There is no connection between Kabbalah and religion. Religion emerged from the fact that people received a Kabbalistic text, but they do not know how to read and understand it correctly.
As a rule, a religious man, opening the Torah or some other book written by Kabbalists who have attained the upper world interprets it in material images of our world, i.e., in terms he understands.
For example, the forefathers’ journey, he perceives as a journey on the Earth and not within himself at different levels of egoism. He treats killing, defeats, victories, and other events and phenomena described in the Torah as all sorts of adventures in our world. He is like a little kid whom you tell about something higher, but who perceives everything at the level he sees around himself.
The problem is that there is one language for the description of the spiritual world and our world. Therefore, a person who is at the level of our world takes everything literally, and this is the source of religion. But a person who is at the spiritual level interprets it correctly because for him this is Kabbalah, the upper world, interaction with the Creator.
Question: How can a religious person relate to Kabbalah?
Answer: It is said that every man judges everything from his level, to the extent of his corruption. So here comes a big problem.
Kabbalists understand that ordinary religious people, within the narrow confines of their limited perception, interpret the Torah incorrectly. But they need to maintain their level of simple faith. They should study the Torah in their way, until the time of their correction arrives.
Religious people tie Kabbalah to the material level, not realizing that Kabbalists understand it differently (at a higher level), as a young child does not understand an adult. Therefore, they resent Kabbalists, believe that Kabbalah is a harmful thing that takes a man away from religion. Kabbalah really takes a man away from religion because it shows him true peace and the true purpose of creation.
The fact is that a religious person performs the commandments in an egoistic way: just for the sake of a good life in this world and for the sake of paradise in the next world. It has no relation to the laws of unity and to the rule of “love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Therefore, Kabbalah and religion have completely different goals, different techniques, and different attitudes to the Torah. This profound contradiction separates them and makes them polar opposites. Let us hope that eventually religious people will understand the importance of the gradual transition from religion to Kabbalah.
From KabTV’s “Short Stories” 10/22/14