by Rabbi Moshe Wisnefsky

This is a bibliograpy of basic works in English on Jewish mysticism: Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish meditation. It includes only works that we consider reliable and authoritative (although even many of these books have some shortcomings). There are more acceptable works than are listed here; these are the ones that we have found to be most useful.

Many of the books on the market misinterpret Judaism; some innocently, some deliberately. This is especially true of books on Jewish mysticism. Therefore, one has to exercise extra care when choosing reading material on this subject.

For example, none of the books by Gershom Scholem or Martin Buber appear on our list. Despite the success these authors have had in popularizing Jewish mysticism, their works are either riddled with inaccuracies or plagued with the inevitable distortions of an author who is only academically involved in his subject, but remains uncommitted to its practice.

A. Translations of Classic Kabbala Source Texts

B. Translations of Classic Chassidic Source Texts

C. Translations of Recent Chassidic Source Texts

D. Introductions to Concepts and Terminology

E. Anthologies

F. Specific Topic Applications
G. Non-technical Introductions and Applications


A. Translations of Classic Kabbala Source Texts

[Books indicated as bilingual include the original Hebrew text ]


THE BAHIR (bilingual). Rabbi Nehuniah ben HaKanah (1st century CE). Translated by R. Aryeh Kaplan. New York: Weiser, 1979, 244 pp.

A mystical discussion of the Hebrew alphabet, the first verse of the Bible, the sefirot, and the soul.

SEFER YETZIRAH IN THEORY AND PRACTICE (bilingual). Rabbi Akiva (2nd century CE). Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. NY: Samuel Wiser, 1990.

A complete translation of this seminal work in Kabbalah in all three of its extant versions. The text is explained both as a description of creation and as a meditative guide, based both on standard commentaries and unpublished manuscripts. Histor­ical introduction and appendices.

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF JEWISH MYSTICISM: The Book of Creation and Its Commentaries (Sefer Yetzirah, bilingual). Translated by Leonard R. Glotzer. Northvale, NJ:Jason Aronson, 1992, 258 pp.

A translation of Sefer Yetzirah with explanations anthologized from the classic commentaries on this text. Historical introduction and appendices.

ZOHAR. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and students (2nd century CE). Translated by Rabbi Moshe Miller. Morristown, NJ:Fiftieth Gate Publications, volume 1, 2000, 366 pp.

Annotated selections from the basic work of Kabbalah. Detailed introduction covering the history and basic concepts of Kabbalah. Volume 1 covers the first half of the first of the original’s three volumes.

THE OLD MAN IN THE SEA: Reincarnation, Resurrection, Redemption (part 1). Translation and commentary by Shabtai Teicher. Jerusalem: author/KabbalaOnline, 2004, 225 pp.

Includes the original Aramaic text of the crucial "Sabba D'Mishpatim section of the Zohar, a lucid, readable translation of it, and an incisive line-by-line expanatory commentary, followed by 21 appendices to broaden the reader's understanding of the main themes.

THE PALM TREE OF DEVORAH (Tomer Devorah; bilingual). Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (1522-1570). Translated by Rabbi Moshe Miller. Southfield, Michigan:Targum Press, 1993, 209 pp.

An ethical treatise devoted to a Kabbalistic understanding of the commandment to imitate G-d. Includes explanatory endnotes.

SHAAR GILGULIM: The Gates Of Reincarnation. Rabbis Yitzchak Luria and Chaim Vital. Translated by Yitzchak Bar Chaim. Jerusalem: Thirty Seven Books, 2003, 534 pp.

Classic work on the subject, comprised of the teachings of the holy Ari of Safed, as transmitted by his main disciple, Rabbi Chaim Vital. Includes valuable information on the nature of the divine soul and our goal in life. Much more extensive explanatory interpolated notes can be found on our KabbalaOnline.org website in the section, Gate of Reincarnations.

THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM: Unabridged Translation of the Gate of Love from Rabbi Eliahu de Vidas' Reshit Chochmah. Rabbi Eliahu de Vidas (16th century). Translated by Simchah H. Benyosef. Hoboken, New Jersey: Ktav Publishing House Inc, 2002, 458 pp.

Reshit Chochmah is a major classic mystical-ethical treatise from the Safed "Golden Age of Kabbalah," written by an important disciple of the Ramak and the Ari. This book contains an excellent translation of one of the five "gates" of the original, as well as some wide-ranging introductory material, an articulate and helpful glossary of terms, and an index of themes.

SHNEY LUCHOT HABRIT (The Two Tablets of the Covenant). Rabbi Yishayahu Horowitz (1565-1630). Translated by Eliyahu Munk. Brooklyn, NY:Lambda, 1992, 3 volumes, 1262 pp. plus appendices.

A selection of the Kabbalistic Torah commentaries of the early 17th century chief rabbi of Cracow, Frankfort and Jerusalem, constituting about one third of the original. The translation is, unfortunately, somewhat awkward..

DERECH HASHEM: THE WAY OF G‑D (bilingual). Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzzatto (1707‑1746). Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. New York: Feldheim, 1983, 407 pp.

Synopsis of Jewish theology based on Kabbalah.

SECRETS OF THE FUTURE TEMPLE (Mishkenai Elyon). Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto. Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum. Jerusalem: The Temple Institute/Azamra, 1999, 159 pp.

Insights and explanations for the building of the Third Temple according to Jewish Law and to Kabbalah, by a well-known 18th century kabbalist. May it happen soon!

DISCOURSE ON REDEMPTION. Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzzatto. Avraham Sutton. Jerusalem: ww.geulah.org. 73 pps.

An annotated translation of Ma’amar HaGeulah, with extensive notes and commentary, plus 5  appendices (approximately one-third completed).

PENINEI AVIR YAAKOV: Torah Thoughts and Pearls of Wisdom from Rebbeinu Yaakov Abuchatzeira. Translated by M. Steinberger and E. Linas. Jerusalem: Yeshiva Ner Yitzhak (no date). 490 pp.

An topically-arranged anthology culled from 12 books of the most famous Moroccan kabbalist of all, Rabbi Yaakov Abuchatzeira (1807-1880), grandfather of our century's inestimable "Baba Sali" - Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeira. Unfortunately, the high proportion of the kabbala content of the original has been significantly reduced.

B. Translations of Classic Chassidic Source Texts

books indicated as being bilingual include the original Hebrew text

TZAVA’AT HARIVASH: The Testament of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov (1698-1760). Translated by Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet. New York:Kehot, 1998, 186 pp.

An early anthology of teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezertich. With introduction, cross references, and explanatory notes.

LIKUTEI AMARIM—TANYA (bilingual). Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745‑1812). Translated by Rabbis Nissan Mindel, Nisen Mangel, Zalman I. Posner, Jacob Immanuel Schochet. New York: Kehot, 1973 (first published in Hebrew in 1796), 888 pp.

The classic statement of Chabad Chassidism. Book I (Likutei Amarim or Tanya) deals with the service of G‑d, Book II (Sha’ar HaYichud VehaEmunah) with philosophical foundations of Chassidism, Book III (Igeret HaTeshuvah) with teshuvah, Books IV (Igeret HaKodesh) and V (Kuntres Acharon) are collections of letters and notes by the author, the most mystical being No. 20 of Book IV. The translators’ introductions, notes and a glossary, as well as Rabbi Schochet’s Mystical Concepts in Chassidism [see above] are found in the back of the book.

DERECH MITZVOSECHA: A Mystical Perspective on the Commandments (bilingual). Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, the Tzemach Tzedek. Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger. Brooklyn, New York: Sichos in English, 2004, 421 pp.

Nine of the more than 50 essays of the original, one of (after Tanya) the most fundamental and popular books of Chabad chasidut. Each essay paraphrases Sefer HaChinuch on one of the 613 commandments, and then analyzes its mystical dimensions.

