the title of the celebrated system of religious philosophy, or more properly theosophy, which has played so important a part in the theological and exegetical literature of both Jews and Christians ever since the Middle Ages. SEE PHILOSOPHY. The following account of it is partly compiled from Herzog's Real-Encylclopadie.
I. The Name. — KABBALA (from the Hebrews קִבָּלָה Kabbala' the received), properly denotes reception, then a doctrine received by oral tradition. The term is thus in itself nearly equivalent to ""transmission," like the Latin traditio-Massora, for which last, indeed, the Talmud makes it interchangeable in the statement, "Moses received (קַבֵּל) the Law of Mount Sinai, and transmitted (מָסִר) it to Joshua." The difference between it, however, and the word מִסּוֹרָה (from מָסִר, to deliver) is, that the former expresses the act of receiving, while the latter denotes the act of giving over, surrendering, transmitting. The Cabala is also called by some חָכמָה נַסתּרָה, secret wisdom, because it pretends to be a very ancient and secret tradition, and ן"ִח, grace, from the initials of these two words.
The term Kabbalah is employed in the Jewish writings to denote several traditional doctrines; as, for example, that which constituted the creed of the patriarchal age before the giving of the law; that unwritten ritual interpretation which the Jews believe was revealed by God to Moses on the mount, and which was at length committed to writing and formed the Mishna. Besides being applied to these and other similar traditions, it has also been used in, comparatively speaking, modern times, to denote a singular mystic mode of interpreting the Old Testament.
We are reminded by this indefinite title that among the Jews, as throughout the greater part of the East, human knowledge, whether historical or scientific, rested principally on a sort of succession, and the best claim for its reception was an unbroken chain of traditionary evidence. Hence the care with which Judaism established the regular consecution of the sacred custodians of truth, from Moses through Joshua and the so-called greater prophets, thence through Ezra and "the Great Synagogue" to the teachers of later times, subdividing at length into the various schools or period of particular rabbis and their hereditary adherents. While, therefore, the truth was gradually exhibited in the writings of the Law, the Prophets, and the Talmud, the Cabala indicates the verbal exposition of these, orally transmitted along with them, and not generally known to the people, but containing a deeper or more thoroughly initiated style of instruction. It thus came ultimately to designate a particular theologico-philosophical system, that arose and established itself in the bosom of Judaism, yet in a measure independent of, or rather supplementary to it.
II. Original Documents. — Instruction in Judaism being principally verbal and founded on memory, its phases of development could necessarily leave but little mark on history; and as such a philosophy would thus naturally, in process of time, become a mystery, at least in the view of posterity, the origin and progress of the Cabala are yet largely matters of conjecture, and it is even a subject of scientific controversy whether in its speculative form it can be distinctly traced earlier than the Middle Ages, although its leading principles appear to have been derived from ancient documents, the nature of which is still very imperfectly understood, such as the so-called revelations of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Ezra, etc. SEE APOCRYPHA. The Talmud, indeed (both in the Mishna and Gemara of the tract Chagiga, passim), makes mention of a doctrine imparted only to a few carefully selected persons, and even applies to it certain fanciful names (drawn from the phraseology of Ge 1:1, and Eze 1:1), significant respectively of a speculative cosmology and a speculative theology; but it is uncertain whether these designate definite treatises, or, if so, whether these have in any identifiable form descended to modern times. The only works which can with any propriety claim to embody these earliest views are the following two, that became the acknowledged texts of the Cabala in the latter part of the Middle Ages; a third cabalistic treatise (called the סֵפֶר בָּחַיר, Sepher Bachir, or Choice Book), which is found in an edition of Amst. 1651, and attributed to a rabbi, Nechoniah Ben-Hakana, of the first century, has long ago been generally acknowledged to be fictitious, although a cabalistic work of the same title is mentioned as early as the fourteenth century.
The first of these is the Book of Creation (יצַירָה סֵפֶר, Sepher Yetsirah, often reprinted, as ed. Steph. Rittangel, Amst.1642, with a Latin translation and commentary; and the ed. of J.F. van Meyer, with a German translation and commentary, Leipz.1830,4to), ascribed to the renowned rabbi Akiba (A.D.120). It is a rather short treatise, in oracular sentences, the language of which, more obscure in import than in form, does not resemble the Hebrew of the Mishna. As a book of the same title appears to be already mentioned in the Gemara, where wonderful power is ascribed to it, and as R. Saadias is said to have commented upon it as early as the tenth century, it is certain that we can ascend to a considerable antiquity in tracing its authority. SEE JEZIRAH.
