Centre for Continuing Education

Kabbalah Since the Sefer HaZohar Course

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Learn about Jewish culture the smart way with Jewish Culture courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

In partnership with the Department of Hebrew, Biblical & Jewish Studies
Course materials developed by The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning - a project of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For specific enquiries regarding the program, please contact Hinda Young on 0432 567 917 or email.

A discussion of modern Kabbalah must begin with the Sefer Hazohar, arguably the most important work of Kabbalah which appeared in Spain in the thirteenth century. This collective work is the basis for much of popular Kabbalah today. This course is presented on Kabbalah, and students will learn how the Sefer HaZohar’s enterprise of understanding hidden teachings in the Torah with an obscure and mystical style, impacts future Kabbalistic trends. The course continues with the transfer of Kabbalistic endeavours from Spain to Safed, the impact of Rabbi Isaac Luria and Lurianic Kabbalah, the popularisation of Kabbalistic concepts by the Chassidim, and finally the Kabbalah in its contemporary expressions.

Throughout this course, students will engage in discussions on the relevance of the secret wisdom of Kabbalah to contemporary life. The study of these pivotal moments in the history of Kabbalah study will give students an understanding of how the mystical and esoteric has been employed in the Jewish tradition. Students are encouraged to find personal meaning from the study of Kabbalah for their own lives and the enduring questions for humanity.

If you are interested in related courses, please also see Ancient Kabbalah Course.


Students in this course will understand the developments in Kabbalah since the Sefer HaZohar. Particularly the popularisation of Kabbalah.


Sefer HaZohar: Reading from the Book of Splendour

This lesson will focus exclusively on the Zohar, arguably the crowning literary achievement of medieval Kabbalah by examining why the Zohar succeeded as well as it did in society over time and the way the Torah has continued to resonate with so many Jews?

Mystical Visions and Voices: From Spain to Safed

The objective of this lesson is to illustrate the development of two new emphases in kabbalistic discourse: the importance of asceticism, or mortification of the body, for attaining mystical insight; and the translation of theosophic ideas into ethical ideals that prescribe how to live a pious and good life.

Lurianic Kabbalah: Creation, Destruction and Individual Tikkun

The objective is to explore the way that Lurianic Kabbalah transforms the medieval kabbalistic notion of theurgy as a collective project into a more individualized endeavor whereby each Jew, through the unique capacities associated with their own particular soul, plays an essential role.

Chasidism: Seeking God in a Troubled World

This lesson explores how the most salient feature of the development of Chasidism is its use of Kabbalah for new purposes, reflecting the new conceptions of the self that became operative in communities in the early modern world.

Kabbalah in a New Age: Contemporary Forms of Mysticism

The objective of this lesson is to examine how Kabbalah has proven itself to have remarkable value, as seekers from many walks of life, both within and beyond the Jewish world, have turned to the teachings of the mystics in their pursuit of spiritual fulfillment.

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for anyone interested in how the Sefer HaZohar has shaped the modern study of Kabbalah. It speaks to those interested in the modern developments of Kabbalah. No prior knowlege is required.

A discount applies for couples enrolling. In order to receive this discount, please contact Hinda Young for details prior to enrolment.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion