Adam's lack of gratitude for, or any acknowledgment of, God's beneficence in his life, from Creation to Eve to his children, stands in sharp contrast to the Cabbalist
idea that Adam, before his fall and expulsion from Eden, is a cosmic being who contains the whole world in himself, and "whose station is superior even to .
Though some Indian masters come across as less self-assured than their Babylonian or Egyptian counterparts, others are willing to awe their readers with hocus-pocus, as their critics would say of the cabbalists
as well (p.
then proceeds to analyze typologically, phenomenologically, and historically visions of God in the early Hekhalot literature, some important medieval pre-Cabbalistic figures, and more extensively the German Pietists of the 12th-13th centuries, and the array of Provencal-Spanish cabbalists
whose work culminates in The Zohar.
The Zohar (a mystical commentary on the Pentateuch written in the late thirteenth century) speculated about intercourse between the male and female aspects of God, believing it could actually be influenced by the way in which human sexual relations were conducted; for this exalted purpose, the Cabbalists
were encouraged to have intercourse with their wives on Sabbath eve.
According to Nahmanides and Crescas, not to mention the Cabbalists
, the soul, having been imparted by God and being a simple, non-composite substance, is not subject to decomposition and disintegration.