Question: Why do you and your central group have a religious appearance if you keep explaining that it doesn’t assist spiritual advancement? It would be better to assume a more secular look in order to become closer to people and the world, wouldn’t it?
Answer: I don’t think it should bother people. Our students come from different backgrounds, and we don’t tell anybody what they should look like. And if the public are familiar with our society already, they should know that we do not convert people into religion or force them to observe any religious rituals. They yearn to reach the root of their soul and come to us to transform their soul, to uncover the spiritual world.
We deal solely with the correction of the soul since the purpose of the wisdom of Kabbalah is the revelation of the Creator to the created beings. And revelation occurs only in the corrected soul. As to a person, he or she usually keeps following those traditions that they are accustomed to.
Nonetheless, Kabbalah was passed to us through the people whose background was in Judaism. After the destruction of the Temple, the people fell from the spiritual dimension, and Kabbalah was replaced with religion that is below in our corporeal world. But over the course of all these centuries and parallel to it, from Rabbi Shimon and further on, Kabbalah was passed on from one Kabbalist to the next along their chain. This is how it has finally reached us as a method of correction.
Kabbalah wasn’t related to religion that remained below. It continued to live among Kabbalists in the same way as it did before the fall of the Temple. There has always been a gap, an iron wall, between Kabbalah and religion.
As to us, we receive Kabbalah as it was before the destruction of the Temple, and that is why it has nothing to do with modern religion. We deal with correction of the soul. But at the same time, before the destruction, the Torah and commandments were followed by the people in intention and action alike, as one whole. There was the Temple and ritual service in it with all the necessary attributes. The same pertained to every person, according to his or her root as Cohen, Levy, or Israel.
The branch and the root were unified and viewed by people as one whole. But later on, the branch ended up below, in this world, having lost its tie with the root, and the root remained above, cut off from the branch. This is what is regarded as the exit of the people of Israel into exile when religion was all that remained for them.
But today, we need to ascend to where we came from, and let’s hope that when we do, we will comprehend what our duty is and return to the original state of complete and wholesome fulfillment of the Torah and commandments as spiritual actions. I don’t know how it will look; it is possible that physical actions will not be necessary any longer or they will be performed only by the people of Israel.
Baal HaSulam writes that even in the fully corrected society, every person may adhere to his or her religion since religion is cultural traditions. We don’t know any of it yet, and we should focus only on one thing: the correction of our souls.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/20/2011, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”