David S. Ariel, former assistant professor of religion at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, is currently president of the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies. He has taught Judaica at Boston University and Hebrew at Brandeis University, where he received his Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy and Kabbalah. He has taught and lectured in the United States, Israel, and the Soviet Union and has published articles on Jewish and Islamic mysticism in the Brown University Judaica Series, Judaism, Religious Studies Review, and New Outlook.
Ariel discusses the nature, history, character, and principles of Jewish mysticism. He also details number symbolism, reference to the feminine aspect of God, the idea of Torah as God's emanation, destiny of the soul, religious life of the mystic, and modern Jewish mysticism. The book is useful for general readers and specialists, but it does not oversimplify. It is an excellent, comprehensive study. Highly recommended for seminary and academic libraries; large public libraries should consider.