The Doctrine of Evil in Lurianic Kabbalah by Isaiah Tishby
The profound and influential thought of Isaac Luria (1534-1572) has shaped all kabbalistic output of the last four hundred years as well as numerous other theological directions within historical and contemporary Judaism. Luria himself wrote very little, and his highly complex teachings are presented through the obscure and difficult writings of his disciples. This book, cited by every significant bibliography in kabbalistic scholarship, is the first and only comprehensive work ever to provide a definitive description of Lurianic kabbalah. Working with an immense range of texts, Isaiah Tishby approached his discussion from one specific angle — the problem of evil. Tishby demonstrates that Luria’s unique contribution to theodicy was to indicate that the source of evil is the result of a profound catastrophe that takes place deep within the Godhead itself. This idea is consistent with ancient gnostic themes but is reinterpreted by Luria to provide a uniquely Jewish response to the problem of evil. This is the first ever translation of the work into English, and represents a valuable contribution to the world of Jewish scholarship.