Browsing Tag


The Path of Names

Kabbalah, Supernatural Bug Juice, and Other Camp Delights

By On February 24, 2014

Ah, Jewish summer camp memories: Bunk raids, incessant singing, daddy longlegs crawling everywhere, and of course mystical, supernatural adventures. Maybe not that last one, unless you’re the protagonist in Ari Goelman’s debut novel, The Path of… Read More


The Magical Ba’al Shem of London

By On November 13, 2013

Rabbi, kabbalist, alchemist, sorcerer. The CV of Rabbi Dr. Hayyim Samuel Jacob Falk, otherwise known as the Ba’al Shem of London, boasts no shortage of extraordinary feats. Born in 1708 somewhere in Europe (sources point to either… Read More


Treasure Hunt in Prague

By On July 26, 2012

In the late 1500s, Prague was a cultural hotspot. The reigning monarch of the Holy Roman Empire, Emperor Rudolf II, was a patron of the arts and humanities, including scholars, sculptors, and mystics. Rudolf… Read More


Aliens in the Bible?

By On March 23, 2012

The earliest writings of Merkavah mysticism date back to the second century C.E. The word Merkavah literally means “chariot,” and this mystical study is named after the surreal vision at the beginning of the biblical Book of Ezekiel, in which… Read More


Electric Golem

By On February 16, 2012

The 1920 German silent film The Golem is a classic of early cinema–dark, tortured, dated, and silly, but also genuinely creepy at points. The film is based on an ancient Jewish folktale in which a medieval rabbi molds… Read More


Praying in the Fields

By On December 29, 2011

In the sixteenth century, kabbalists living in Safed developed an elaborate ritual for welcoming the Sabbath. Dressed in white garments, they would leave the city limits and go into the fields, singing psalms and the mystical song “Lekhah Dodi.” Today we… Read More


Finding God in Madonna

By On September 29, 2010

What sort of spiritual seeker uses Madonna as a role model? Ten years ago, Wendy Shanker wrote her first book, the wildly popular memoir The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life, and became a successful… Read More