The following is a bibliography of basic works in English on Jewish mysticism, including Kabbala, Chassidism and Jewish meditation. It includes only works that we consider reliable and authoritative (although even many of these books have some shortcomings). There are more acceptable works than are listed here; these are the ones that we have found to be most useful.

One has to exercise extra care when choosing reading material on this subject…

Many of the books on the market misinterpret Judaism - some innocently, some deliberately. This is especially true of books on Jewish mysticism. Therefore, one has to exercise extra care when choosing reading material on this subject.

For example, none of the books by Gershom Scholem or Martin Buber appear on our list. Despite the success these authors have had in popularizing Jewish mysticism, their works are either riddled with inaccuracies or plagued with the inevitable distortions of an author who is only academically involved in his subject, but remains uncommitted to its practice.

MYSTICAL CONCEPTS IN CHASIDISM. Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet. New York: Kehot, 1971; 3rd edition, 1979. 169 pp.
Definitive exposition of major Kabbalistic concepts and terminology, extensively footnoted and cross-referenced.

THE THIRTEEN PETALLED ROSE. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. New York: Basic Books, 1980, 181 pp.
A thematic treatment of the main concepts of Kabbala and Chasidut.

INNERSPACE: INTRODUCTION TO KABBALA, MEDITATION AND PROPHECY. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, edited by Avraham Sutton. Jerusalem: AK publishers, 1990, 230 pp.
Based on classes given by Rabbi Kaplan, the first part is an exposition of the Kabbalistic view of the universe, and the second a discussion of meditation and Kabbala based on the vision of Ezekiel.

SONG OF THE SOUL: INTRODUCTION TO KABBALA. Rabbi Yechiel Barlev. Petach Tikvah: Author, 1988, 351 pp.
Exposition of major concepts in Kabbala based on the system of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto.

MEDITATION AND KABBALA. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1982, 355 pp.
History, discussion, and citations of Kabbalistic teachers, texts, methods, and traditions from Talmudic to modern times. Although fairly comprehensive, sidesteps Sephardic and Chabad schools.

KABBALAH: Selections from Classic Kabbalistic Works from Raziel Hamalach to the Present Day. Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Finkel. Southfield, Mich: Targum Press Inc, 2002, 414 pp.
Brief selections from nearly fifty kabbala sources, with biographical notes on their authors. Also contains a short introduction to Kabbala and its concepts.

KABBALISTIC WRITINGS ON THE NATURE OF MASCULINE AND FEMININE. Sarah Schneider. Northvale, NJ:Jason Aronson, 2001,349 pp.,
Basing herself on a Talmudic discussion of the creation of the sun and moon, the brilliant founder of One Small Voice (a correspondence school) translates both the Talmud section and six kabbalistic texts concerned with the nature of the feminine and annotates and explicates all of them in great depth. Each text is introduced by a short summary and a lengthy synopsis, and concluded with a "debriefing" that includes "what we don't know."

KABBALA: THE SPLENDOR OF JUDAISM. David M. Wexelman. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson2001. 208 pp.
Primarily derived from Etz Chayim by Rabbi Chayim Vital, the primary recorder of the teachings of the holy Ari of Safed. The author tries to show how to apply the wisdom in the Kabbala to everyday life activities such as business, pleasure, and politics.

REFLECTIONS ON INFINITY. Dr. Raoul Nass. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1999, 432 pp.
A history and exposition of the major concepts of Kabbala. (Originally published in 1976 as The Road to Eternal Life and to Resurrection from Death, after Death.)

THE MYSTICAL DIMENSION. Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet. New York:Kehot, 1990. Volume 1 (The Mystical Tradition), 165 pp.; volume 2 (Deep Calling Unto Deep), 148 pp.; volume 3 (Chasidic Dimensions), 237 pp.
Essays on the meaning and study of Jewish mysticism, prayer, repentance, Chasidic philosophy. With extensive notes.

CHASIDIC INSIGHTS: A GUIDE FOR THE ENTANGLED. Rabbi Mattis Kantor. New York: Ktav, 1978, 117 pp.
A creative prose setting of several topics in Chasidic and Kabbala philosophy, including the 10 sefirot.

CHASIDISM: ITS DEVELOPMENT, THEOLOGY, AND PRACTICE. Rabbi Noson Gurary. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1997, 192 pp.
Essays on the origins and mystical doctrines of Chasidism.

MEDITATION AND THE BIBLE. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1978, 179 pp.
Discussion of prophetic methods, terminology used to describe them in the Bible, and Kabbalistic traditions about prophecy.

JEWISH MEDITATION: A PRACTICAL GUIDE. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. New York: Schocken, 1985, 165 pp.
Posthumously edited from author's manuscript.

LIVING IN DIVINE SPACE: KABBALA AND MEDITATION. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 2003. 288 pp.
Rabbi Ginsburgh painstakingly explains and demonstrates how meditation is meant to refine our intellect to become a channel for divine consciousness, so that it can infuse our day-to-day consciousness. He refutes the common understanding that meditation is an attempt to clear the mind in order to transcend the intellect.

LIGHTS OF PROPHECY / OROT HA-NEVUAH (Bilingual). Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook. Translated by Bezalel Naor. Spring Valley NY: Orot inc., 1990. 83 pp.
Selected readings on prophecy from the early chief rabbi of Israel.

THE HEBREW LETTERS: CHANNELS OF CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, assisted by Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 1990, 501 pp.
A nine-dimensional exposition on the mystical meanings of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and their meditative states. Based on the set of tapes listed below.

