Along the Path

Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics

By Elliot R. Wolfson

Subjects: Jewish Mysticism
Paperback : 9780791424087, 298 pages, July 1995
Hardcover : 9780791424070, 298 pages, July 1995

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Table of contents


1. The Image of Jacob Engraved upon the Throne: Further Reflection on the Esoteric Doctrine of the German Pietists

2. The Tree That Is All: Jewish-Christian Roots of a Kabbalistic Symbol in Sefer ha-Bahir

3. Walking as a Sacred Duty: Theological Transformation of Social Reality in Early Hasidism


Bibliography of Secondary Sources



This book explores the fundamental issues in Jewish mysticism and provides a taxonomy of the deep structures of thought that emerge from the texts.

Elliot R. Wolfson is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. He is the author of The Book of the Pomegranate: Moses de León's Sefer ha-Rimmon; Through A Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism; and Circle in the Square: Studies in the Use of Gender in Kabbalistic Symbolism, also published by SUNY Press.


"This book demonstrates the complexity of Jewish mysticism in the history of religions. The author provides a morphology of the deep structures of thought that emerge from the basic texts of Jewish mysticism. Combining the most sophisticated philological and phenomenological methods, he explores fundamental issues.

"The author offers many contributions to a variety of topics in Jewish mysticism. Each chapter stands by itself, but the whole book has a unified hermeneutical approach." — Moshe Idel, Hebrew University

"Wolfson is one of the most astute interpreters of kabbalistic sources. I was struck, first, by the precision and care with which he analyzes the primary sources, and second, by the tremendous insight with which he explores familiar concepts and leads the reader to re-envision the material in nuanced, subtle ways. This book brings to light hitherto unexpected connections among a variety of symbolic complexes." — Barbara A. Holdrege, University of California, Santa Barbara