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Conclusion
 William James articulated an important insight. Authentic religious experienceleads to a change in one’s behavior, ideally transforming an individual into a more empathetic, ethical person. For Yogis and Jains, this religious trans-formation stems from and leads to the adoption and ongoing practice of five vows: nonviolence, truthfulness, not stealing, sexual restraint, and non-possession, applied according to each persons place in life. Individuals inhistory have adapted, interpreted, and championed these vows for a variety of causes, most notably Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. By seeing how ethical behavior finds its roots in religious experience, and by exploring the various applications of these traditional and innovative pathways, one can moredeeply appreciate the optimism and pragmatism and high regard in which William James held the religious quest.
C. Key Chapple, Disciplines and Vows
21
 
 Jewish Mysticism and Morality:Kabbalah and its Ontological Dualities
 Jerome G
ellman
Introduction
In addressing Jewish mysticism and morality, I will be confining myself to themajor historical phenomenon of Jewish mysticism, the
kabbalah.
Having itsroots in earlier mysticism,
kabbalah
flourished in the 13
th
century in the Gerona school of mysticism and with the appearance of the
Book of the Zohar 
, ascribedby tradition to the second century Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, but attributed by scholars to Moses de Leone, of Granada. It reached its most creative expressionin Safed, Palestine, in the 16
th
century, in the mysticism of Rabbi Isaac Luria and his pupils and associates. It then flowed into the Hasidic movement starting in the 18
th
century, and continues to be studied and cultivated down to our day.Henceforth, when I refer simply to “Jewish mysticism” I will mean that chief form of mysticism in Judaism.I will be using the term “mysticism,” to refer first to
unitive 
experiences,monistic, theistic, nature mysticism, or whatever, involving a phenomenologicalde-emphasis, blurring, or eradication of multiplicity. For example, in monisticmysticism, all (or almost all) distinctions disappear; in theistic mysticism, someform of union blurs the separation of the mystic from God; and in naturemysticism, all becomes an essential, complex, unity. Mystical experience, in thisnarrow sense, excludes
numinous 
experiences, which are non-unitive, and (mere)theurgic practices. Secondly, I mean “mysticism” to cover theologies (in a widesense, meant to include Buddhism) in which unitive experiences play (or:played) a central grounding role. Accordingly, my focus in what follows will beon the influence, or lack of it, of mystical experience upon the moral vision of 
kabbalah
, as an instance of mystical theology.Unitive experience figures centrally in
kabbalah
in a number of ways, chiefly in the experience of the “unity of the worlds” and in the experience of the
ayin
,“Nothingness.” The
kabbalah
speaks of 
almah d’pirudah
and
almah d’yihudah
,the “world of separation,” and the “world of unity.” These refer to conditions of the supernal divine emanation of ten
sefirot 
, “aspects” of the Divine, and theirconstellations in layers of divine “worlds.” In the “world of separation,” thedivine world-elements exist in disjointed isolation from one another, with no
 
mutual support and interpenetration. In the world of unity,” the divineelements are in a splendidly harmonious structure, in which each part contains within it elements of all other parts,
ad infinitum.
Human actions, morespecifically Jewish actions, theurgically determine whether the worlds arechaotic and disjointed, or structured and harmonious. In turn, the condition of the upper worlds determines whether our mundane world is itself chaotic andfragmented, or harmoniously ordered. In mystical prayer, especially, a mysticcan act to help bring about the world of unity as well as find himself in itexperientially. Above the experience of structural unity, lies the highest experience for the Jewish mystic, that of the
ayin
, or the “Nothingness,” the source of all the divineemanations. In the
ayin
, all opposites and distinctions vanish. Prof. Elior hasexplored the concept of 
ayin
, with special application to the Hasidism of Habad. In general, as Daniel Matt describes it in his study of the concept of Nothingness in Jewish mysticism, ultimate theurgic success returns theemanated multiplicity back to its source in the ineffable
En Sof  
, the Infinite,of which the
ayin
is an aspect, without parts and without multiplicity. In the words of Azriel of Gerona (13
th
century), in mystical prayer one “gathers themultiplicity” and ascends with it into the undifferentiated unity of the
ayin.
The ability to reach these unitive experiences does not depend uponpracticing an
unrestricted morality 
, of love, compassion, respect, or whatever, asit does in some other traditions, such as Theravada Buddhism. (By an“unrestricted” morality I mean one directed equally toward all human beings.)Neither does an unrestricted morality issue from these unitive experiences, as it would in Christian mysticism. Instead, the morality of 
kabbalah
is decidedly 
restricted 
, dominated as it is by two major ontological dualities standing in deeptension with the mystical themes: the duality of Jew and non-Jew and theduality of man and woman. These dualities, flowing from correspondindualities in the
kabbalah
’s theosophic theology, have a profound effect on thebehavior of the mystic toward other human beings.The point here is not only that these dualities exist in the life of the mystic. With that we are familiar enough in other mystical traditions. The point is,rather, that these dualities are built-in to the mystical theology from the start,and shape the mystic’s “official” mystical moral outlook. It is only in 20
th
century Jewish mysticism that these dualities have begun to be sporadically overcome by isolated figures, in addition by popularizing movements incontemporary Jewry. So,
kabbalah
does not fit a familiar picture of othermysticisms.In what follows, I will describe the dualities of Jew and non-Jew, and maleand female in
kabbalah
, and explain how they are operative on the moral level.Then I will turn to examples in the 20
th
century where these dualities begin tobe transcended. With these tasks accomplished, I will turn to a discussion of 
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24
 