The other and more important cabalistic text is the celebrated Book of Light (סֵפֶר הִזּוהִר, Sepherhaz-Zohar, from Da 12:3), first printed at Cremona and Mantua in 1560, and since often reprinted, 'as at Sulzbach in 1684, fol., with various additions. Tradition ascribes this work to a contemporary of R. Akiba, namely, R. Simeon Ben Jochai, a teacher much praised in the Talmud for his great wisdom and legal knowledge, although nothing is there said directly of his writings. Incredulous criticism considers it as a production of the thirteenth century, the time of its first appearance in the history of literature, and ascribes it to a Spanish Jew, Moses of Leon. It appears, however, to be older than this, having probably originally appeared piecemeal in the East at intervals, the whole being completed in its present form about the eighth century. It includes certain special tracts or treatises, in which the author seems especially to develop his own sentiments, and which form, so to speak, the kernel of the science sought to be imparted. Three of these are designated by particular names (The Book of Confidence, and the Greater and Less Collections); the popular distinction made by the Jews, however, between a great and a small Zohar sometimes refers to the varying fullness of the editions merely. SEE ZOHAR.
III. Fundamental Doctrines. — These are somewhat differently expounded in the above-named books (to the separate articles on which the reader is therefore referred for full particulars), and most at large in the latter. The following, however, is a summary of the cabalistic views as expressed in the general writings of later authors of that school:
1. Nature of the Deity.— God is above everything, even above being and thinking. It cannot, therefore, be said of him that he has either a will, intention, desire, thought, language, or action, since these properties, which adorn man, have limits, whereas God is in every way boundless, because he is perfect. Owing to this boundlessness of his nature, which necessarily implies absolute unity and immutability, and that there is nothing without him, i:e. that the τὸ πλαν is in him, he is called EN-SOPH =without end, boundless, and can neither be comprehended by the intellect nor described with words, for there is nothing which can grasp and depict him to us. In this incomprehensibility or boundlessness, God, or the En- Soph (אֵין סוֹŠ), is in a certain sense not existent (אִיַן); since, as far as our mind is concerned, that which is incomprehensible does not exist. Hence, without making himself comprehensible, his existence could never have been known. He had, therefore, to become active and creative in order that his existence might become perceptible.
2. Development of the Deity. — But since, on the one hand, the will to create, which implies limit, and the circumscribed and imperfect nature of this world, preclude the idea of taking it as the direct creation of him who can have no will, nor produce anything but what is like himself, boundless and perfect; and since, on the other hand, the beautiful design and order displayed in the world, which plainly indicate an intelligent and active will, forbid us to regard it as the offspring of chance, the En-Soph must be viewed as the Creator of the world in an indirect manner, through the medium of ten "Sephiroth" or intelligences, which emanated from the En- Soph. The etymology and exact meaning of the word are obscure. It is the plur. ספִירוֹת, sephiroth', of , ספַירָה, which R. Asariel, the first Cabalist, derives from סָפִר, saphar', to number; while later Cabalists derive it from סִפַּיר, sappir', the sapphire, from the word מסִפּרַיס, "declare," in Ps 19:1, or even from the Greek σφαῖραι, spheres.
