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Kabbalah

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Kabbalah

Originating in 13th-century France and Spain, Kabbalah is a Jewish mystical tradition that was passed down from generation to generation in circles of adepts. Through the practice of kabbalah, Jewish mystics sought to understand the mysteries of God, creation and existence. In the twentieth century, Kabbalah began to reach a far wider audience, inspiring artists, writers, filmmakers and contemporary pop icons, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

From 29 March to 25 August 2019, the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam organised the exhibition Kabbalah. The Art of Jewish Mysticism, highlighting the many aspects of Kabbalah, with displays of authentic kabbalistic texts and objects alongside works by modern and contemporary artists. In connection with this exhibition, the Embassy of the Free Mind organised the exhibition Kabbalah & Alchemy, which runs from 13 June to 16 November 2019, and sheds light on the rather unexplored relationship between these two disciplines.

Accompanying the exhibition Kabbalah. The Art of Jewish Mysticism is this beautiful English/Dutch publication Kabbalah. Lavishly illustrated, it explains the history and the various practices of Kabbalah, and how artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers found a rich source of inspiration in this Jewish mystical tradition. In addition to many colour photographs, the book contains a stunning fold-out illustration of an Ilan Aroch (literally: a long tree), a kabbalistic scroll written by Isaac Sasson ben Mordechai around 1790.