Mattis Kantor was born in 1943 in Melbourne, Australia. He has authored many works in the genre of Jewish History; Biblical History; Kabbalah; Kabbalah, psychology, philosophy, and science.
Kantor’s first work was written in 1973 (published in 1978) in response to queries and questions posed by students at the universities of Sydney (Australia) where he was serving as chaplain at the time, under the auspices of the Hillel Foundation. It was in fact written at the direct request of students who wanted a documented version of his oral presentations.
An original Kabbalah work, in English (an all-time first), it is written in a style of colorful repartee, where the author almost dialogues with the reader, it conveys some of the deepest philosophical concepts in an easy-going timbre that resonates with a poetry in various levels of volume.
Originally written as “A Jewish Philosophy of Transcendence” it was published -at the publisher’s request- as “Chassidic Insights – A Guide to the Entangled”. This, in an era where a “guide” was not yet a “handbook” for anything (as in “A Guide to Successful sleeping in the Lengthy Winter Nights of the Polar Regions”.) It has become a popular work – a classic in its niche.
A sequel, “Ten Keys to Understanding Human Nature” (1994) shared the sub-title of A Guide to the Entangled, which by this time had become a marketing detractor (an “I’m not entangled” response.) Nevertheless, this Kabbalistic system of psychology, written in the same style as the first work, has also found its place as a classic in its niche, and is now in the second print.
“The Jewish Time Line Encyclopedia” (1989) is a year by year account of 5,700 years of Jewish History, through Biblical, Talmudic, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern times until 1987 (1994 in second edition). Mattis Kantor has become a respected authority on history with the publication of this remarkable one-volume work (“they said it couldn’t be done” he recalls), which is detailed and documented (with an erudite comprehensive quotation of sources). The architecture of this work is phenomenal, with the structure allowing a “satellite-view” or an “on-the-ground view”, with a few “birds-eye-views” in between. It is currently still available in the fourth edition in soft-cover.
“CODEX JUDAICA – a Chronological Index of Jewish History” (2005) is similar to “The Jewish Time Line Encyclopedia” in style, replete with charts and many maps -including sixteen pages of full-color historic maps- that carries Jewish History all the way to 2004. Its leather-like and gold-stamped hardcover binding, together with the addition of graphics, which enliven the monotone of a year-by-year history, have added to the appeal as a serious reference work, and propelled it into a popular layman’s reader, unencumbered by the significant scholarship represented. Currently in tenth printing (2015).