This book would not have come to fruition had it not been for the help of my teachers and colleagues alike. First and foremost, my deepest gratitude goes out to my teacher Yehuda Liebes, who spent many hours studying with me all of the zoharic and kabbalistic homilies concerning King David. My heartfelt thanks go out to Ada Rapoport Albert Z”L, Michael Schneider Z”L, and Tsippi Kauffman Z”L, who, before their untimely deaths, gave me many of their precious insights, now incorporated in this book. I send my deepest gratitude to Iris Felix for her English translation of kabbalistic and Hebrew texts in this study, and my warmest thanks are due to all who have given me their support and encouragement, be it with their criticism or advice, throughout the writing process—my teachers and colleagues: Moshe Idel, Elchanan Reiner, Ithamar Gruenwald, Oded Israeli, Melila Hellner Eshed, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Biti Roi, Bracha Sack, Avri Bar-Levav, Vivian Liska, Ilana Pardes, Omri Shasha, Ronit Meroz, Moshe Halamish, Dov Elbaum, Haviva Pedaya, Moshe Halbertal, Art Green, Daniel Matt, Joel Hecker and Nathan Wolski (for the Pritzker Project), Elizabeth Michel, Levi Morrow, Daniel Price, Gene Matanky, Yossi and Levana Chajes, Lawrence Fine, Uri Safrai, Hillel Ben Sasson, Avishai Bar-Asher, Jonathan Benarroch, Shifra Asulin, Sandra Valabregue and Micha Perry, Nathaniel Berman, Leore Sachs-Shmueli, Gili Kugler, Ruth Mazo Karras, Myrna Milun, Chana Ullman, Michael Rosenberg, Hartley Lachter and Ellen Haskell. Finally, I am grateful to Erika Mandarino, Kristen Chevalier and Michael Helfield from Brill Publishing House for their editorial help.
I would also like to thank the Department of Jewish Thought at the University of Haifa and its faculty members for many stimulating conversations, and my many colleagues at the Shalom Hartman Institute for their comments and suggestions. Last but not least, I would like to thank the members of my family, whose tireless support made the writing of this book possible. It is to them I owe my deepest apologies for time not spent with them, and my deepest love and appreciation for their patience and understanding.
Some chapters of this book have been published as articles: Chapter 2 in the collection Perspectives on Jewish Texts and Contexts (ed. Ophir Muntz-Manor and Ilana Pardes; 2019); and Chapter 3 in the collection Canonization and Alterity (ed. Willi Goetschel and Gilaad Sharvit; 2020). Both volumes were published by De Gruyter (Berlin) in the series edited by Vivian Liska. I am grateful to the editors for allowing me to reprint my articles here.