Etz Chayyim (Tree of Life), Chayyim Vital's presentation of the teachings of his master, Isaac Luria, is one of the most important books in the development of Kabbalah, the mystical strand of Jewish tradition. Luria himself is generally regarded as the most influential of kabbalists, second only to the author of the Zohar, and Etz Chayyim is considered by kabbalists and scholars alike to be the most authoritative version of his teachings.
Etz Chayyim, sometimes called the Talmud of the kabbalists, has always been considered the most secret of the secret traditions of Judaism. In its present form it consists of a total of seven volumes, or palaces. The first volume, The Palace of Adam Kadmon, presents an overview of Isaac Luria's teachings, outlining the entire Lurianic system and providing a detailed description of its main structural elements.
This first translation into English of The Tree of Life, The Palace of Adam Kadmon will open this fascinating and important text to the large and growing body of readers who have become interested in Kabbalah and are curious about its original sources. It includes a facsimile copy of the original Hebrew text of Etz Chayyim, Heykhal Adam Kadmon and the English text contains page, column and line numbers that enable the reader to compare the translators' rendering to the original version. It is an excellent introduction to the beauty and complexity of the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria, as conveyed to us by his chief disciple, Chayyim Vital.
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How grateful we are that these gifted scholars have applied their talents to the translation of this crucially important classic of Jewish tradition. No Jewish library is complete without it. It will be studied for generations. There is a lot of imitation Kabbalah around; this book is the real thing. --Arthur Kurzweil, author of On the Road with Rabbi Steinsaltz, The Torah for Dummies and Kabbalah for Dummies
Rabbi Isaac Luria's Tree of Life is among the most revered and least understood texts of the Jewish mystical tradition. This first English translation is a most welcome step toward opening this important book. Its translators are most worthy of our thanks and praise. --Arthur Green, Professor of Jewish Thought, Brandeis University
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