The title of this volume reflects its contents. Immortality, Resurrection, and the Age of the Universe: A Kabbalistic View. In addition, there is a discussion of the the place of astrology within Jewish thinking and a mystical view of the relationship of the two sexes. Rabbi Kaplan was one of the most creative personalities to bless the Jewish scene in that last generation. His prolific and multifaceted output includes books on the Bible, Jewish law, mysticism (including works on meditation and prayer, in which he was particularly interested), and Jewish thought. At his death he left many articles and other works which are just now being published. This collection contains some of the most searching and provocative of his unpublished work. They combine the insights of ancient kabbalistic teaching with the discoveries of modern science. Drawing on the Kabbalah, for example, Kaplan shows how modern science's regarding the age of the universe may be reconciled with the chronology of the Creation in Genesis 1, how the longevity of the patriachs before the Flood and the resurrection of the dead may be explained in biological terms. In addition, as an appendix, the volume contains an annotated translation of the article "Or ha-Hayyim" by Rabbi Israel Lipschitz, the author of the classic Tiferet Israel commentary on the Mishnah, on the subject of fossils and evolution, written in 1845, and never before available in English in its entirety. Rabbi Lipschitz was among the first, if not the first, to rise to the challenge of the then new discoveries of fossils in the first half of the nineteenth century.
by Aryeh Kaplan