticism was founded and some people have the attitude that if you don't see it, it cannot exist. The legend of the Golem may seem far fetched to most, and it cannot go to vouch for any "use" to the modern world and the new generation. However, most of us wouldn't have seen �9000 all in crisp 10 pound notes, but that doesn't go to say that it doesn't exist, and that others wouldn't have seen it. Sometimes it helps to have a little belief in what others have witnessed or claim to witness. In conclusion, Jewish mysticism has developed over the years like Chinese whispers because the stories "Spiritual encounters" were not written down for centuries and only known by an "elect" it is difficult to believe weather there is any truth in these experiences. However just because some people do not believe, it is true that each story has a moral encounter to strengthen their connection to God. ...read more.

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