(1) Discuss the role of prophetic experience and mystical union in the intellectual mysticism of Maimonides and the prophetic kabbalah of Abraham Abulafia.
(2) Discuss the kabbalistic doctrine of Torah as the name and notion of the four levels of meaning in Torah in zoharic kabbalah, focusing on the passages translated in Mayse, From the Depth of the Well, 46-48 and 57-60.
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(3) Discuss the doctrine of gender construction and the problem of evil in zoharic kabbalah. How are the two themes interrelated and how does the clarification of one elucidate the nature of the other?
(4) Please discuss Scholem’s characterization of the development of messianic speculation in sixteenth-century Lurianic kabbalah, its ramifications in the seventeenthcentury Sabbatian movement, and its neutralization in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Hasidism. In particular, assess the claim of Scholem that this messianism evolved as a response to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and discuss the relationship of the historical and the symbolic facets of the messianic impulse as it evolved in the teaching of Luria and his disciples, and the repercussions in Sabbatianism and Hasidism.