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Kabbalah

 

A course on Jewish meditation and mysticism given in a synagogue or a Jewish cultural setting. It consists of using yoga postures together with yoga breathing in relation to the "sefirot" - described by Aryeh Kaplan in his book "Jewish Meditation" and Daniel Matt in "Essential Kabbalah". These sessions are held occasionally at the Bristol and West Progressive Jewish Congregation Synagogue and at Limmud Conference, Birmingham.

 

KABBALAH AND YOGA AS "BRICOLAGE": TIKKUN OLAM - THE CREATION OF IDENTITY IN A WORLD OF MEANING

Michael Picardie

Why should we practice yoga and Kabbalah together?

In the Kabbalistic philosophy taught by Moshe Cordevero and Isaac Luria in 16th century Safed - Tsfat - in the Palestine of the Ottoman Empire : the purpose of Kabbalah was tikkun olam - the repair of the world.

This is only fully possible if you believe, as the Safed Kabbalists did, that the mitzvah, the good deed, carried out in the spirit of the Shekhina, the holy presence, embodies wisdom in this world, a wisdom which also repairs and perfects the world to come. ...

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ADOM OLAM: THE IMPACT OF RECONSTRUCTIONIST JUDAISM AND EXISTENTIALISM ON RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND PRACTICE

Michael Picardie.

Mordecai Kaplan in his books Judaism as a Civilization (1934) and Questions Jews Ask: Reconstructionist Answers (1956) portrays Judaism as a culture retaining a great heritage of pre-modern answers to perennial questions such as the existence and characteristics of God. The advent of science and technology above all Darwin's theory of evolution, the astrophysics of an expanding universe originating in the big-bang of 10-15 thousand million years ago, perhaps out of a singularity caused by the contraction of the same universe, and its eternal oscillation (Hawking 2001: pp 86-87) and the modernist response of alienation were anticipated by the greatest pre-modern thinker in Judaism Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon in 11th and 12th century Spain and later in Egypt for whom ancient Greek science presented the same problem as modernity does for the contemporary Jew. In Adon Olam we have both a joyful hymn of affirmation at the end of the service, and the same words repeated tunelessly in the "chamber of the dying." The song which may have been composed by Solomon Ibn Gabirol in 11th century Spain expresses a post-Biblical lyricism and a classical concern with ontology, the study of Being and beings in relation to Being: its answer is God....

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