From his infinite fullness of light the En-Soph sent forth at first one spiritual substance or intelligence; this intelligence, which existed in the En-
Soph from all eternity, and which became a reality by a mere act, contained the nine other intelligences or Sephiroth. Great stress is laid upon the fact that the first Sephirah was not created, but was simply an emanation (אֲצַילָה); and the difference between creation and emanation is thus defined, that in the former a diminution of strength takes place, while in the latter this is not the case. From the first Sephirah emanated the second, from the second the third, from the third the fourth, and so on, one proceeding from the other, till the number ten. These ten Sephiroth form among themselves, and with the En-Soph, a strict unity, ani simply represent different aspects of one and the same Being, just as the flame and sparks which proceed from the fire, and which appear different things to the eye, form only different manifestations of the same fire. Differing thus from each other simply as different colors of the same light, all the ten emanations alike partake of the En-Soph. They are boundless, and yet constitute the first finite things; so that they are both infinite and finite. They are infinite and perfect, like the En-Soph, when he imparts his fullness to them, and finite and imperfect when that fullness is withdrawn from them. The finite side of the emanation of the Sephiroth is absolutely necessary, for thereby the incomprehensible En-Soph makes his existence known to the human intellect, which can only grasp that which has measure, limit, and relation. From their finite side the Sephiroth may even be called bodily, and this renders it possible for the En-Soph, who is immanent in them, to assume a bodily form.
3. Forms of this Development. — The ten Sephiroth, every one of which has its own name, are divided into three groups of three Sephiroth each, respectively operating upon the three worlds, viz, the world of intellect (עוֹלָם הִשֵּׂכֶל), the world of souls (עוֹלָם הִנֶּפֶשׁ), and the world of matter (עוֹלָם הִטָּבַעִ). 1. The first group operates upon the intellectual world, and consists of Sephiroth 1, denominated כֶּתֶר, or רוּם מִצֲלָה, the crown, or the inscrutable height; 2, called חָכמָה, the creative wisdom; and 3, called בַּינָה, the conceiving intellect. The result of the combination of the latter two (as "father" and "mother") is likewise represented as דּ - עת, or knowledge, i.e. concrete thought, the universe of mind, the effect of λόγος. 2. The second group exercises its power upon the moral world, and consists of Sephiroth 4, called הֶסֶד, infinite grace (also גּדוּלָח, greatness); 5, called דַּין, or גּבוּרָה, divine justice, or judicial power; and 6, which is called תִּפאֶרֶת, beauty, and is the connecting link between the opposite Sephiroth 4 and 5. 3. The third group exercises its power upon the material world, and consists of Sephiroth 7, called נֶצִח, firmness; 8, called הוּר, splendor; and 9, which is called יסוֹד, the primary foundation, and is the connecting link between the two opposite Sephiroth, 7 and 8. Sephirah 10 is called מִלבוּת, kingdom, and denotes Providence or the revealed Deity (שׁכִינָה, Shekinah) which dwells in the midst of the Jewish people, goes with them and protects them in all their wanderings and captivities. The first triad is placed above, and the second and third triads, with the unit, are put below, in such a manner that the four Sephiroth called crown, beauty, foundation, and kingdom, form a central perpendicular line denominated the middle pillar (עמּוּד אֶמצָעִי). This division yields three different forms in which the ten Sephiroth are represented by the Cabalists, and which we subjoin in order to make the description more intelligible. The first represents an inverted tree, called עֵוֹ חִיִּי, the tree of life, while the second and third are human figures, called אָדָם קִדמוֹן, the primeval man. Yet, notwithstanding the different appearance of these three forms, the Sephiroth are so arranged that the three triads and the middle pillar are to be distinguished in each one of them.
4. Processes of the Divine Development. — These Sephiroth, or God through them, created the lower and visible world, of which everything has its prototype in the upper world. "The whole world is like a gigantic tree full of branches and leaves, the root of which is the spiritual world of thephroth; or it is like a firmly united chain, the last link of which is attached to the upper world; or like an immense sea, which is being constantly filled by a spring everlastingly gushing forth its streams." The Sephiroth, through the divine power immanent in them, uphold the world which they have created, and transmit to it the divine mercies by means of twelve channels (צַנּוֹרוֹת). This transmission of the divine mercies can be accelerated by prayer, sacrifices, and religious observances; and the Jewish people, by virtue of the revelation, and the 613 commandments given to them, SEE SCHOOLS, have especially been ordained to obtain these blessings (שֶׁפִע) for the whole world. Hence the great mysteries of the Jewish ritual (סוֹד חִתּפַילָה); hence the profound secrets contained in every word and syllable of the formulary of prayers; and hence the declaration that "the pious constitute the foundation of the world" (צִדִּיק יסוֹד עוֹלָם). Not only does the EnSoph reveal himself through the Sephiroth, but he also becomes incarnate in them, which accounts for the anthropomorphisms of Scripture and the Hagada. Thus, when it is said that "God spake, descended upon earth, ascended into heaven, smelled the sweet smell of sacrifices; repented in his heart, was angry," etc., or when the Hagadic works describe the body and the mansions of God, etc., all this does not refer to the En-Soph, but to these intermediate beings. These Sephiroth again became incarnate in the patriarchs, e.g. Sephira 4, love was incarnate in Abraham; 5, power in Isaac; 6, beauty in Jacob; 7, firmness in Moses; 8, splendor in Aaron; 9, foundation in Joseph; 10, kingdom in David; and they constitute the chariot throne (מֶרכָּבָה).
