century Kabbalah (by Bracha Sack, Joe¨lle Hansel, Raphael Shuchat,Pinchas Giller and Jonathan Garb). Shaul Magid has recently analyzedthe beginnings of modern Kabbalah utilizing the tools of the schoolof New Historicism. Finally, Haviva Pedaya has included importanttheoretical comments on the modernization of Kabbalah in severalthematic articles.
At the same time, we are far from a comprehensive picture of modern Kabbalah, even on the basic textual level. One need but con-sult Scholem’s encyclopedic survey of this period, which is itself farfrom exhaustive, in order to observe how many key texts and figures,including such luminaries as R. Emanuel
ai Ricci, have hardly beendiscussed.
It is of interest to compare the state of academic textualscholarship with the recent awakening of interest in early modernKabbalah in the kabbalistic circles in Jerusalem, which has led, tocite but two instances, to the publication of numerous earlier andcontemporary commentaries on Ricci’s
and editionsof several works from the Kloiz fellowship in Brody.More significantly, we do not yet have a full integrative accountof the unique nature of modern Kabbalah, its response to broadercultural and historical developments and the various stages of itsdevelopment in various cultural contexts, European and Oriental.Such an account would in turn require a far more advanced state of research into other areas of modern Jewish religiosity, such as custom,liturgy, Halacha, Talmudic methodology, and Mussar, which likeKabbalah, have suffered from the pre-modern focus of classical Jewish studies. At the same time, we should be encouraged fromrecent and forthcoming work by mostly younger scholars such asZe’ev Gries, Maoz Kahana, Haviva Pedaya, David Sorotzkin, andRoni Weinstein, who provide useful tools and insights for a newunderstanding of modern Jewish religiosity.
MODERN KABBALAH AS A SELF
CONTAINED DOMAIN OF INQUIRY
The neglect of the modern in Jewish studies is one case of many inwhich one can see how the modernistic attempt to differentiate aca-demic scholarship from traditional learning created a gap between theagenda of the universities (as well as those institutions influenced bythe university, such as the contemporary Batei Midrash in Israel andrabbinical schools in the United States) and that of the Yeshiva world,whose very development was greatly accelerated by modernity. Forcontemporary kabbalists in Yeshiva circles, the classics are not
, nor the writings of the Gerona circle, nor somewhat later
Modernization of Kabbalah