Question: I have read that according to research data certain regions of the brain reach their maximum functioning only at around the age of 50 and the ability to assess the emotional state of other people, which is a measure of wit and wisdom, reaches its peak at about the age of 40-50.
At the same time, there is no specific age in which a person’s reaches the ultimate peak of his cognitive abilities. The structure of the brain constantly changes and certain abilities can grow and become more dominant while another can deteriorate.
As we all know, the speed of data (incoming information perceived) reaches its peak when a person is in his 20’s. Short-term memory is at its peak at about the age of 25 and at about the age of 35 it begins to deteriorate. Isn’t the answer as to why it is forbidden to study the wisdom of Kabbalah before the age of 40 hidden here?
Answer: Correcting our egoistic nature to an altruistic one isn’t a result of understanding the material we study, but only the result of using it correctly in order to correct one’s self as a result of the study with the intention of summoning the special force of correction the Surrounding Light, the Light that Reforms (Ohr Makif).
Summoning the correction of our nature by resembling the Creator is called spiritual work (God’s work, “Avodat Hashem“) or a prayer, a request for correction, raising MAN (Aliyat MAN). Brains and wisdom are a result of our correction by the Light. This is the reason that a person can engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah at any age, as our sages said that during the time of the Temple, that even small will be brought up of the spirit of bestowal and will attain the Creator in infancy.