From Lurianic Kabbalah to Hasidism

Yoram Jacobson


The purpose of this book is to arouse the interest of the reader in the great spiritual movements which prevailed in the House of Israel, and even shook it violently from time to time, during the five-hundred years of its recent history, from the expulsion of the Jews from Spain: Lurianic Kabbalah, Shabbatean Messianism, and the Hasidic movement founded by the Baal Shem Tov. These movements are of major importance, not only in the field of abstract contemplation, but also in the arena of historical action. They exercised a decisive influence on the history of the people of Israel during the many generations which have elapsed since the destruction of the great Jewish community in Spain. Their repercussions are still to be discerned even in the last few generations – and in our own age – as we hear their echoes in the controversies which are still raging as to the spiritual character, the aims and the ideals of a nation that is still fighting against many odds to make its revival a living reality.

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