© 2012

Word and Image in Medieval Kabbalah

The Texts, Commentaries, and Diagrams of The Sefer Yetsirah

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Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Table of contents

About this book


The Sefer Yetsirah (the Book of Creation ) is a core text of the early kabbalah, yet scholars have struggled to establish even the most basic facts about the work. This project attempts to discover the ways in which diagrams accompanying the text and its commentaries show trends in the development of the kabbalistic tradition as a whole.


body corpus genre kabbalah Medieval Literature messianism Middle Ages project structure tradition

About the authors

Marla Segol is the Fannie Kestenbaum Paull Professor of Jewish Studies The Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage at SUNY University at Buffalo.

Bibliographic information


'Segol provides a clearly-written guide through the maze of medieval commentaries and modern academic scholarship surrounding the Sefer Yetsirah. With remarkable lucidity, she introduces us to the mind-set of medieval Jews who sought through Hebrew letter combinations, ritualized dance, and the creation of a golem to alter the earthly and divine realms. Readers interested in a central work of medieval mysticism and Kabbalah will welcome this new methodological approach to Sefer Yetsirah, a central though utterly enigmatic classic. Yet, scholars of Religious Studies, even those not versed in medieval literature, will be rewarded by Segol's use of the medieval texts, diagrams, and commentaries as a means to address the larger issues that have shaped academic scholarship, particularly the issues surrounding magic and religion.' - Jody Myers, California State University, Northridge