5. The psychology of the Cabala is one of its most important features. All human souls are pre-existent in the world of the Sephiroth, and are, without an exception, destined to inhabit human bodies, and pursue their course upon earth for a certain period of probation. If, notwithstanding its union with the body, the soul resists all earthly trammels, and remains pure, it ascends after death into the spiritual kingdom, and has a share in the world of Sephiroth. But if, on the, contrary, it becomes contaminated by that which is earthly, the soul must inhabit the body again and again (עיבוּר, גִּילגוּל) till it is able to ascend in a purified state, through repeated trial (restricted by Nachmanides and the later cabalists to three transmigrations). The apparently undeserved sufferings which the pious have sometimes to endure here below are simply designed to purify their souls. Hence God's justice is not to be impugned when the righteous are afflicted and the wicked prosper. This doctrine of the transmigration of souls is supported by an appeal to the injunction in the Bible, that a man must marry the widow of his brother if he died without issue, inasmuch as by this is designed, say the cabalists, that the soul of the departed one might be born again, and finish its earthly course. Very few new souls enter into the world, because many of the old souls which have already inhabited bodies have to re-enter those who are born, in consequence of their having polluted themselves in their previous bodily existence. This retards the great redemption of Israel, which cannot take place till all the pre-existent souls have been born upon earth, because the soul of the Messiah, which, like all other souls, has its pre-existence in the world of the spirits of the Sephiroth, is to be the last born one at the end of days, which is supported by an appeal to the Talmud (Yebamoth, 63, a). Then the great jubilee year will commence, when the whole pleroma of souls (אוֹצִרהִנִּשׁמוֹת), cleansed and purified, and released from earth, shall ascend, in glorious company, into heaven. SEE METEAMPSYCHOSIS.
IV. Origin, Date, Design, and Relations of the Cabala. — The rise of Cabalism is involved in great obscurity. The Jews ascribe it to Adam, or to Abraham, or to Moses, or to Ezra, the last being apparently countenanced by 2 Esdr. 14:20-48. The opinions of Christian writers are as variously divided; and the Cabala is such a complex whole, and has been aggregated together at such distant periods, that no general judgment can apply to it. In its crude form it is undoubtedly to be attributed to the authors of the books Jezirah and Zohar above named, and therefore cannot be assigned an earlier date than these writings. Its fuller and more mature doctrines, however, as above delineated, are due to the speculations of later masters of this school. The account of this theosophy has been greatly obscured by modern writers, who, in their description of the Cabala, confound its doctrines with the Jewish mysticism propounded in the works called the Alphabet of R. Akiba (אלפא ביתא דר8 עקיבא, or אותיות דר8 עקיבא), the Description of the Body of God (שיעור קומה), and the Delineation of the heavenly Temples (היבלות). Even the book Jezirah does not contain the doctrines of the Cabala as above expounded. All these productions, and others of a similar nature so frequently quoted by writers who give an analysis of the Cabala, know little or nothing of the Sephiroth, and of the speculations about the EnSoph, or the being of God, which constitute the essence of the Cabala. Nevertheless, these works are unquestionably to be regarded as having induced the more refined speculations of the Cabala, by the difficulty in which they placed the Jews in the south of France, and in Catalonia, who believed in them almost as much as in the Bible, and who were driven to contrive this system whereby they could explain to themselves, as well as to their assailants, the gross descriptions of the Deity, and of the plains of heaven, given in these Hagadic productions. Being unable to go to the extreme of the rigid literalists of the north of France and Germany, who, without looking for any higher import, implicitly accepted the difficulties and anthropomorphisms of the Bible and Hagada in their most literal sense; or to adopt the other extreme of the followers of Maimonides, who rejected altogether the Hagadic and mystical writings, and rationalized the Scriptures, it may be conjectured that Isaac the blind contrived, and his two disciples, Ezra and Azariel of Zerona, developed the modern system of Cabalism (about 12001230), which steers between these two extremes. By means of the Sephiroth all the anthropomorphisms in the Bible, in the Hagada, and even in the Shiur Koma, are at once taken from the Deity, and yet literally explained; while the sacrificial institutions, the precepts, and the ritual of the Bible and Talmud, receive at the same time a profound spiritual inmport. The Cabala in its present state is therefore almermeneutical system, which, in part at least, was instituted to oppose the philosophical school of Maimonides (q.v.).