FLAMES: A Chanuka Discourse from Gates of Radiance by Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch. Translated by Dr. Naftali Loewenthal. Brooklyn, New York: Kehot Publication Society, 2002, 159 pp.

The second Chabad Rebbe uses flame, specifically its different hues and the oil, wick and lamp, as a detailed analogy to advise and inspire the reader in his/her relationship with G-d.

SHEM M'SHMUEL: Selections on the Weekly Parashah and Festivals, Rendered into English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski. Jerusalem: Targum/Feldheim, 1998, 459 pp.

The Sochachov Rebbe was as well known as a Torah scholar as he was as an inspirational Chasidic leader. The anthology was thoughtfully assembled and translated from the nine-volume Hebrew original.

PIRKEI AVOT: With Ideas and Insights of the SFAS EMES and other Chassidic masters. Anthologized and adapted by Rabbi Yosef Stern. Brooklyn: Mesorah, 1999, 489 pp.

An excellent anthology of commentary, culled not only from the second Gerer Rebbe, but also from other great masters of the Polish Chasidic dynasties

TRUE EXISTENCE - MI CHAMOCHA. Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn. Translated by Rabbi Yosef B. Marcus. New York: Kehot, 2002, 98 pp.

A discourse on the unity of G-d, exploring a number of theological motifs. Composed in 1869 by the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, In lucid, close translation, with extensive annotations, footnotes and commentary.

SEVENTH HEAVEN: Shabbat with Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Moshe Mykoff. Jerusalem: Breslov Research Institute, 2002, 208 pp.

Essays assembled from various Bretzlav sources, and organized by dividing Shabbat into five time periods: entrance, evening, morning, afternoon, departure.

LIKUTEI MOHARAN. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1773‑1810). Jerusalem/NY: Breslov Research Institute. Vol. 1: Translated by Moshe Mykoff and  Simcha Bergman. 11 volumes.

The basic text of Breslov Chassidut. The eleven volumes published so far cover lessons 1-286.

RABBI NACHMAN’S STORIES. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Jerusalem: Breslov Research Institute, 1983, 552 pp.

The stories contain mystical teachings, many of which are discussed in the extensive footnotes.


A selection of the stories, each followed by an insightful essay.

TEFILIN: A CHASSIDIC DISCOURSE. Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov. Trans­lated by Avraham Greenbaum. Jerusa­lem/NY: Breslov Research Institute, 1989, 121 pp.

Translation of an excerpt from the author’s Likutei Halachot discussing the mystical significance of tefilin.

C. Translations of Recent Chassidic Source Texts

books indicated as being bilingual include the original Hebrew text

ON AHAVAS YISRAEL: A Chassidic Discourse by Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneersohn (Heichaltzu and allied texts). Translated by Rabbis Chaim Citron, Eliyahu Touger, Shalom Ber Winerberg, and Yossi Loebenstein. New York: Kehot, 1988, 148 pp.

Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneersohn (1860‑1920) was the fifth Chabad Rebbe. This discourse discusses the mystical aspects of the commandment to love all Jews.

KUNTRES UMA’AYON. Rabbi Shalom Dovber Schneersohn. Translated by Rabbi Zalman I. Posner. New York: Kehot, 1978, 142 pp.

An exposition of Chassidic ethics based on Kabbalah concepts; techniques for living a spiritual life.

TRACT ON PRAYER (Kuntres HaTefilah). Rabbi Shalom Dovber Schneersohn. Translated by Rabbi Y. Eliezer Danizinger. New York: Kehot, 1992, 83 pp.

A discourse on the techniques of meditation preceding prayer.

THE TREE OF LIFE: A Classic Chassidic Treatise on The Mystic Core of Spiritual Vitality (Kuntres Etz HaChaim). Rabbi Shalom Dovber Schneersohn. Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger. New York: Sichos in English, 1998, 132 pp.

A discourse on the purpose of the study of Chassidism and its ability to help the individual maintain Divine consciousness in a changing world.

