Kabbal-huh? Questions On Jewish Mysticism

Pax Christi, everybody!

Regarding Kabbalah, I have three questions:

1.) Dr. William Dever has made the assertion that in Kabbalah, The Shekinah has sex with Yahweh during a certain ritual, as recorded in The Zohar. He equates this with the ancient Israelite Yahwist belief in a consort deity. Is his assessment on the Kabbalistic relationship between The Shekinah and God Himself accurate; what does The Zohar say on this matter?

2.) It seems to me like God does an awful lot of emanating in this Judaism; is it safe to say there was a Gnostic influence in the theology’s development?

3.) How old is Kabbalah; does it go back to The Second Temple Period?


Link, reference on Mark Dever on that? Can’t find any. The Midianite-Hebrew Yahweh is conflated with the Amorite-Hittite-Canaanite El who was extremely fertile with Asherah, a corrupting influence extirpated from Hebrew monotheism. The echo is seen by fringe Christians in Davening.

1 Like

(3) What we know as Kabbalah today started in 13th century Spain with Rav Isaac Luria.
(1) If you’re looking for someone in a relationship with “Yahweh,”, I recommend proverbs 3:19; there is a school of thought that has Chachmah (wisdom) as a personification, and that she was the project manager for creation This is to say that a female entity had a relationship with the big guy and was necessary for creation. Do I believe that? I don’t know. But I liked the idea so much that I made her (Chachmah as Sophia (wisdom in Greek) the narrator of my novel Scapegoats: The Goat Protocols about how the scapegoats’ in Leviticus decide to form a union to deal with the excessive load of sin they are forced to bear.
(2) It’s really people who are doing the emanating

BTW I hope y’all know that the study of Kabballah can be dangerous unless you are over 40, married, and have children.

1 Like

Welcome to the forum, Andrew, and thanks for your response!

What do you mean by people emanating? Is there a pantheistic or panentheistic belief in Kabballah? And as for the “second power”, do you think this came from the belief in a consort deity, as many Israelites believed in before The Exile, Greek philosophy, or is this the mystical endpoint of the concept of an all-encompassing and mysterious being?

Also, a novel… bully for you!

When i say the people are doing the emanating, I mean they’re making stuff up. There was no TV or internet back then, and engaging in stitching this piece of the Talmud to that piece of something else and coming up with something interesting was big juice. The Guys who did that the best got to be considered Gaonim, geniuses. My very limited area in Talmud study involved Exodus 23 1, the part about spreading gossip. My day job is fraud investigator, and the Talmudic explication of those verses gave me all I needed to conduct my investigations fairly. So, a guy named Chofetz Chaim was the gaon for that. He was emenating, and his work was widely acepted.

1 Like

Oh okay. Thanks for your clarification!

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.