Aryeh Kaplan was, quite simply, the shit. A theoretical physicist by training, he turned away from the study of science to focus on Kabbalah and other aspects of Judaic theology. Although most well-known to the occult community as, arguably, the foremost published author on the subject, he also wrote a number of books on Judaism in general. He kicked off when he was 48, which is a sad loss for both Jewish scholars and the rest of us goyim.
In “Meditation and Kabbalah,” we have an excellent treatise on the history and philosophy of Kabbalah from a fairly Orthodox Jewish perspective. Better yet, we get a book that describes practical techniques for engaging in that sort of meditation.
Now, if you’re used to the Llewellyn school of publishing, you’ll probably be a little dumbfounded by all these comments he makes about the Torah (the Old Testament, for you Christian types). This is not Elaine Cunningham’s witches qabbalah, friends. This is the Real Deal. And there’s all sorts of neat stuff in here. A Judaic system of chiromancy; tons of gematria; and lots of history about the Kabbalic schools of thought within Judaism. Best of all, he has a tremendous bibliography, for those of us who like to read where the author got his ideas from.
All in all, one of the best books on Kabbalah out there. If you like, I also recommend “The Bahir,” “Sefer Yetzirah,” and “Tzitzith.” Good stuff.