Despite the acknowledged fact that the trend of mediaeval Jewish mysticism known as “theosophic kabbalah” is distinguished in the religious history of Judaism by the explicit and repeated use of gender symbolism to characterize the nature of the divine, the state of research in this area is still somewhat rudimentary. Indeed, the majority of previous studies on gender in the relevant kabbalistic literature have been marred by a conspicuous lack of sophistication. Most scholars who have written on issues relevant to this subject-matter have taken for granted that the occurrence of gender images should be interpreted within a framework of what may be called a naive biologism—that is, the presumption that the differences between male and female are linked essentially and exclusively to biological functions. Needless to say, such an orientation fails to recognize that the latter in and of themselves are indicators of sexual but not gender differentiation. While there obviously is a correlation between biological sex and gender identity, the two are not equivalent, as recent scholars in the fields of cultural anthropology and feminist psychology have emphasized. Gender identity is engendered by cultural assumptions 256concerning maleness and femaleness that interpret the body. In that respect we should speak of gender as a sociocultural construction that is a matter of semiology (reading cultural signs) rather than physiology (marking bodily organs). The body is a sign whose signification is determined by the ideological assumptions of a given society. There is no body without culture, as there is no culture without body. 1