Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Meditation and The Bible

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan lived a relatively short life, and when he died, he left a variety of books relating to Jewish mysticism that where and have remained immensely influential in bringing Jewish meditative practice to a wide audience.

In his Meditation and The Bible Kaplan performs the time honored method of getting at the “true” meaning of certain biblical passages and word definitions by subtly shifting their meanings.  He uses traditional religious sources to recover the etymology of certain words which, under the influence of new definitions, have connotations with meditation.

His results are not historical in the strict sense, but the kind of sacred fiction Jews have always performed with their holy books.  A twist here, and a turn there, and new meanings can be wrung from old texts.

And at the end, a new set of definitions are produced dressed in old garb.  

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