The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism by Geoffrey W. Dennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Once upon a time, I read Edward Erdelac's Merkabah Rider series and was bowled over by the awesomeness, the combination of pulp western and Jewish mystacism. After a couple blog interviews with Ed, he tipped me off to this. My wife got it for me for my birthday and I've chewed on it on and off ever since.
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism is an exhaustive collection of various entries from Jewish myth and it's fascinating. While not something you'd ever want to read cover to cover, it offers lots of interesting morsels. While I initially came for the stuff like Golems and Lillith, I interrupted my wife's reading quite a few times to relate some obscure bit of lore I unearthed. I had no idea how much I'd known of magical traditions originated with the Jews.
It's not a rivetting read but holds a place of honor on my non-fiction shelf next to stuff like Into The Unknown and Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders. I look forward to slowly digesting it over the next thousand years. Five out of five stars.
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