Can a Gentile Study Kabbalah?

Can a Gentile Study Kabbalah?A question I received: I’m Jewish. Can I study Kabbalah together with gentiles – people who aren’t Jewish by birth? The Book of Zohar says that every person who teaches even one letter of the Torah to a gentile is responsible for the destruction of the world, and that a gentile who wants to learn must first convert to Judaism. What should I do?

My Answer: “Jew” comes from the word “Ever,” to cross, so a Jew is a person who has crossed the Machsom. Israel is a person who has the intention of “Yashar-El,” “straight to the Creator.” “Yuhudi” comes from the word “Ihud,” meaning “union” (with the Creator). All these notions are properties of love, bestowal, or altruism.

Goy” (gentile) means “a nation” in Hebrew. This word isn’t offensive; it only underlines the uncorrected, egoistic degree. In the Torah or Kabbalah, “Goy” (gentile) refers to egoism, and Jew, Israel, or Hebrew refer to love and bestowal.

We all start out as gentiles – uncorrected. When we choose the spiritual goal and begin the correction (even while we still haven’t attained it), we become Israel (Isra-El, straight to the Creator). Next, when we cross the Machsom, we become Jewish. And when we attain the goal – union with the Creator, we become Hebrew.

We all came out of Babylon, we are all egoists, and we must all correct ourselves and become like the Creator. When a gentile (an egoist) studies Torah (Kabbalah) for his own sake, he is only harming himself. One should study Torah (Kabbalah) only in order to attain spirituality, the property of bestowal. Hence, you should study with the people who have this goal!

In addition, you should ask: can you and should you study the Torah (Kabbalah) with yourself? Maybe you are a gentile (in your intentions and aspirations)? First you should check whether you want to become like the Creator and attain “love for your neighbor.” If yes, then you can study Kabbalah, because this is the only correction Kabbalah makes to a person. However, if you have a different goal – for your own sake, then you are a gentile, and Torah (Kabbalah) isn’t for you. It is written: “A gentile who studies the Torah must die,” because he attracts Light and thereby becomes even more opposite to It. This is how a person kills the gentile within him. It’s written that the entire Torah is the rule, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Conclusion: Everyone should study Kabbalah regardless of their intention! If they have the intention of a gentile, then they will kill the gentile within them and go from “for one’s own sake” to “for the sake of the Creator.”

Related Material: Post: Kabbalah Is for the Whole World
What Is Kabbalah?
Kabbalah Today Article: “Permission to Reveal”


  1. Dear Sir,

    In only a very few minutes reading your material I received perfect confirmation of an intuition that has been knocking louder with in me every day: That it is time for the realization that everyone is a Jew. That there is no one who is not a Jew. I tried this idea out last summer in the following manner I asked a friend,
    “Why do Jews feel they have a patent on holocaust? Does it not persist every day in this world? Is it not on going?”
    This didn’t go over at all and I dropped it. Then a few weeks and a few months go by and the feeling evolves further to exactly what is in bold type above and I worked up the courage to say it aloud to another dear friend and was amazed that he was not offended and liked what I was saying!
    “That if G.d is everything then we are all everyone of us Jews. It has become unreasonable now in this moment not to feel it.”

    How would you express this feeling in the most kind way? Its a feeling I wish to express in the most loving way possible. Understanding that sometimes the most loving thing we can say is only silence; I ask your help. How best might I express this feeling?  Thank you! I hold you in my heart.

  2. Dear Rabbi Laitman,
    What is your opinion of a person who would like to convert to Judaism? It sounds as if you are suggesting it is not a valid option. Also the Orthodox are so against intermarriage, yet it seems that you don’t see this as a problem?
    I am a little confused by some of your comments with regards to religion…I assume that you embrace the Orthodox version of keeping the Mitzvot, but it seems as though you are critical of keeping rituals. Could you please explain how you define religion. Will the whole world eventually evolve to become “Hebrew”?
    Do you think that Judaism will still be around, after we have reached our unity with Hashem…you said in one article that the only holiday we will still celebrate is Purim…I assume this means we will continue to keep the Mitzvot? Or is the tikkun complete and the need for keeping the Mitzvot no longer necessary?

    I enjoy reading your articles very much…thank you for your willingness to share with us.

  3. Thank-you, one more amazing article from Rabbi Laitman. The word says that the truth will set you free. This is a wonderful truth, and thank-you Rabbi Laitman for your intelligent insight which tears down walls and build bridges to unite mankind. Ignorance has caused so much division around the world. Thank-you for presenting a means which supports wholeness for all of Gods infinite creation

  4. Dear Dr Laitman,
    Very true your explanation of Israel and the nations but some people are born jewish, others not, what is the difference? And what is then conversion for? If a non jew bybirth decides to study kabbalah is it enough for him to marry your daughter?
    How in this situation do you reconcily the spiritual with what happens every day?
    Should we pray kadish when somebody leaves this world even if she or he was not born jewish? Would you pray minian with 8 men born jews and2 non jews?
    Would Rav Ashlag have done it?
    Please could you be more specific and precise.
    Thanks a lot and all the best,

  5. Thank you for an amazing post. But i am a student of kabbalah i study the teachings of all the great sages or tzadikt’s The Ari, Rabbi Branwine, Rabbi Shemon Bar Yochai and The Rav & Karen. But it was and still has never been my intentions to become ”jewish” so i understand from your perspective which is the same as the k-centre. If one has the merit or a desire to study the torah it automatically makes you a jew. But in my case i don’t wannabe jew no judgments here. Your thoughts? James Hue

  6. I’ve been struggling with a couple ideologies within myself. While I reject popular monotheism as defined by Christians, Muslims, and Jews I have a great deal of respect for the esoteric branches of those groups such as Gnosticism, Sufism, and Kabbalah. While I am an anti-zionist I do have a strong liking for the study of Kabbalah and the Zohar, in fact I first read the Zohar when I was wrongfully incarcerated, and immersing myself into Zohar and Kabbalah helped me preserve my sanity and gave me strength to endure the situation I was in.. Can someone be vehemently anti-zionist and still study (understand) kabbalah and the zohar?

  7. “popular monotheism as defined by Christians, Muslims, and Jews I have a great deal of respect for the esoteric branches of those groups such as Gnosticism, Sufism, and Kabbalah”

    Truly there is only one God so religions are all branches of the same tree but I’d say the occult religions have WAY clearer information on how to “experience” God while still alive on earth. They all have very good meditation instructions. Ppl think they can reach and experience God without meditation(sabbath) and that is absolutely impossible. As Jesus has said “the kingdom of God is within”.

    Also once you experience the Lord you won’t be “anti” anything because soon enough you’ll understand that everything is “one” and there’s no division in anything.

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