Zoharitic hints at the historical development of the Sefirot


  • Elliot B Gertel Congregation Rodfei Zedek Author




Zoharitic literature, Sefi rot, Kabbalistic doctrine


Citing references in the Zoharitic literature (compiled in the late thirteenth century) to the historical development of the Kabbalistic doctrine of the Sefirot (Divine Emanations), I argue that these references indicate historical consciousness on the part of the Kabbalists that pre-dates the nineteenth century historians of the Wissenschaft des Judentums. These references may also be indicative of a process of debate and of refinement of that doctrine, as well as an eff ort to shield this process from Jewish and Christian critics by camouflaging it under general discussions of the Shem Hameforash, the Ineffable Divine Name, a term that in and of itself was a lightening rod to some critics, who would have associated it with magic and superstition.


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How to Cite

Gertel, E. B. (2006). Zoharitic hints at the historical development of the Sefirot. Religious Studies and Theology, 25(2), 125-136. https://doi.org/10.1558/rsth.2006.25.2.125