It is perhaps unorthodox to begin a book review by citing something from the acknowledgments. In this case, however, I think it is quite apt. Describing his early foray into the study of Jewish mysticism, Lawrence Fine writes, “It was [Alexander] Altmann who said to me, in one of the earliest conversations I had with him after I arrived at Brandeis, that ‘nobody understands Lurianic Kabbala, not even Scholem,’ referring, of course to the preeminent historian of Jewish mysticism, Gershom Scholem.” It is a comment, I imagine, that Scholem may have even agreed with! In any case, Fine's book is an attempt, and one of the best to date, to try to make sense of the labyrinthine world of Lurianic Kabbala. Scholem argued that Lurianic metaphysics was a system developed as a response to historical phenomena, that is, the Jewish expulsion from Spain, and was largely a creative interpretation of, and commentary on, the Zohar. Neither Scholem nor his student Isaiah Tishby devoted any significant space to the historical context of Lurianic Kabbala or its particular cultural milieu, or the possibility of external influences on this mystical circle. Both assumed Luria had historiosophic and not cultural/historic concerns. This trajectory has, until recently, been the accepted framework of Lurianic scholarship.