YOM TOV SHEL ROSH HASHANAH 5659. Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn. Translated by Rabbi Yosef B. Marcus. New York: Kehot, 2000, 112 pp.

A discourse introducing some of the basic concepts of chasidism and kabbala, and in a relatively user-friendly format and with extensive study aids. Despite its title, it is germane throughout the year.

CHASSIDIC DISCOURSES. Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schnersohn (1880‑1950). Translated by Rabbi Shalom B. Wineberg. New York:Kehot, 1986, volume 1, 223 pp., volume 2, 229 pp.

Wide range of topics.

BASI LEGANI (“I Have Come to My Garden”). Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. Translated by Rabbis Eliayhu Touger & Shalom B. Wineberg. NY: Kehot, 1990, 103 pp.

Last Chassidic discourse by the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, in which he details the specific nature of this generation’s spirituality. Includes also the first Chassidic discourse of his successor, the present Rebbe.

ANTICIPATING THE REDEMPTION. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson. Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger. New York: Sichos In English. Vol. 1, 1994,. 118 pp; Vol. 2, 1997. 146 pp.

Translations of  Chassidic discourses of the Lubavitcher Rebbe that focus on the Redemption and its ultimate consummation, the Resurrection of the Dead – seven in the first volume, eight in the second. The first volume includes the last discourse edited by the Rebbe for publication before his stroke in 1992.

LIKUTEI SICHOT: AN ANTHOLOGY OF TALKS. Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. Translated by Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet (volumes. 1-5). New York: Kehot. Vol. 1 (Genesis), 1980, 230 pp.; vol. 2 (Exodus), 1983, 223 pp.; vol. 3 (Leviticus), 1987, 248 pp.; vol. 4 (Numbers), 1992, 274 pp.; vol. 5 (Deuteronomy), 19??, 1?? pp.

Chassidic teachings from the Lubavitcher Rebbe on the Torah‑portion of the week and the holidays.

ON THE ESSENCE OF CHASSIDUS. Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. Translated by Rabbi Heschel Greenberg and Sheina Sarah Handelman. New York: Kehot, 1978, 130 pp.

Scholarly discourse on the nature, function, and role of the teachings of Chassidut for the individual and the world‑at‑large. Extensive explanatory notes.

D. Introductions to Concepts and Terminology

MYSTICAL CONCEPTS IN CHASSIDISM. Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet. New York: Kehot, 1971; 3rd edition, 1979. 169 pp.

Definitive exposition of major Kabbalistic concepts and terminology, extensively footnoted and cross‑referenced. (Also printed in the back of the English edition of the Tanya [see below]).

THE THIRTEEN PETALLED ROSE. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. New York: Basic Books, 1980, 181 pp.

A thematic treatment of the main concepts of Kabbalah and Chassidut.

INNERSPACE: INTRODUCTION TO KABBALAH, MEDITATION AND PROPHECY. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, edited by Avraham Sutton. Jerusalem: AK publishers, 1990, 230 pp.

Based on classes given by Rabbi Kaplan, the first part is an exposition of the Kabbalistic view of the universe, and the second a discussion of meditation and Kabbalah based on the vision of Ezekiel.

SONG OF THE SOUL: INTRODUCTION TO KABBALAH. Rabbi Yechiel Barlev. Petach Tikvah: Author, 1988, 351 pp.

Exposition of major concepts in Kabbalah based on the system of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE LADDER: Introductions to Kabbalah. Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag. Translation and additional explanatory chapters by Mark and Yedidah Cohen. Safed, Israel: Nehora Press, 2002. 272 pp.

An impressively lucid translation of the introduction to the author's commentary on the Zohar, the Sulam ("ladder"), and his explanation of the teachings of the holy Ari, Talmud Esser Sefirot. Supplemented with lots of historical background and key definitions, as well as sincere personal testimony as to the benefits of the teachings contained within.

REFLECTIONS ON INFINITY. Dr. Raoul Nass. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1999, 432 pp.

