Other Methods of Kabbalah

Other Methods of KabbalahA comment I received: I’m curious about other methods because Rav has mentioned them, and I’ve heard that there are other schools in America. In fact, the first Kabbalah book I read was written by an American author. I’m wondering what Rav thinks about other Kabbalah methods, even though I’m pretty sure that he has a negative opinion of them, judging by what he said about Madonna. Still, I’d like to know why he feels this way, and would appreciate a better explanation than “Other methods have nothing to do with Kabbalah.”

My Response: Instead of talking about some other methods in particular, I’ll tell you what authentic Kabbalah is.

It’s not amulets, red strings, holy water, Tarot cards, sorcery, blessings, fortunetelling, dream interpretation, self-help, or healing. That is to say, it’s not any of the things that pertain to our world, aiming to improve one’s life or to give one control over it.

Neither is Kabbalah the study of false Kabbalistic sources, that is, texts written by people who are not recognized Kabbalists, such as philosophers, theologians, researchers, modern gurus, and others.

Moreover, Kabbalah is not when one studies authentic Kabbalistic texts in order to know what they say or to be able to “manipulate” this knowledge as if one understands it. In truth, all this is nothing more than intellectual exercises.

Furthermore, Kabbalah is not the promises that religious leaders make of a better life, a reward in this world or in the world to come, which they wrongly believe awaits man after death.

All these methods aim to receive a profit or reward from the study of Kabbalah, either in this world or in the world to come.

But authentic Kabbalah is just one thing – “the revelation of the Creator to a person.” This means that within oneself, one reveals the property of love for one’s neighbor, the property of bestowal, and rejects one’s egoism – here and now! A person stops thinking about himself, and his only motivation is to improve the situation others are in, in order to give the Creator delight.

Obviously, this is not what a person wants when he first begins to study Kabbalah. Instead, he is driven by a desire to understand the meaning and purpose of his life, to answer the question “What am I living for?” or “What is worth living for?” But as he keeps studying, he gradually starts to understand that this world, and him, exist for a reason – to attain the Creator, the property of bestowal and love.

This property, “love for others,” is absolutely opposite to one’s egoistic nature. Therefore, the goal of Creation – for one to acquire this property – becomes revealed to a person gradually, as much as he’s capable of hearing about it. To this extent, he begins to understand the Kabbalistic texts, to feel what they describe through the newly acquired property of bestowal and love.

In the article, The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah, Baal HaSulam writes:
What is the wisdom of Kabbalah? To sum it all up, the wisdom of Kabbalah is the revelation of the Creator by all possible means. It’s the revelation of all His properties and manifestations, which are revealed in the worlds or which will be revealed in the future, until the end of all generations.

My Current Mood: jealous

* Myths About Kabbalah

There’s No Sex Here!

There\'s No Sex Here!A question I received: What do you mean by saying that sex is the root of all our desires? What does Kabbalah have to say about everything that’s going on today surrounding sex, like pornography, prostitution, and so on?

My Answer: In Soviet times, there was a popular slogan that stated, “There’s no sex here!” It was meant to poke fun at people, because all pleasures are based on sex – that’s how nature has made us.

The reason for this is that in the spiritual world, sex represents a union of opposite desires with a mutual intention of pleasing one another. It’s when the soul receives for the sake of pleasing the Light, and the Light fulfills or pleases the soul. This union is called Zivug de Hakaa, an explosive union, where by means of an explosion the soul nullifies its egoistic use of egoism, and instead uses it to bestow or mate (Zivug). It does this to enable the birth of a new Partzuf – an act of fulfilling the Creator and uniting with Him. The way to tell whether an action is correct or not is to check whether a new Partzuf was born.

In relation to this, it’s written that after the destruction of the Temple, Kabbalists were the only people who could still enjoy sex. Why? It’s because they always develop greater desires as well as greater pleasures, but they do so in order to rise above them, that is, to receive for the sake of bestowal. There are many articles by different Kabbalists on this subject.

And I’ll tell you one more thing: Even on the lowest spiritual degree, a person is fulfilled billions times more than by anything he can experience in this world…