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What is Kabbalah?
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The word Kabbalah means "to receive" and flows out of the Jewish mystical tradition. The Kabbalah systematically breaks reality down into a clear understanding and a potential path to wholeness. Most religions have a mystical tradition, but they don't necessarily break it down into bite size concepts. By "mystical" we don't mean some weird magical or supernatural "ooga booga," but rather attaining an experience of union with God, Spirit or Universe.

It is the pursuit of achieving communion with the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct, personal experience rather than rational thought. It is an experience of the existence of realties beyond perceptual or intellectual comprehension. The Kabbalists would call it "G-d-cleaving."

In the Kabbalah, we learn about the creation story. In the creation story, we come into manifestation from what the Kabbalah calls the great Ayn-Sof (Ein Sof or Ain Sof), which literally means without end or boundlessness. This is the unknowable nothingness aspect of God. In this understanding, we then differentiate from the oneness of the Ayn-Sof into duality. This is the creation of opposites. That is how we have night and day ... happy and sad.

Most of the focus of religions is the belief in a Supreme Being. Belief itself means you believe in something and that automatically separates you from the something in which you believe. Much of the content of most religions has the emphasis on a God that is still separate and distant or looks at ideas about God.

The Kabbalah is the mystical interpretation or the hidden meaning of the Torah. The word Torah means "teaching", and is a key document of Judaism. For the Christians, it is the first five books of the New Testament. The Muslims' believe that the Torah is one of the fundamental tenets of Islam.

In contrast, any mystical path connects us with our direct experience. This is usually out of one's ordinary experience and in the most profound sense is a direct embodied experience of unified consciousness or oneness. Other traditions might call this enlightenment. This experience of wholeness, which Kabbalistic studies and other mystical traditions can provide, is not just to be intellectually understood. These teachings are considered to be transmissions of the embodied experience of the teacher. This is why the Kabbalah was originally an oral tradition and not written down.

The Kabbalah is a spiritual framework that can aid you through to your spiritual growth and contentment.

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Burdoc       Posted: 4/8/2009 10:14:17 PM

I don''t know much about Jewish mystical tradition but find this interesting, I am a member of the Eckankar clergy and respect all religions as we are all on our spiritual journeys.

terri mahler hoagland       Posted: 2/24/2011 3:01:00 PM

Dr. Howard,
The Torah is in the Christian''s old ancient testament. Too many Christians do not read all of the ancient old testament, they disregard it, because they just read the new testament, this I do not understand, but it is not my job to understand. Christian roots come from Judaism. The ancient first hebrew bible is used in too many faiths, but many of them have their new testaments, but yet they use the most ancient jewish hebrew book in their bibles. Christians believe/Trinity--multiple attributes and multiple deities. Some christian churches tended to conceive G_d more as a duality, Father and Son. The Trinity emerged as a mature doctrine with the Nicene Creed in 325, Athanasian Creed: thus the Father is G_d, the Son is G_d, the Holy Spirit is G_d: and nevertheless there are not three G_d''s but there is One G_d." "Those who believe that G_d is One, and that he has many attributes, declare the unity with their lips, and assume plurality in their thoughts. This is like the Doctrine of the Christians, who say that he is One and He is three, and that the three are one.
Psalms 110 Christians understood the Psalm as depicting the relationship of the Father to the Son: "The Lord(that is, the Father) said unto my Lord (that is, the Son), Sit at my right hand."
trinity-multiple attributes and multiple deities.
Jews believe that G_d did not take on the physical nature of Man. Deep Emotional attachment for the Jews is Judaism. I like Zephaniah 3:9.
"Faith will not force the intellect to believe something which leads to a contradiction, that is how we believe. I hope your not mad at me, but I had to explain to you about the old testament, because all Christians use the Jewish ancient old testament. thank you for listening.
Terri Hoagland

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