The Truth About Kabbalah

Kabbalah is still the religious talk of Tinsel Town with the likes of Madonna, Demi and Ashton, Lindsey Lohan and even Gwyneth Paltrow and Paris Hilton sporting the red string bracelet. Given the track record of such stars as Tom Cruise spreading the “Good News” of Scientology, you may have doubts about the merits of Kabbalah but before you make any rash decisions, there’s more you may want to know about this misunderstood ancient belief system.

What is Kabbalah, anyway?
Kabbalah is a form of Jewish mysticism and is actually a Hebrew word meaning “received knowledge” or “tradition.” Though its origins are debated, most believe Kabbalah to be as old as the Torah, while others maintain it did not rise until the 13th Century. Traditional Kabbalah was passed down orally and is an esoteric belief that every accent, letter, word and number in the Torah contains keys to understanding the nature of the human soul, and by extension, the universe.

The basics
If you’re a serious student of theology, you might be hard pressed to find readily available information about traditional Kabbalah online or in your local bookstore. After all, before Kabbalah went mainstream, people under 40 who were not well versed in Hebrew and the main Jewish texts of the Torah and the Talmud were discouraged from its study! But here are some basic principles to get you on your way:

Ein Sof: For Kabbalists, God exists as pure energy. The literal translation of Ein Sof is “the infinite.” As such, God is unknowable and devoid of form – beyond the limits of human comprehension. The God we as humans interact with is revealed in the sacred texts and only through faithful study of Kabbalah can we ever become closer to God, according to believers.

The Ten Sefirot: Sefirot translates to emanations. Basically this principle states that there are ten levels of awareness of God. For example, God in the human realm exists as Shekhinah and is the aspect that we as humans interact with. Again through faithful study of the Kabbalah can we move up the levels of awareness to be in harmony with God.

Whew! It certainly can be complicated stuff! But just remember: the new age system of Kabbalah practiced by some today does not require that students have a deep understanding of Jewish practice, rather, it serves as a model to live by for people seeking spiritual clarity. While it may be perceived as a celebrity fad, like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc, Kabbalah is a tool to better understand ourselves and our place in the world.

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  1. Pingback: What is Kabbalah? | California Psychics Blog

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