Summary and Info
The Sefer Yetsirah (the Book of Creation) is a core text of the early kabbalah, yet has remained something of a mystery. Scholars have struggled to establish the most basic facts about the work: its dating, its place of origin, and especially its meaning. The words and images of Sefer Yetsirah raise crucial questions about the history of kabbalah, and about scholarly categories for understanding it. This project attempts to discover the ways in which diagrams accompanying the text and its commentaries show trends in the development of the kabbalistic tradition as a whole. Ultimately, Marla Segol sheds new light on structure, context, use, and meaning in the obscure text and shows that the relation between religion and magic is closer than we think.