A history and exposition of the major concepts of Kabbalah. (Originally published in 1976 as The Road to Eternal Life and to Resurrection from Death, after Death.)

THE MYSTICAL DIMENSION. Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet. New York:Kehot, 1990. Volume 1 (The Mystical Tradition), 165 pp.; volume 2 (Deep Calling Unto Deep), 148 pp.; volume 3 (Chassidic Dimensions), 237 pp.

Essays on the meaning and study of Jewish mysticism, prayer, repentence, Chassidic philosophy. With extensive notes.

CHASSIDIC INSIGHTS: A GUIDE FOR THE ENTANGLED. Rabbi Mattis Kantor. New York: Ktav, 1978, 117 pp.

A creative prose setting of several topics in Chassidic and Kabbala philosophy, including the 10 Sephirot.

CHASIDISM:Its Development, Theology, and Practice. Rabbi Noson Gurary. Northvale, NJ:Jason Aronson, 1997, 192 pp.

Essays on the origins and mystical doctrines of Chassidism.

E. Anthologies

MEDITATION AND KABBALAH. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1982, 355 pp.

History, discussion, and citations of Kabbalistic teachers, texts, methods, and traditions from Talmudic to modern times. Although fairly comprehensive, sidesteps Sefardic and Chabad schools.

THE WELL OF LIVING WATERS: Excerpts from the Writings of the Masters. Avraham Sutton. Jerusalem: ww.geulah.org.  108 pps.

Translations of primary Kabbalistic sources with commentary on a variety of important topics in Kabbala.

KABBALAH: Selections from Classic Kabbalistic Works from Raziel Hamalach to the Present Day. Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Finkel. Southfield, Michigan: Targum Press Inc, 2002, 414 pp.

Brief selections from nearly fifty kabbala sources, with biographical notes on their authors. Also contains a short introduction to Kabbala and its concepts.

KABBALISTIC WRITINGS ON THE NATURE OF MASCULINE AND FEMININE. Sarah Schneider. Northvale, NJ:Jason Aronson, 2001,349 pp.

Basing herself on a talmudic discussion of the creation of the sun and moon, the brilliant founder of One Small Voice (a correspondence school) translates both the Talmud section and six kabbalistic texts concerned with the nature of the feminine and annotates and explicates all of them in great depth. Each text is introduced by a short summary and a lengthy synopsis, and concluded with a "debriefing" that includes "what we don't know."

TO TOUCH THE DIVINE: A JEWISH MYSTICISM PRIMER. Compiled and edited by Benzion and Hinda Rader. New York: Kehot, 1989, 144 pp.

Papers from the International Symposium on Jewish Mysticism held in London in the early Eighties. Among the participants are Rabbis Steinsaltz and Schochet, cited above, and Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of England.

THE LIGHT BEYOND: ADVENTURES IN HASSIDIC THOUGHT. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. New York: Maznaim, 1981, 372 pp.

Excerpts from Chassidic works, organized under topics, including Meditation and Prayer. Includes short bibliographies.

CHASIDIC MASTERS: HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY AND THOUGHT. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. New York: Maznaim, 1984, 192 pp.

More excerpts and biographies, this time grouped historically under each master. Some repetition of material from The Light Beyond.

CONTEMPORARY SAGES: The Great Chasidic Masters of the Twentieth Century. Avraham Yaakov Finkel. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc, 1994, 219 pp.

Short excerpts of teachings from thirty-seven contemporary important Chasidic masters - and their photographs. Divided into three sections: before, during and after the Holocaust.

F. Specific Topic Applications

MEDITATION AND THE BIBLE. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1978, 179 pp.

Discussion of prophetic methods, terminology used to described them in the Bible, and Kabbalistic traditions about prophecy.

JEWISH MEDITATION: A PRACTICAL GUIDE. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. New York: Schocken, 1985, 165 pp.

Posthumously edited from author's manuscript. Includes much valuable material.

LIVING IN DIVINE SPACE: Kabbalah and Meditation. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 2003. 288 pp.

Rabbi Ginsburgh painstakingly explains and demonstrates how meditation is meant to refine our intellect to become a channel for Divine consciousness, so that it can infuse our day-to-day consciousness. He refutes the common understanding that meditation as an attempt to clear the mind in order to transcend the intellect.

LIGHTS OF PROPHECY / OROT HA-NEVUAH (Bilingual). Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook. Translated by Bezalel Naor. Spring Valley NY: Orot inc., 1990. 83 pp.

Selected readings on Prophecy from the early chief rabbi of Israel.

IDEAS AND INSIGHTS OF THE SFAS EMES. Yosef Stern. New York: Artscroll. Vol. 1: The Three Festivals – Pesach, Shavuos, and Succos, 1993, 462pp.; Vol. 2: Days of Joy – Chanukah and Purim, 1995, 349 pp.; Vol. 3: Days of Awe – High Holy Days, 1996, 324 pp.

Not a translation. The author has selected and clearly rendered and interwoven important passages on the Jewish holidays from the volumes of writings by the second rebbe of the Gerer dynasty.

SHEM M'SHMUEL: Selections on the Weekly Parashah and Festivals, Rendered into English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski. Jerusalem: Targum/Feldheim, 1998, 459 pp.

The Sochachov Rebbe was as well known as a Torah scholar as he was as an inspirational Chasidic leader. The anthology was thoughtfully assembled and translated from the nine-volume Hebrew original.

LIVING THE KABBALA: A Guide to the Sabbath and Festivals in the Teachings of Rabbi Rafael Moshe Luria. Selected, edited and translated by Simcha H. Benyosef. New York: Continuum, 1999. 226 pp.

Rafael-Moshe Luria, a descendent of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, is a contemporary teacher of Kabbala in Jerusalem. The translator is a former close student of the famed Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan of blessed memory, and received a blessing from Rav Luria for this project.

THE JEWISH HOLY DAYS IN CHASIDIC PHILOSOPHY. Nosson Gurary. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson, Inc, 2000, 235 pp.

A half-dozen or so thoughtful illuminating essays on each of the holidays and on Shabbat, as well as on Tomtov in general and on Rosh Chodesh. Based primarily but not exclusively on Chabad chasidut.

PIRKEI AVOS: With Ideas and Insights of the SFAS EMES and other Chassidic masters. Anthologized and adapted by Rabbi Yosef Stern. Brooklyn: Mesorah, 1999, 489 pp.

An excellent anthology of commentary, culled not only from the second Gerer Rebbe, but also from other great masters of the Polish Chasidic dynasties.

SEVENTH HEAVEN: Shabbat with Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Moshe Mykoff. Jerusalem: Breslov Research Institute, 2002, 208 pp.

Essays assembled from various Bretzlav sources, and organized by dividing Shabbat into five time periods: entrance, evening, morning, afternoon, departure.

THE HEBREW LETTERS: CHANNELS OF CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, assisted by Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman. Rehovot, Isarael: Gal Einai, 1990, 501 pp.

A nine‑dimensional exposition on the mystical meanings of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and their meditative states. Based on the set of tapes listed below.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHABAD. Rabbi Nissan Mindel. New York: Kehot, 1973, 255 pp.

A synopsis and rephrasing of the first book of Tanya.

LESSONS IN TANYA. Rabbi Yosef Wineberg, translated by Rabbi Shalom B. Wineberg. New York: Kehot, Volume 1 (Book I, ch. 1‑34), 1987, 449 pp., Volume 2 (Book I, ch. 35‑end), 1988, 365 pp., Volume 3 (Books II‑III), 1989, 308 pp.

Paragraph by paragraph and sometimes line by line translation and explanation. Includes synopses and introductions.

THEMES IN TANYA. Rabbi Yekutiel Green. Translated by Rabbi Moshe Miller. Kefar Chabad, 1992, 222 pp.

