New York: Schocken Books, 1991. Paperback, 328 pages. New.
In the Zohar and other Kabbalistic writings, Jewish mystics developed concepts and symbols to help them penetrate secrets of the cosmos that cannot be apprehended through reason or intellect alone. In clear and easy-to-understand prose, Gershom Scholem, the pioneer of the modern study of Jewish mysticism until his death in 1982, explains the core concepts of the Kabbalah, such as the nature of Good and Evil; the Tsaddik or righteous soul; the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of God; gilgul, the transformation of soul; and tselem, the concept of the astral or subtle body. With a foreword by Joseph Dan, and extensive notes, On The Mystical Shape of the Godhead is essential reading for anyone who wants to develop their understanding of traditional Kabbalah, and its enormous influence on contemporary occult philosophy and practice.