THE FLASHFLOOD: MERIT AND MEANING IN LURIANIC LORE. Dudaim Basadeh. Jerusalem: Caspit Press, 1986, 54 pp.
A somewhat esoteric but interesting statement of the Kabbalistic world-scheme, as well as three short essays on Kabbala and the sciences. Also somewhat disorganized and stiffly translated.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHABAD. Rabbi Nissan Mindel. New York: Kehot, 1973, 255 pp.
A synopsis and rephrasing of the first book of Tanya.

THE MYSTERY OF MARRIAGE. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Edited by Moshe Wisnefsky. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 1999. 499 pp.
Based on Jewish mystic principles, the author states that the purpose of Jewish marriage is to enable the couple to manifest the unity of their original undifferentiated spiritual essence into the context of everyday life. With many illustrations from Biblical personalities and Kabbalistic theory, he shows how today's Jewish couple can actualize these ideals in their daily life through the threefold process of establishing an effective relationship, fostering togetherness, and finally, merging in true oneness.

RECTIFYING THE STATE OF ISRAEL: A POLITICAL PLATFORM BASED ON KABBALA. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 2002. 230 pp.
The author's thesis is that while secular Zionism has succeeded in creating material vessels, developing industry, infrastructure and educational institutions, it has willfully neglected the inner, spiritual dimension of the vessels themselves. "The light inherent in the Zionist dream is indeed great, but its vessels are small and immature, unable to contain and integrate the light of the dream. The result: the very light shatters its own vessels." The book showcases his program for rectifying the ills of the State of Israel.

TRANSFORMING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT: KABBALA AND PSYCHOLOGY. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Rehovot, Israel: Gal Einai, 2002. 192 pp.
The author offers the fundamental elements of a system of Kabbalistic psychotherapy. He highlights many ways in which the Jewish mystical path to psychological well-being both agrees with and differs from the dominant schools of modern psychology, including the pivotal role played by the therapist. His goal is to show how we can empower our souls to rise above our egos and submit to G‑d, and how we can separate out the negative influences of our lives and heal our psychological wounds.

The author examines the uniquely feminine soul powers of Jewish women, and the implications thereof for perfecting the Creation. She offers insight into the feminine cycles of birth and pregnancy, the inner dynamics of the three mitzvot that women specialize in, and the feminine imagery found in Kabbala.

TO TOUCH THE DIVINE: A JEWISH MYSTICISM PRIMER. Compiled and edited by Benzion and Hinda Rader. New York: Kehot, 1989, 144 pp.
Papers from the International Symposium on Jewish Mysticism held in London in the early Eighties. Among the participants are Rabbis Steinsaltz and Schochet, cited above, and Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of England.

IN THE BEGINNING: DISCOURSES ON CHASIDIC THOUGHT. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. Tranlsated by Yehua Hanegbi. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1992, 300 pp.
Essays on themes from the Book of Genesis, based on the works of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (Torah Or and Ma'amarei Admor HaZaken).

THE LADDER UP: SECRET STEPS TO JEWISH HAPPINESS. R.L. Kremnizer. New York: Sichos In English, 1994. 116 pp.
A layman's use of the concepts of Kabbala and Chasidut (section 1) for practical applications in daily life (section 2). A third section deals with Jewish holidays

LIVING INSPIRED. Dr. Akiva Tatz. Southfield, Michigan:Targum Press, 1993, 212 pp.
An exploration of how an understanding of some of the deeper ideas and patterns of Torah thought can illuminate our everyday experiences. Time, imagination, and laughter are three examples of the wide range of topics covered.

Australia's best known mystic uses the ten sefirot to understand the way the human soul, emotions and mind work together to provide us with harmony and balance. Rabbi Wolf explains how to harness and welcome these energies so that we can become what he calls "an artist of the soul", which in turn eliminates negative traits like anger, pessimism, and insecurity.

ASCENT TO HARMONY. Rabbi Elie Munk. New York: Feldheim, 1987, 93 pp.
An inspired rendering of the meaning of Creation and its purpose according to Kabbala.

INNER RHYTHMS: The Kabbalah of Music. Rabbi DovBer Pinson. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc 2000, 179 pp.
An examination of Jewish music and song as an expression of happiness, sadness, faith and prayer, and as a vehicle for wisdom, ecstatic attachment to G‑d, and unification.

THERE IS ONE. Gutman Locks. Jerusalem: author, 1989. 206 pp.
This book consists of 143 short but profound and thought-provoking segments and parables about G‑d and existence and us. You will be challenged and encouraged no matter where you presently are in your journey of the soul.

ENDLESS LIGHT. David Aaron. New York: Berkeley; 1998. 176 pp.
The founder of Isralight presents teachings of Kabbala as a source of personal and spiritual sustenance. Using Biblical episodes and other Jewish texts and traditions along with numerous personal anecdotes, Rabbi Aaron makes it comprehensible to anyone seeking a new understanding of G‑d, the world, and themselves.

A SPIRITUAL GUIDE TO THE COUNTING OF THE OMER: Forty-nine Steps to Personal Refinement According to the Jewish Tradition. Simon Jacobson. Brooklyn: Vaad Hanochos Hatamim, 1996.
Pithy advice for each day between Passover and Shavuot, based on Chasidic teachings. Also contains, introductions, appendices, and recommended exercises in a convenient spiral-notepad format.

BRINGING HEAVEN DOWN TO EARTH: 365 MEDITATIONS. Tsvi Freeman. Vancouver: Class One Press, 1996. 256 pp.
The author has taken what originally were mostly lengthy teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and impossibly contracted them to pithy lyrical aphorisms fitting one or two to a page. They are grouped in topical associations.