||Title: Das Buch Bahir: ein Schriftdenkmal aus der Frühzeit der Kabbala / Auf Grund der kritischen Neuausgabe übersetzt und erklärt
A German translation of the Sefer Bahir which was first translated and commented on by Dr. Scholem as his doctoral thesis in 1922.
Sefer Bahir is the earliest work of kabbalistic literature, i.e., of that literature which adopts the specific approach and the symbolic structure characteristic of kabbalistic teaching.
Gershom Gerhard Scholem (1897–1982), Jewish scholar; pioneer and leading authority in the field of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. Born into an assimilated German-Jewish family in Berlin, Scholem joined the Zionist movement as a young student. This, to him, implied a thorough understanding of the full historical, religious, and cultural tradition of Judaism, to the study and interpretation of which he henceforward devoted himself. He acquired a thorough knowledge of Hebrew and the Jewish sources, benefiting from the influence and friendship of H. N. Bialik, S. Y. Agnon, S.Z. Rubashov (Shazar), and others who, coming from the traditional Jewish culture of Eastern Europe, happened to be in Germany during and after World War I. Scholem studied at the universities of Berlin, Jena, Berne, and Munich, but changed from mathematics and philosophy to oriental languages and in 1922 submitted his doctoral thesis: a translation of, and commentary on, Sefer ha-Bahir, the earliest extant kabbalistic text and one of the most obscure and difficult. Das Buch Bahir (1923) was followed by many other studies and publications, as a result of which the history of the Kabbalah, misrepresented and misinterpreted through ignorance, rationalist prejudice, or Romantic enthusiasm, became established as a major discipline and its study placed on a solid philological basis. Scholem joined the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1923 and served as librarian at the University and National Library (1923–27), as lecturer (from 1925), and as professor of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah (1933–65). His researches consist of philological, bibliographical, and other technical studies (including the discovery of many unknown manuscripts and the edition of texts) as well as of works of synthesis. Among the former are the many studies and texts published in Kirjath Sepher, Zion, Sefunot, and other scholarly periodicals; among the latter group Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941, 19543, repr. 1965), Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition (1960, 19652), Shabbetai Zevi ve-ha-Tenu'ah ha-Shabbeta' it, 2 vols. (1957; English translation, Shabbetai Sevi, 1973), Ursprung und Anfaenge der Kabbala (1962), and The Messianic Idea in Judaism (1971) are the most outstanding. Kabbalah, based on his entries in the Encyclopaedia Judaica, appeared in 1974.