Friday, June 17, 2011

Major Events in Jewish Mysticism

Major Events in Jewish Mysticism
Year in BCE or CE

700 BCE
The Torah rediscovered by Josiah, King of Judah in Solomon's Temple.

6th century BCE- 1 CE
Second Temple period, first mystical beliefs formed under the name "Work of the Chariot" based on Ezekiel's vision of G-d's chariot.

5th Century BCE
Square Script adapted as preferred script for the writing of Torah scrolls.

200 BCE
Mystic scholars live in Qumran, which is now Jordon.

1 CE
Mystic tradition largely focuses on visionary experiences from the Hebrew Bible.

2 CE
Rabbi Akiva and his successor Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai have written treatise.
5th Century CE Rediscovery of Sefer ha Yetzirah, The Book of Creation legend says it was written by Abraham.

6th century CE
Rabbi Akiva's followers continue to study mystic tradition, including the model for the four rabbis who experienced the divine while living

939-1038 CE
Emphasis on out of body experiences according to the school of Hai Gaon. Unlike Akiva they focused on altered mental state.

11th Century
Solomon Ibn Gabirol names the tradition Kabbalah, Bachaya ben Joseph Ibn Pakuda writes The Book of Directions to the Duties of the Heart, believes in then "gates" of seeking G-d.

Spanish Kabbalist Moses de Leon brings the ancient traditions together with the current and creates The Zoharor Book of Splendor

13th century
Abraham Abulafia, a radical Kabbalist opens the practice to include Jewish women and gentiles. Considered precursor to "liberal" Kabbalah

15th-16th century
Kabbalists settle in Sefed, the Holy Land, calling themselves Chevarim (friends) under the leadership of Moses Cordovero

Kabbalah reaches its peak under the leadership of Isaac Luria, called the Ari (Lion). He devised a set of group meditations including instruction for breathing.

I used a variety of resources to put this timeline together. If you are interested, send me a message and I can give you a list of some of the probable ones I used. This was compiled about five years ago

Note: BCE=Before Common Era (scholarly form of BC)
CE=Common Era (scholarly for AD)

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