Description*: Mysticism challenges our conventional modes of experiencing reality and describing the mystery of being. Mystical contemplation and meditative practice have long occupied a central role in the Jewish religious tradition and have succeeded in transforming and remaking that tradition in each generation. This course will examine the central teachings and ongoing legacy of Jewish mysticism from its classical origins to modern times, with special emphasis on Kabbalah, Hasidism, and modern movements of Jewish renewal. We will consider the questions and controversies that defined Kabbalah and Hasidism in their formative contexts and the reasons for their revival among Jews and non-Jews alike in our day. Our study of Jewish mysticism will take the core texts of the mystical tradition as our starting point, while paying close attention to alternative forms of creative expression, from poetry and storytelling to music and dance.