The New Kabbalah: Reviews of books by Dr. Sanford L. Drob.

The following Reviews by Dr. F. J. Weissman appeared in the Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter:

ADrob, Sanford L. Symbols of the Kabbalah: Philosophical and psychological Perspectives. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 2000. 464 p. $40.00 (ISBN 0-7657-6126-2). Dr. Drob, a philosopher and psychologist, has written several articles about the kabbalah and a very important book, Kabbalistic Metaphors (Jason Aronson, 2000, see review, below), that deepens and extends the ideas found in Symbols of the Kabbalah. Truly an excellent introduction to the world of classical Jewish mysticism, Dr. Drob's work is based upon a profound study of kabbalistc texts and their great interpreters. Certainly, Dr. Drob's project, the "new kabbalah", is not some light weight effort to turn Jewish mysticism into the magical potion of a New Age self-help book. On the contrary, the present book is an excellent preparatory study of kabbalah in our daily life, helping the reader grasp its philosophical and psychological aspects.

Dr. Drob's knowledge of existing scholarship in his subject area is remarkable and introduces the reader to a broad spectrum of philosophical approaches, from Hassidism to German idealism, from Lurianic kabbalah to psychoanalysis. The book's style is readable and clear, which is especially helpful considering the deep and abstruse nature of the subject. In providing a synthesis of major Kabbalistic themes, from the Ein-Sof (Infinite-Absolute God) through the tzimtzum (the meaning of creation) on to tikkun olam (restoration of the world), this book presents a whole, unifying concept of the human being, God, and the cosmos. In German we would call it an authentic Weltanschauung, a unique, insightful world view concerning the origin, essence and purpose of finite and infinite being.

Dr. F.J. Weissman, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Symbols of the Kabbalah can be ordered from Jason Aronson Inc., 230 Livingston Street, Northvale, New Jersey 07647 (1-800-782-0015) or by calling toll free 1-800-782-0015. If not available from the publisher you can try Barnes and Noble (type in "Drob" under author search criteria).

ADrob, Sanford, L. Kabbalistic Metaphors: Jewish Mystical Themes in Ancient and Modern Thought. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 2000. 367 p. $40.00 (ISBM 0-7-7657-6125-4).

Dr. Sanford L. Drob is a philosopher and psychologist engaged in a lively exposition of "new Kabbalah" that is, a reformulation of the classical trends of Jewish mysticism that aims at a fresh, updated dialogue incorporating contemporary ideas and concerns. Based upon a strong knowledge of the traditional texts and their major exegetes (such as Gershom Scholem, Moseh Idel, Arthur Green, and Eliott Wolfson), new kabbalah links those texts with modern and postmodern thought, allowing a fascinating comparative approach. Thus we are introduced to Indian philosophy, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism, as well as thinkers such as Hegel, Freud and Jung. Dr. Drob's research stresses the central place of Lurianic kabbalah but also recognizes the uniqueness of classical kabbalah and its deep interplay with systems of thought as complex as the Indian, Gnostic, and Platonic. Dr. Drob, a trained psychologist with a solid philosophical background, is well versed in the rich intricacies of Jewish mysticism and therefore highly qualified to present this text on the new kabbalah.

Dr. F.J. Weissman, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Kabbalistic Metaphors can be ordered from Jason Aronson Inc., 230 Livingston Street, Northvale, New Jersey 07647 (1-800-782-0015) or from Barnes and Noble or other web booksellers at Alta Vista Comparison Shop.

Together, Symbols of the Kabbalah and Kabbalistic Metaphors provide a foundation for discussion on this website and elsewhere regarding the New Kabbalah.

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All original material on New Kabbalah website (c) Sanford L. Drob, 2001. Reviews (c) Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter.

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