2 A difficult book, but brilliant, like a good detective story. Reconstructing the "esoteric" era in Kabbalistic studies, before the appearance of the Zohar, is an interesting task.
3 See the chapter in Major Trends for an overview. A lot of English-language scholarly attention has been devoted to their social and ethical ideas (as found in the Book of the Pious), but less to the mystical doctrines.
4 Very different from standard Jewish mystics: He developed a yoga-like system of ecstatic meditation, which did not catch on. See Major Trends.
5 The main text of classical Kabbalah, it is not a systematic work of doctrine but of homiletical exegesis. after studying some of the existing commentaries (Matt, Tishby Lachower, etc.) you might wish to try your own hand at a passage they do not deal with.
6 Selected translations without commentary.
7 The standard complete translation, with minimal notes.
8 A colourful, complex and attractive,movement, full of remarkable personalities. Can be approached from many perspectives.
9 Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav's symbolic "fairy-tales" have been translated and interpreted by several scholars.
10 Buber has translated and interpreted Hasidism for modern readers. Several scholars (including Scholem) have questioned the accuracy of his interpretation.
11 Maybe the only English translation of a full Hasidic Bible commentary.
12 A complex and influential figure in recent Jewish thought.
13 Encounters with representatives of different Jewish mystical trends in the `60's.
14 An interesting episode: Christians attracted to Kabbalah, adapting it to their own ideology.
15 Kabbalah is the only important movement in traditional Judaism that speaks (for better or for worse) of femine aspects of God, a fact that has endeared it to Jewish feminists.
16 Yes, Scholem and his views have now become a topic of scholarly interpretation in their own right.