The relationship between the Cabala- and Neo-Platonism is apparent. The Cabala elevates God above being and thinking, and likewise denies all divine attributes; so does Neo-Platonism. The Cabala, like Neo-Platonism, places intelligent principles or substances between the Deity and the world. The Cabala teaches that the Sephiroth, which emanated from God, are not equal to God; Neo-Platonism teaches that the substances, thought, spirit, and nature (νοῦς, ψύχη, and φύσις), which proceeded from one being, are not equal to their origin (οὐκ ϊvσον δὲ τὸ προÞὸν τῷ μείναντι); and the Cabala has adopted the very same classification of the Sephiroth into the three great spheres of intelligence, animation, and matter. The comparison between the emanation of the Sephiroth from the EnSoph, and the rays proceeding from light to describe immanency and perfect unity, is the same as the NeoPlatonic figure to illustrate the emanations from the one Being (οϊvον ἐκ φωτὸς τὴν ἐξ αὐτοῦ περίλαμψιν). The doctrine of the Cabala, that most of the souls which enter the world have occupied bodies upon this earth before, is Neo-Platonic (comp. Zeller, Geschder Philosophie, III, 2:944). SEE NEO-PLATONISM.
V. Later Processes of Cabalism. — In the hands of the younger disciples of the cabalistic science, the secret knowledge was not only studied in its philosophical bearing, but also, and even rather, under two new aspects (which were not mentioned by their predecessors, and which carried it farther than it went at first, though by this we do not mean to say that it received any positively novel additions), namely, the practical application and the hermeneutical method. We find that in olden times secret philosophical science and magic went hand in hand. The sorcerer mentioned in Acts 13 was called by the Arab name of עֵילָם, the secret, i.e. learned; in Acts 19 we read of books of magic which were at Ephesus; the sporadic mentions made of the Cabala in the Talmud are accompanied by descriptions of miracles. When R. Chahina and R. Oshia studied the book of Jezirah, we are told in the treatise Sanhedrim of the Gemara, they also made each time a three-year-old cow, and lived thereon. It is no wonder, then, if the Jewish cabalists of the latter part of the Middle Ages transmitted the conception of their science to their Christian adepts, not only as speculative (עיּוּנִית), but also as practical (מִעֲשִׂית), i.e. in plain English, that they connected with it the idea that a true cabalist must at the same time be a sorcerer. It is self-evident, however, that we must here distinguish between theosophic overstraining and mere juggling, although in actual practice the difference may sometimes have been hard to perceive. The effects hoped for or believed in magic were accordingly transmitted outwardly through amulets, talismans, exorcisms, images, signs, and such things, consisting of certain writings, names of angels, or mysterious letters, whose connection, however, always leads back to the name of God. This last, unpronounceable to the unconsecrated, but known to the cabalist, whether it consist of four (יהוה), twelve, or forty-two letters (numbers which result from combinations from the Sephir system), was, as such, called הִמּפֹרָשׁ שֵׁם, the declared name; and he who knew how to use it was a בִּעִל הִשֵּׁם, or master of the name. The well-known implements of magic, such as Solomon's keys, the shield of David, etc., owe their origin to this line of ideas. Amateurs will find a very entertaining account of these things in Eisenmenger's Entdecktes Judenthum, in Schudt's Jewish Curiosities, and other works of the same character. SEE AMULET.
