The New Kabbalah is a
philosophy and Jewish theology grounded in the union between traditional
Jewish mysticism and modern rational thought. Rooted in the visionary mythos
of Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534-72), and interpreted through such modern and
postmodern thinkers as Freud, Jung, Hegel, Wittgenstein and Derrida, the New
Kabbalah seeks to uncover and further develop the philosophical and
psychological significance of Kabbalistic symbols and ideas. In addition, the
New Kabbalah is enriched by comparative studies and dialog between Jewish mysticism
and other religious and philosophical traditions, including Hinduism,
Buddhism, Platonism, and Gnosticism. The New Kabbalah is born out of the
conviction that the theosophical system of Luria and his followers promotes
an open economy of thought, dialog and criticism, while at the same time
providing a comprehensive account of the world and humanity's role within it
that is intellectually, morally and spiritually vital for us today.
The New Kabbalah seeks to
build upon the recent explosion in contemporary Kabbalah scholarship by
formulating a Kabbalistic approach to philosophy, theology and psychology.
The New Kabbalah is open, multi-perspectival and pluralistic, and while it is
rooted firmly in Judaism, it seeks dialog, participation and constructive
criticism from those of all backgrounds and disciplines. This site is not
affiliated with any "movement," but seeks to promote respectful
dialog across the full spectrum of Jewish affiliation and non-affiliation.
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All material on New
Kabbalah website (c)2000 by
for An Interview with Sanford Drob on Kabbalah
and Psychotherapy. Click here for pdf version .
description of the Lurianic Kabbalah, with links providing interpretations of
key Lurianic symbols and ideas, and discussions of the relationship between
Jewish mysticism and various systems of ancient and modern thought.
Click here for pdf version
The author describes 19
Kabbalistic Ideas that form the foundation of his current thinking regarding
the New Kabbalah.
Symbols of the
Kabbalah: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (Jason Aronson, 2000).
Jewish Mystical Themes in Ancient and Modern Thought (Jason Aronson, 2000).
and Postmodernism: A Dialog (Peter
Visions: C.G. Jung and Jewish Mysticism (Spring Journal Books, 2010).
The above books serve as a
foundation for dialog regarding the New Kabbalah, and can be ordered on
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., as can the author’s latest book:
Click here for REVIEWS of Dr. Drob's books
on the New Kabbalah.
Drob’s oil paintings, “The Expulsion,” “The Sacrifice” and “The Accusation”
which together form “The
(In)humanity Triptych,” re-envision three biblical narratives; the Expulsion from Eden,
the Sacrifice of Noah, and Esther’s Accusation of Haman, through the lens of
the Holocaust. These narratives are understood
by the artist to represent the Kabbalistic themes of exile, rupture and
The Expulsion by Sanford Drob, Oil on Linen, 28” x 32”
An interview with the
author, which appears in the December, 2000 issue of the Jewish Book News.
Click here for full pdf version
Send Email to the author or
post your own views, constructive criticism, or ideas pertaining to the
themes discussed on this website and related publications.
Some ideas for
collaborations on new projects relevant to the New Kabbalah.
and work in progress pertaining to the author's research on Carl Gustav Jung
and Jewish Mysticism.
A brief biographical sketch
of Sanford Drob. Information regarding Dr. Drob's Lectures and Workshops.
Links to other
websites relevant to the New Kabbalah.
(Journal of Jungian Theory
and Practice, Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp
Jung’s 1944 Kabbalistic
Visions, which he described as “the most tremendous things I have ever
experienced”, are discussed against
the background of Jung’s earlier provocative remarks about Jewish psychology
and National Socialism, Jung’s attitude towards the Jewish sources of his own
theories, Jung’s interest in Jewish mysticism, and from the perspective
of both Jungian and Kabbalistic dream theory
I myself was, so it seemed, in the Pardes
Rimmonim, the garden of pomegranates, and the
wedding of Tifereth with Malchuth
was taking place. Or else I was Rabbi
Simon ben Jochai, whose wedding in the afterlife
was being celebrated. It was the
mystic marriage as it appears in the Cabbalistic tradition. I cannot tell you how wonderful it
was. I could only think continually,
“Now this is the garden of pomegranates! Now this is the marriage of Malchuth with Tifereth!” I do not know exactly what part I played in
it. At bottom it was I myself: I was
the marriage. And my beatitude was that of a blissful wedding (C. G. Jung,
Memories, dreams, reflections (A. Jaffe, Ed.).
