When I was an undergrad, a preeminent scholar of Kabbalah and mysticism came to spend a semester at my school. Intrigued, I enrolled in her course: a basic introduction to Kabbalah. We read Scholem, discussed Madonna and red bracelets, and I remember more than anything else feeling a great sense of disappointment from the course. I expected epiphany, I hoped for life-changing wisdom. I wanted this course to bring...