The exegetical ingenuity of the Cabala is interesting to, the theologian. The principle of the mystic interpretation of Scripture is universal, not particular to such or such schools, as every one will perceive in Church history, and even in the history of Greek literature. We find it in Philo, in the New Test., in the writings of the fathers, in the Talmud, and in the Zohar; and the more it departs from the spirit of the sacred text, the more had the latter to be brought to its support by distortions of its meaning. For such operation there are no known rules except the exigencies of the case and the subjective mass of the sense. SEE MYSTICISM. In the mean time, the Jews had already, by the arbitrary character of their alphabet, arrived at all manner of subtleties, of which we have already isolated examples in earlier writings, but which were especially established as a virtuosoship in post-Zoharic times. From this arose the following species of cabalistic transformation:
1st. גֵּמִטרִיָּא, Gematria (γεωμετρία), i.e. the art of discovering the hidden sense of the text by means of the numerical equivalents of the letters. For example, in the first and last verses of the Hebrew Bible are found six א's, which, according to this method, means that the world is to last 6000 years. The numerical equivalent of the first word of Genesis is 913, which is also the number given by the words בּתוֹרָה יָצִר (by the law Heformed it, i.e. the world), from whence it follows that the law existed before the creation, and that the latter was accomplished through the former. If the second word of Genesis (בָּרָא) be added to the first, the result is 1116, which is also the equivalent of בּרוֹאשׁ הִשָּׁנָה נִברָא (in the beginning cf He year it was created), by which is known that God created the world in the beginning of the year — that is, in the season of Autumn. The antiquity of this method is already shown in Re 13:18, where the solution must be ciphered out with the aid of the Hebrew — (or Greek) alphabet. It is also considered as Germatria when Biblical numbers — for instance, dimensions of buildings are expressed in letters, and words again made of them. Still later came speculations on the greater, smaller, inverted, and suspended letters found in the Masoretic text; for instance, De 6:4; Ge 2:4; Nu 10:35; Jg 18:30, in which some deep meaning is looked for, although they may perhaps have originally been but peculiar marks to aid memory.
2d. The particularly so-called "figurative" (צוּרִיִּית) Cabala, נוֹטִריֵקוּן, Notarikon (from Lat. natzre, to extract), consists in framing with each letter of a word several new ones, e.g. from the first, word of Genesis six can thus be framed: בָּרָא, he made; רָקִיעִ, the firmament; אֶרֶוֹ, the earth; שָׁמִיִם, the heavens; יָם, the sea; תּהוֹם, the abyss. We thus learn the correct scientific nature of the universe, besides the proper meaning of the text. Again, it consists in taking the first letters of several words to form a new one: e.g. De 30:12, מִי יִעֲלֶהאּלָּנוּ הִשָּׁמִימָה, who shall bring us to heaven? Answer: מִילָה, circusm cisioni.
3d, תּמוּרָה, Temurah (permutation), the anagram, of two kinds. The sifiple is a mere transposition of the letters of a word: e.g. we thus learn that the angel in Ex 23:23 (מִלאָבִי, my angel) was the angel Michael (מִיבָאֵל). The more ingenious kind is that by which, according to certain established rules, each letter of the alphabet acquires the signification of another: as Aleph that of Tan, both that of Ayin. Then, again, the letters may be read forward and backward (which constitute the alphabet of Athbash, אִתִבִּ8שׁ), or the first letter that of the twelfth, the second of the thirteenth, and the reverse (making the alphabet called Albam, אִלבּ8ס). SEE ATBACH. The more multifarious these trifles, the easier it is to arrive in every given case at a result, and the less wit or thought is required. Thus the Christian theology of the 17th century, which itself inclined to literal belief, and which, by its strong polemical aspect against the Jews, was led to a diligent study of the cabalistic arts, through them found everywhere in the Old Test. evidences of the Christian dogmas (e.g. Ge 1:1, בּרֵאשִׁית=בֵּן רוּחִ אָב שׁלשָׁה יחִידָה תָמָה, i.e. filius, spiritus, pater; tres unitasperfecta).