Essays on the major topics of the first fifteen chapters of the Tanya.

IN THE BEGINNING:Discourses on Chasidic Thought. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. Tranlsated by Yehua Hanegbi. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1992, 300 pp.

Essays on themes from the Book of Genesis, based on the works of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (Torah Or  and Ma’amarei Admor HaZaken).

THE MYSTERY OF MARRIAGE. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Edited by Moshe Wisnefsky. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 1999. 499 pp.

Based on Jewish mystic principles, the author states that the purpose of Jewish marriage is to enable the couple to manifest the unity of their original undifferentiated spiritual essence into the context of everyday life. With many illustrations from Biblical personalities and Kabbalistic theory, he shows how today’s Jewish couple can actualize these ideals in their daily life through the threefold process of establishing an effective relationship, fostering togetherness, and finally, merging in true oneness.

THE FEMININE SOUL: A Mystical Journey Exploring the Essence of Feminine Spirituality. Chana Weisburg. Toronto: Jacobson & Davidson, 2001. 193 pps.

The author examines the uniquely feminine soul powers of Jewish women, and the implications thereof for perfecting the Creation. She offers insight into the feminine cycles of birth and pregnancy, the inner dynamics of the three mitzvot that women specialize in, and the feminine imagery found in Kabbalah.

ANATOMY OF THE SOUL. Chaim Kramer. Jerusalem: Bres­lov Research Institute, 1998, 364 pp.

Teachings of Rabbi Nachman on the spiritual significance of every organ and limb of the body.

MAYIM - WATER. Moshe Mykoff. Jerusalem/NY: Breslov Research Institute, 1987. 64 pages.

Rabbi Nachman's insights into the concept of free will, based on the famous Talmudic passage, "Four entered Paridise" that is also important for Kabbala study.

THE FLASHFLOOD: Merit and Meaning in Lurianic Lore. Dudaim Basadeh. Jerusalem: Caspit Press, 1986, 54 pp.

A somewhat esoteric but interesting statement of the Kabbalistic world‑scheme, and three short essays on Kabbalah and the sciences. Also somewhat disorganized and stiffly translated.

RECTIFYING THE STATE OF ISRAEL: A Political Platform Based on Kabbalah. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 2002. 230 pp.

The author's thesis is that while secular Zionism has succeeded in creating material vessels, developing industry, infrastructure and educational institutions, it has willfully neglected the inner, spiritual dimension of the vessels themselves. "The light inherent in the Zionist dream is indeed great, but its vessels are small and immature, unable to contain and integrate the light of the dream. The result: the very light shatters its own vessels." The book showcases his program for rectifying the ills of the State of Israel.

TRANSFORMING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT: Kabbalah and Psychology. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 2002. 192 pp.

The author offers the fundamental elements of a system of Kabbalistic psychotherapy. He highlights many ways in which the Jewish mystical path to psychological well-being both agrees with and differs from the dominant schools of modern psychology, including the pivotal role played by the therapist. His goal is to show how we can empower our souls to rise above our egos and submit to God, and how we can separate out the negative influences of our lives and heal our psychological wounds.

KABBALAH: The Splendor of Judaism. David M. Wexelman. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson2001. 208 pp.

Primarily derived from Etz Chayim by Rabbi Chayim Vital, the primary recorder of the teachings of the holy Ari of Safed. The author tries to show how to apply the wisdom in the Kabbala to everyday life activities such as business, pleasure, and politics.

THE SEFIROT:Ten Emanations of Divine Power. Y. David Shulman. Northvale, NJ:Jason Aronson, 1996, 249 pp.

Essays on the ten sefirot as expounded in Breslov Chassidism, particularly in Likutei Halachot by Rabbi Nathan of Nemriov.

THE BOOK OF DIVINE POWER. Rabbi Yehuda Leove. Edited and translated by Shlomo Mallin. Jerusalem: Horev Publ., 1995. 2 volumes - 704 pp.