The author discusses the
role of the opposites in Jewish mysticism, considers the Kabbalistic notion
that the divine is the union of all contraries, and argues that the Jewish
Mysticism points to a way of thinking that permits one to embrace even ideas
and perspectives that appear to contradict one another (e.g. that God created
humanity and that humanity creates God).
Drob: A Rational Mystical Ascent the author makes use of the notion
of coincidentia oppositorum
to develop the theme of a rational-mystical ascent to the absolute.
Click here for pdf
Those interested in how an
application of the coincidentia oppositorum
idea to the problem of arriving at a comprehensive understanding of the human
psyche are directed to: S. Drob: Fragmentation In Contemporary Psychology: A
Click here for pdf
The author discusses the
multi-paradigmatic state of contemporary psychology and offers a dialectical
solution inspired by his study of Hegelian philosophy and the history of
Readers may also be
interested in: S. Drob: The Dilemma of Contemporary Psychiatry, which
also explores the fragmentation and multi-paradigmatic state of psychiatry
and clinical psychology.
Click here for pdf version
The author treats the “simulation hypothesis”
(the idea that we may be living in a simulated computer “matrix”) as a
thought experiment, and argues that this experiment provides us with a new
and powerful method for adjudicating between contrasting views in philosophy
and theology—views pertaining to the essential nature of “reality,” the place
of values in the cosmos, and the nature of any “God” or “Absolute” that we
posit as inhering within or creating the universe. The argument suggests that
axiology and ethics is more basic than ontology and that the Kabbalist’s “Ein-sof” is a philosophically adequate conception of the
The major symbols of the Lurianic
Kabbalah are examined from both theological and psychological points of view.
It is argued that these symbols provide the basis for a conception of God
that is spiritually and psychologically meaningful, while at the same time
suggestive of, and fully compatible with, the open-ended, diverse, and
multicultural mode of experience and understanding that is often thought to
herald the demise of faith and provide the basis for an atheistic critique of
religion. The Lurianic symbols are shown to reflect a form of consciousness
and a conception of divinity that is characterized by “unknowing,” diverse
perspectives, multiple interpretations, the deconstruction of dogma, the
potential revision of all ideas, the interdependence of contrasting beliefs
and attitudes, and the celebration of diversity and difference. The author
continues the process, begun by Jung, of rethinking the meaning, function,
and experience of religious symbolism in the context of modern and postmodern
sensibilities, and in the wake of the declaration of the death of God and the
loss of meaning of religious myths and symbols.
How the Kabbalistic
conception of the Absolute (Ein-sof) must lead us to a conception of the
divine and religion in general that is entirely free of dogma.
Contemporary scholarship on
the Kabbalah has focused considerable attention on the Kabbalist's views of
language and interpretation. One reason for this is, as Moshe Idel and others have observed, is that there is an
important affinity between the Kabbalistic conception of infinite layers of
meaning in scripture and contemporary philosophical ideas regarding the
infinite interpretability of both texts and the world. In this essay the
author shows how a careful consideration of Kabbalistic notions of
"infinite interpretation" can not only lead to a new understanding
of the relevance of Kabbalah to contemporary thought, but also to a radical
new understanding of the Kabbalah's attitude toward "Torah" and
Dialog on the Kabbalistic
significance of wearing a red string that has been tied around the tomb of
Dialog on the Kabbalistic Kabbalistic equation of Ein-sof
with "Nothingness" and the problem of creation out of nothingness.
Click here for pdf version
The author shows how the
Lurianic metaphors of Ayin, Ein-sof,
Tzimtzum, Sefirot, Shevirah, and Tikkun, provide
an account of both human and divine creativity and language.
The author is in the
process of developing a New Kabbalistic "Tree of Life" which
interprets Isaac Luria's theosophical system from an axiological point of
view. Each branch or "leaf" on the "Tree of Life"
represents a value that is implicit in Luria's theosophy. The values are
depicted in the opening table/tree and the author's detailed explanations
will appear as notes below.
Click here for New Kabbalah discussion of the World Trade
Center and Pentagon Terrorist Attacks (Posted
Sanford L. Drob, Ph.D. is on the Faculty of the doctorate
program in Clinical Psychology at