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The trauma of the persecution and final Expulsion from Spain in 1492, and its many attendant sufferings, caused much soul-searching and despair among the Jews.  The religious answer to these trials and tribulations was a new upwelling of Messianic fervour, which had its metaphysical expression in a new type of Kabbalah that appeared in the village of Safed in Northern Palestine.  During the sixteenth century, this developed into an the extraordinary Kabbalistic community.  It was only here centre that the Kabbalistic cosmology was fully developed [Scholem, Kabbalah, p.119]

 Among the Kabbalists of Safed were perhaps the two greatest original Kabbalistic thinkers, Rabbi Moses Cordovero and Rabbi Isaac Luria.  It was the latter especially whose influence was the greatest, due to the integral incorporation of the Messianic ideology into his complex theology and cosmology.  Without doubt Lurianism was one of the most important waves of Kabbalistic speculation, and certainly the most significant development in Kabbalah until the non-Jewish Hermetic "Qabalistic" impetus of the late nineteenth century.

 Lurianic Kabbalah

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page uploaded 20 March 1999