how we can best explain the deviation of Jewish mystical morality from that of other mystical traditions.Before beginning, two caveats are in order. The first:
Kabbalah
stretchesover many centuries as a cultural phenomenon among Jews who resided indifferent lands and in very different cultural climates. The ways mystics workedout the details of the dualities of which I speak differ from time to time andfrom place to place. We also witness some counter-indications and attempts tosoften the polarities. However, the latter are minor in both tone and impact. What I present will be the heavily predominant mainstream of Jewishmysticism, which has had the most impact on mystical circles and on Jewishhistory. The second: Against William Wainwright’s advice, I will be running together two kinds of questions: (1) An empirical question: Are therepsychological connections between mystical experience and unrestrictedmorality? (2) An epistemological question: do mystical experiences provide warrant for an unrestricted morality? I do so because in my mind the issuesintertwine in ways that I cannot go into here. At some future time, perhaps, I will try to untangle them.
 Jew and Non-Jew 
In
kabbalah
, a controlling ontological duality runs across the distinctionbetween unity and chaos in the mystical Godhead. This is the distinctionbetween the
sitrah d’kedushah
and the
sitrah ahra
, between the “Side of Holiness” and the “Other Side.” The “Other Side” is the realm of the demonic,the Satan, and the devils; in Lurianic
kabbalah
(16
th
century) the side of theshells,the discarded refuse of creation. The “Other Sideis a completenegative reality parallel to the Side of Holiness. The Other Side has its owndemonic structures of ten
sefirot 
, aspects of the Other Side, and supernal worlds.The
Zohar 
(13
th
century) states (3:41b): “Just as there are ten crowns of faithabove, so there are ten crowns of black-magic of impurity below.” And Haim Vital (1542–1620), the major transcriber of Lurianic mysticism writes: “Know that just as there are four supernal worlds of holiness… so too there are in therealm of the shells…and they are the opposite of holiness (
Etz Haim
, Section48, Chapter 3).” The only structural difference between the two realms is thaton the side of holiness, the potency of the holiness increases as one ascends thesupernal constellation, whereas on the side of Impurity, the potency of theimpurity increases as one descends the supernal constellation.The Other Side and the Side of Holiness are actively opposing forces. Whenthe Other Side’s worlds are chaotic and fragmented, weakened by Jewish gooddeeds, then the Divine ascends in its cohesion and all is well in our mundane world. When the Other Side is strengthened by Jewish misdeeds, the Divine
 J. Gellman, Jewish Mysticism and Morality 
25
 
chaos is increased. The world, our world, stands poised between these twocompeting realms, pulled in different directions, and the Jewish people aremandated to resist the pull of the impure
sefirot 
, in dedication to strengthening the Divine inner harmony.Isaiah Tishby has noted that the
Zohar 
avoids an ultimate ontologicaldualism, which would have been inconsistent with its theistic outlook, by recognizing the powers of impurity as messengers” of the Divine. Lurianicmysticism, three centuries after the
Zohar 
, avoids the threat of ultimate duality  with its doctrine that divine sparks inhabit the impure “shells,” giving themtheir “life-force,” which they have none of independently. Hence, the duality isnot ultimate, as befits a theistic mysticism. Nonetheless, I refer to this as an“ontological dualism” because consisting of disparate metaphysical realms thatstand in profound opposition for all practical purposes.The ontological divide between the divine and the satanic, between the pureand the impure, impinges directly on the morality of Jewish mysticism whenthe same divide appears in our world in the guise of the divide between Jews andnon-Jews. The source of the Jewish soul is in the realm of the divine, whereasthe soul of the non-Jew is a part of the Other Side. Moshe Halamish, an Israeliresearcher, quotes from the mystical wor
Shefa Tal 
(by Shabbetai SheftelHorowitz, 15611619) that, “The Jewish nation is a part of the Godlabove…. The nations are from the external powers, the powers of the shells.”Thus, non-Jews are ontologized into a separate, demonic reality from that of the Jews. The
Zohar 
can thus deny the Image of God of non-Jews, saying that thenon-Jew is blessed with the “Image of the Other Side” instead (
 Zohar 
, 3:104b).Indeed, “The Holy One Blessed be He” cannot tolerate the non-Jews (
 Zohar 
,3:42b), where the “Holy One” is a name of the centrally located
sefirah
of 
Tif’eret 
in the divine emanations. The
shechinah
, the Indwelling Presence, doesnot rest on the non-Jews (
Tikunei Zohar,
69), and the non-Jews come from the“root of evil” (
 Zohar 
, 3:14a). On the other hand, the theme of mystical unity and harmony, that we saw earlier, applies to the People of Israel alone. They alone are “One body, one organism.” (Haim Vital,
Pri Etz Haim
, Section 12,Section on Repentant Prayer, Chapter 8.) The “nations of the world” float freefrom this mystical organic insight.This metaphysical view of the non-Jew contrasts sharply with the Medieval Jewish philosophical tradition. Maimonides, the greatest representative of thattradition, thought there was no ontological or racial difference between Jew andnon-Jew. What accounted for the chosennessof the Jewish people, forMaimonides, was the fact that the man who reached the highest level of prophecy, Moses, and who then prepared a Law for his people, happened to be  Jew. While Maimonides’ moral outlook would not pass the inspection of a contemporary committee responsible for political correctness, it does display 
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