views updated


The aspect of the study of the Kabala that deals with the mysteries of divine majesty and seeks the sacred names. He (and only males over 40 could engage in this study) who possessed this knowledge knew the future, commanded nature, had full power over angels and demons, and could perform miracles.

The Hasidic masters (zaddik ) claimed that it was by this means that Moses performed so many marvels; that Joshua was able to stop the sun; that Elias caused fire to fall from heaven and raised the dead; that Daniel closed the mouths of the lions; and that the three youths were not consumed in the furnace. Even today, the leaders of some Hasidic groups are reputed to have mastered at least part of this material and are known for their miracle-working abilities.


Dresner, Samuel H. The Zaddik. New York: Schrocken Books, 1974.

Rabinowitz, H. A Guide to Hassidism. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1960.