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Warren Kenton

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Warren Kenton

Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi
Born Warren Kenton
(1933-01-08) January 8, 1933 (age 81)
London, England
Nationality UK
Alma mater Saint Martin's School of Art, London
Occupation author, teacher
Known for Kabbalah books and teachings

Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi (English name, Warren Kenton) is an author of books on the Toledano Tradition of Kabbalah, a teacher of the discipline, with a worldwide following, and a founder member of the Kabbalah Society.

Early life

Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi was born, on the 8 January 1933, into a [2] His Ashkenazi great-grandfather was Zerah Barnet, who helped found the Orthodox Meah Shearim district, just outside the Old City of Jerusalem, and a Hebrew yeshiva in Jaffa.

He attended Saint Martin's School of Art and the Royal Academy, studying painting during his time there. After college his jobs included working in general and psychiatric hospitals, as well as in a theatre workshop and at the Royal Opera House. Besides theatre work and practising graphic design Royal College of Art and the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture.

Kabbalistic work

He has been a student and tutor of the Kabbalah for more than 40 years and has taught it since 1971. During this time he has visited nearly all the old major centers of Kabbalah in Europe, North Africa and Israel, while specialising in the Toledano Tradition, a form that derives from the Sephardi Kabbalah which developed in early medieval Spain and France and which included among its focal points the towns of Lunel and Girona and the city of Toledo.


These and other centres flowered, producing among their practitioners of mysticism and Kabbalah Solomon ibn Gabirol, Isaac the Blind and Nachmanides. During this period Kabbalists incorporated into their expositions and exegeses a degree of Neoplatonic emanationism, called Ein Sof by kabbalists, that conformed to the requirements of Jewish theology and philosophy, though, to some extent, in medieval times, it conflicted with the Aristotelian approach to Jewish philosophy by Maimonides and his followers.[1]

A fellow of the Kabbalah Society and for many years ran a series of Kabbalah courses at Regent's College in London.

He travels widely and runs a continuing series of Way of Kabbalah courses and lectures held in many countries, including America, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Scotland and Spain, though few of his lectures have been published and fewer still are online; similarly with his articles.

Halevi is as well known a writer as he is a teacher, having published 18 books, including a kabbalistic novel and books on Hebrew.

Many of his publications are issued under his Hebrew name, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, a contraction of his full family name of Z’ev ben Shimon ben Joshua Haham-Halevi. Both of his families were [8]


Charles, Prince of Wales

In an introduction to the Sacred Web Conference, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, September 23/24, 2006 at the University of Alberta in 2006, the Prince of Wales, a Patron of the Temenos Academy, said, when talking of the tension between Tradition and Modernism:

This dilemma is captured in ancient notions of balance and harmony; notions that are, for example, expressed in many guises in that wonderful Kabbalistic diagram of the [9]

There is a DVD that includes this portion of the Prince's talk on the World Wisdom website. [10]

Kathleen Raine

The poet, Kathleen Raine, had this to say about Halevi's work:

A feature of this author's system not found in others (although doubtless it is traditional though not universally taught) is the beautiful way in which the interfaces of each 'world' overlap with the one above (or below). Thus, the highest experiences of the physical world overlap the lower part of the next world (the psychological]: and again psyche's highest experiences of the individual soul coincide with spiritual regions of the transpersonal world of universal forms. So from illumination to illumination we reascend the 'ladder' by which each of us 'came down to earth from heaven'. The awe-inspiring sublimity of the Kabbalistic universe at once convinces and comforts. It is our destiny to descend and to fulfil some task, learn some lesson in the natural world; as it is to follow the path of return, to reascend from world to world, no matter how many lifetimes this may take us before we return to our true home, 'the kingdom of Heaven'. Kathleen Raine, Light Magazine, Spring 1989.
Sinéad O'Connor

Singer Sinéad O'Connor wrote in the inner sleeve notes to the album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, "Special thanks to Selina Marshall + Warren Kenton for showing me that all I'd need was inside me."

Charles Thomson

Artist [11]


Early books
  • Introducing Stagecraft, (as Warren Kenton), Drake Publishers, c.1971
  • Play Begins: A Documentary-Novel upon the Mounting of a Play, (as Warren Kenton), Elek Books. 1971
  • Stage Properties and How to Make Them, (as Warren Kenton), Pitman, 1978
Subsequent books
  • An Introduction to the Cabala: Tree of Life, Rider, 1972; Samuel Weiser, 1991
  • Adam and the Kabbalistic Tree, Rider, London 1974
  • A Kabbalistic Universe, Samuel Weiser, 1977; Gateway, 1988
  • Kabbalah: A Tradition of Hidden Knowledge Thames and Hudson, 1979
  • Kabbalah and Exodus, Rider, 1980, Samuel Weiser, 1988 and Gateway Books, 1993
  • The Work of the Kabbalist, Gateway, 1984; Samuel Weiser, 1993
  • The School of the Soul, Gateway Books, 1985
  • Psychology and Kabbalah Samuel Weiser, 1986; Gateway, 1991
  • The Way of Kabbalah, Gateway Books, 1991
  • Kabbalah: The Divine Plan, Harper Collins, 1996
  • Introduction to the World of Kabbalah, Kabbalah Society: Tree of Life Publishing (UK), 2008
  • The Path of a Kabbalist: An Autobiography, Kabbalah Society: Tree of Life Publishing (UK), 2009
  • A Kabbalistic View of History, Kabbalah Society: Tree of Life Publishing (UK), 2013
Astrological works
  • As Above so Below: A Study in Cosmic Progression, (as Warren Kenton), Stuart and Watkins, 1969
  • Astrology: The Celestial Mirror, (as Warren Kenton), Thames and Hudson, 1974
  • Astrology and Kabbalah, pub. Urania Trust, 2000: formerly published as The Anatomy of Fate, Gateway Books, 1978
Kabbalistic novel
  • The Anointed, Penguin Arcana, 1987.
Audio CDs
  • Way of Kabbalah Meditations, Tree of Life Publishing (UK), 2004


A professor of Kabbalah at Hebrew University of Jerusalem has bemoaned the hijacking of kabba'lah by various New Age authors and has given Halevi as an example. Joseph Dan, in his work The Heart and the Fountain: An Anthology of Jewish Mystical Experiences, writes in footnote 57 to the introduction:

Another distressing phenomenon is connected with the numerous books concerning kabbalah, its history, nature, and traditions, as instruction for modern living, published by "Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi" who is a nice English gentleman from Hampstead who does not know any Hebrew. His books were used as authentic, scholarly source by many, including Simo Parpola.

In 'Authorized Guardians' in Polemical Encounters (Olav Hammer and Kocku von Stuckrad (ed.), Leiden:Brill, 2007; p. 89) Prof. Boaz Huss at Ben-Gurion university points at the fact that the criticism launched at Halevi does appear in the chapter 'The christian kabbalah'. These and other attempts can be viewed as 'boundary-constructing discourse' and 'othering of the enemy', depicting him as 'debased' or 'degenerated' in order to annihilate him (cp. Huss in Hammer/Von Stuckrad, 2007, xiii). Halevi lives in the London borough of Brent.


External links

  • The Kabbalah Society (Toledano tradition)
  • Interview with Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi
  • No. 43. Spring, 1997
  • Duversity Video interviews
  • Video conversations
  • His books in Spanish
  • The Temenos Academy

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