In the 13th century we find evidence of a knowledge of the cabalistic ideas and methods in the works of the Spaniard Raymond Lullus; but with him, as well as among his direct and indirect followers, these elements of Judaic philosophy take the character of eccentricities and superstitions more than of grand speculative theory. Two centuries elapsed after this before the Cabala really entered the circle of Christian mental development. Its admission was prepared, on the one hand, by the overthrow of the worn- out scholasticism of Aristotle, and the consequent tendency toward Platonic ideas, although, of course, these latter were yet in their more elementary form, as they had been transmitted to Alexandria by Eastern influences; on the other hand, the same result was conduced by an awakening interest in the study of nature, which, it is true, was still in a poetic, dream-like infancy, but was the more inclined to entertain itself with mysteries, as it had discovered as yet but few natural laws. To these was, however, joined a third and more powerful influence, namely, the belief handed down by the fathers of the first centuries that all the wisdom of nations, and chiefly Platonic philosophy, actually took their origin in the Hebraic revelation; that, in a more extended sense than the popular religious histories admit, the Jewish people were the possessors and keepers of a treasury of wisdom and knowledge which time or zealous research could alone reveal. What wonder is it, then, if the assertion of the Cabalists that they possessed such a treasure found credence and gained them followers? The progress of Christians toward the Cabala was greatly helped by the conversion of a large number of Jews to Christianity, in which they recognized a closer relation to their Gnostic views, and also by the Christians perceiving that Gnosticism could become a powerful instrument for the conversion of the Jews. Among the converted Jews we notice Paul Ricci, physician in ordinary to the Emperor Maximilian, and author of Cdelestis Agricultura; Judas Ben Isaac Abrabanel (Leon Hebraeus), son of the renowed Portuguese exegist, and author of the Dlalogi de amore. Among Christians we will only mention the two most important: John Pico della Mirandola and John Reuchlin; the former as a highly gifted and enthusiastic syncratist, author of Conclusiones cabbalisticce secundum secretarm disciplinam sapientice Hebr. (1486); the other a faithful disciple of the classics, in connection with mysticism, but opposed to scholasticism and monachal torpitude, author of De verbo mirijco (1494); De arte cabbalistica (1517). His, and some other writings of the same kind, are collected in the work Artes CabbaEsticce h. e. reconditce theologice etphilosophicw Scriptorum, tom. 1 (unicus), ex. bibl. J. Pistorii (Basle, 1587, fol.). The powerful preponderance of the religious and Church interests, as well as those of practical politics, which became perceptible in the first quarter of the 16th century, giving to the mind a positive impulse, and to studies a substantial foundation, arrested the further development of the Cabala; and when, in latter times, it was occasionally taken up again, it was rather with the view of giving a high- sounding, mystericus name to theories which had not strength enough to stand by themselves, than as a genuine resurrection If the old systems.
VI. Literature. — As a sort of accessory subject of the so-called Orientalism, and even of Biblical erudition, the Cabala is mentioned by the ancient archaeologues and isagogics (as Cuneus, Respubl. Hebr.; Walton, Prolegg.; Hottinger, Thesaurus Philol.; Leusden, Philologus Hebr.; Pfeifer, Critica Sacra, and many others); but they contain nothing of importance respecting it. Much more copious, though not yet complete, is the information contained in the works of Buddeus, Philosophia Ebrceorumr (1702); Hackspan, Miscellanea; Braum, Selecta Sacra, v; Reimmann, Jiidische Theologie. The work of Sommer, Specimen theologice Sohzrice (Goth. 1734), is (like many others which Fabricius quotes in the Bibliographia Antiq. p. 246) only a polemico-apoiogetic attempt at tracing the Christian doctrine of the Trinity in the Cabala. Of a higher philosophic character are the works of Wachter, Spinozismus im Judenthum, and Elucidarius cabbalisticus s. reconditce Ebrceorum philosophica brevis recensio (Amst. 1699), in which the polemic tone prevails. Next are Basnage, Hist. des Juifs (tom. 3), and Brucker, Hist. Philosophice (vol. 2), who, however, from insufficient study of the original sources, acknowledges himself unable to master its intricate history. Among later writers we find the well-known works of Tennemann, Tiedemann, and Buhle. The line of the more recent monographic researches begins with Kleuker (Riga, 1786). But Christian writers, whose early knowledge of rabbinic literature has been fast waning, generally forsake it. Tholuck's treatise, De ortu Cabbale (1837), treats only of a preliminary question. Lutterbeck, in the first volume of his Neutest. Lehrbegriy, has a very interesting chapter on the Jezirah and Zohar. Molitor's extensive work, Philos. d. Geschichte d. Tradition (1827, pt. 1- 3), is chiefly theoretical. Reuchlin (De arte Cabbalistica, 1517) is still a valuable authority. One of the latest is Etheridge (Jerusalem and Tiberias, Lond. 1856, 12mo). Next to the extensive work of Ad. Franck, La Kabbale ou la Philosophie religieuse des Hebreux (Paris, 1842; tr. by Jellinek, Lpz. 1844), we name the Philosophia Cabbalistica et pantheismus (1832) of M. Freystadt. See the Eclectic Review, Feb. 1856; Christian Remembrancer, April, 1862.
