Jewish meditation, and check out Jewish meditation on Wikipedia, Youtube, Google News, Google Books, and Twitter on Digplanet. Jewish meditation can refer to several traditional practices, ranging from visualization and intuitive methods, forms of emotional insight in communitive prayer, esoteric combinations of Divine names, to intellectual analysis of philosophical, ethical or mystical concepts. Isaac of Acco (13th-14th century) and Joseph Tzayach (1505-1573), the latter influenced by Abulafia, taught their own systems of meditation. Rabbi Moses ben Jacob Cordovero (1522-1570), central historical Kabbalist in Safed, taught that when meditating, one does not focus on the Sefirot (Divine emanations) per se, but rather on the light from the Infinite ("Atzmut"-essence of God) contained within the emanations. Hisbodedus (alternatively transliterated as "hitbodedut", from the root "boded" meaning "self-seclusion") refers to an unstructured, spontaneous and individualized form of prayer and meditation taught by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. The Musar (Ethics) Movement, founded by Rabbi Israel Salanter in the middle of the 19th-century, encouraged meditative practices of introspection and visualization that could help to improve moral character.
This "Merkavah-Heichalot" mysticism, referred to in Talmudic accounts, sought elevations of the soul using meditative methods, built around the Biblical Vision of Ezekiel and the Creation in Genesis.
Kabbalists reinterpreted the standard Jewish liturgy by reading it as esoteric mystical meditations and the ascent of the soul for elite practitioners.


Keeping in mind that all reaches up to the Infinite, his prayer is "to Him, not to His attributes." Proper meditation focuses upon how the Godhead acts through specific sefirot. While the Zohar is outwardly solely a theosophical work, for which reason medieval Meditative Kabbalists followed alternative traditions, Luria's systemisation of doctrine enabled him to draw new detailed meditative practices, called Yichudim, from the Zohar, based on the dynamic interaction of the Lurianic partzufim.
In his works, he explains that the Hebrew word for meditation is hisbonenus (alternatively transliterated as hisbonenus).
Through this, the border between meditative prayer and theurgic practice would be blurred if prayer becomes viewed as a magical process rather than supplication. However according to Aryeh Kaplan, the Abulafian system of meditations forms an important part of the work of Rabbi Hayim Vital, and in turn his master the Ari, Rabbi Isaac Luria.[9] Kaplan's pioneering translations and scholarship on Meditative Kabbalah[10] trace Abulafia's publications to the extant concealed transmission of the esoteric meditative methods of the Hebrew prophets.
In meditation on the essential Hebrew name of God, represented by the four letter Tetragrammaton, this corresponds to meditating on the Hebrew vowels which are seen as reflecting the light from the Infinite-Atzmut.
This meditative method, as with Luria's theosophical exegesis, dominated later Kabbalistic activity.
A term for this, Unifications – Yichudim unites Meditative Kabbalah with Theosophical Kabbalah doctrine of harmony in the Sephirot.


One favoured activity of the Safed mystics was meditation while prostrated on the graves of saints, in order to commune with their souls.
His Shaarei Kedusha (Gates of Holiness) was the only guidebook to Meditative Kabbalah traditionally printed, though its most esoteric fourth part remained unpublished until recently.
The Baal Shem Tov and the Hasidic Masters left aside the previous Kabbalistic meditative focus on Divine Names and their visualisation, in favour of a more personal, inner mysticism, expressed innately in mystical joy, devotional prayer and melody, or studied conceptually in the systemised classic works of Hasidic philosophy. Said the Prophet, "You invest such effort in meditation, trying to attain lofty levels, while the hearfelt words said by Aaron Shlomo and his wife cause a delight in Heaven, more than the commotion caused by the esoteric meditations of the righteous.



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