Finally, a complete translation of the rich exhaustive discussion of the Exodus and its lessons by one of the most famous rabbis in history, the Maharal of Prague. Includes a small amount of mystic content.

INNER RHYTHMS: The Kabbalah of Music. DovBer Pinson. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc, 2000, 179 pp.

An examination of Jewish music and song as an expression of happiness, sadness, faith and prayer, and as a vehicle for wisdom, ecstatic attachment to G-d, and unification.

G. Non-technical Introductions and Applications

THE LADDER UP: Secret Steps to Jewish Happiness. R.L. Kremnizer. New York: Sichos In English, 1994. 116 pp.

A layman's use of the concepts of Kabbala and Chasidut (section 1) for practical applications in daily life (section 2). A third section deals with Jewish holidays

LIVING INSPIRED. Dr. Akiva Tatz. Southfield, Michigan:Targum Press, 1993, 212 pp.

An exploration of how an understanding of some of the deeper ideas and patterns of Torah thought can illuminate our everyday experiences. Time, imagination, and laughter are three examples of the wide range of topics covered.

A SPIRITUAL GUIDE TO THE COUNTING OF THE OMER: Forty-nine Steps to Personal Refinement According to the Jewish Tradition. Simon Jacobson. Brooklyn: Vaad Hanochos Hatamim, 1996.

Pithy advice for each day between Passover and Shavuot, based on Chasidic teachings. Also contains, introductions, appendices, and rcommended exercises in a convenient Spiral notepad format.

BRINGING HEAVEN DOWN TO EARTH: 365 Mediations. Tsvi Freeman. Vancouver: Class One Press, 1996. 256 pp.

The author has taken what originally were mostly lengthy teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and impossibly contracted them to pithy lyrical aphorisms fitting one or two to a page. They are grouped in topical associations.

PRACTICAL KABBALAH: A Guide to Jewish Wisdom for Everyday Life.  Laibl Wolf. : New York: Random House, 1999. 272 pp.

Australia's best known mystic uses the ten Sefirot to understand the way the human soul, emotions and mind work together to provide us with harmony and balance. Rabbi Wolf explains how to harness and welcome these energies so that we can become what he calls "an artist of the soul," which in turn eliminates negative traits like anger, pessimism, and insecurity.

ASCENT TO HARMONY. Rabbi Elie Munk. New York0: Feldheim, 1987, 93 pp.

An inspired rendering of the meaning of Creation and its purpose according to Kabbalah.

IN THE BEGINNING: The Bible Unauthorized. H. Moose. Malibu, California: Thirty Seven Books, 2001, 402 pp.

A reprint of the 1947 underground classic, exposing both gross and subtle errors in standard translation of the first eleven chapters of Genesis. The author successfully explains the authentic Jewish approach to Scripture without resorting to technical terms. He also provides interesting insights on the relationship between Torah and science.

THE POSSIBLE MAN: Life in the Shadow of the Just. Meir Michel Abehsera. Brooklyn: Swan House, 1992, 243 pp.

A lyrical presentation, by a scion of the Abuhatzera clan, touching upon the spiritual journey and its pitfalls, and on the role of the just (tzadik).

THERE IS ONE. Gutman Locks. Jerusalem: author, 1989. 206 pp.

This book consists of 143 short but profound and thought-provoking segments and parables about G-d and existence and us. You will be challenged and encouraged no matter where you presently are in your journey of the soul.

ENDLESS LIGHT.  David Aaron. New York: Berkeley; 1998. 176 pp.

The founder of Isralight presents teachings of kabbalah as a source of personal and spiritual sustenance. Using Biblical episodes and other Jewish texts and traditions along with numerous personal anecdotes, Rabbi Aaron makes it comprehensible to anyone seeking a new understanding of God, the world, and themselves.


Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky is one of the founders of Ascent of Safed. He presently lives and writes in Jerusalem, where he is the chief editor for the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Chumash and for the English division of Gal Einai (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh). 

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