The earliest cabalist was Asariel, whose Commentary on the Doctrine of the Sephiroth (פֵּרוּשׁ עֶשֶׂר ספִירוֹת), in questions and answers, has been published (Warsaw, 1798; Berl. 1850); also his Commentary on the Song of Songs (Altona, 1764), usually ascribed to his pupil Nachmanides or Ramban (q.v.).
Among the most important cabalists we find Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman, author of the Books of Faith and Hope (אמֵוּנָה וּבִטָּחוֹן); R. Jose, of Castile, author of שִׁעֲרֵי אוֹרָה (Doors of Light); R. Moses, of Cordova, פִּרִדֵּס רִמּוֹנִים (Garden of Pomegranates); R. Isaac Loria, סֵפֶר הִגִּלגּוּלִים (Book of the Wanderings of Souls); R. Chayim Vital, עֵוֹ חִיִּים (Tree of Life); R. Nastali Ben Jacob Elchanan, עֵמֶק הִמֶּלֶך (Valley cf the King); R. Abraham Cohen, of Herrera (vulg. Iriva), שִׁעִר הִשָּׁמִיִם (Door of Heaven). Some of these works (translated into Latin) are to be found whole or in their principal parts in the Kabbala Denudata of Chr. Knorrvon Rosenroth (Sulsh. 1677, 3 vols. 4to), with all kinds of exegetical apparatus, and some texts from the Zohar. The cabalistic literature is fully noticed in Bartolocci's Bibliotheca Magna Rabbinica and in Wolff's Bibliotheca Hebraia, tom. ii and Iv, though not in the correct order and construction; see also P. Beer, Geschchte der Lehren aller Secten der Juden, und der Cabbala,(Briinn, 1822, 2 vols. 8vo); Senet, De Cabbala Judceorum (Rost. 1702); Sennert, De Cabbala (Wittenb. 1655); and especially the copious list of expositions upon the works of Simon ben- Jochai, the reputed founder of Cabalism, given by Furst, Bibliotheca Judiica, in, 329 sq. We may specify the following: Zunz, Gottesd. Vortrige der Juden (Berlin, 1832), p. 402 sq.; Landauer, in the Literaturblatt des Orients, vol. 7 (1845); 8:812 sq.; Joel, Religionsphilosophie des Sohar (Lpz. 1849); Jellinek, Moses benSchem-Job de Leon (Lpz. 1851); Beitr ge zur Gesch. der Kabbala (Lpz. 1852); Auswahl Kabbalischer Mystik (Lpz. 1853); and Philosophie und Kabbalah (Lpz. 1854); Steinschneider, Jewish Literature (Lond. 1857), p. 104115, 299-309; Munk, Melanges de Philosophie Juive et Arabe (Par. 1859), p. 190 sq.; and especially the masterly analysis of the Zohar by Ignaz Stern, Ben-Chananja, 1-5; the lucid treatise of Gratz, Gesch. der Judzn, 7:442-459; and the able review of it by Low, Ben-Chananja, v, p. 325 sq. (also Lpz. 1863, p. 73-85). Ginsburg has lately published a compendious but copious and clear work entitled The Kabbalah, etc. (Lond. 1865), in which, however, he controverts the traditional view of the authorship by rabbis Akiba and Ben- Jochai, and assigns it an origin prior to the Zohar, which he attributes to Moses of Leon; considering this rather as the offspring than the parent of Cabalism.