A Common Basis For Different Methods

Laitman_057Question: There are many types of Kabbalah: the Kabbalah of Ramchal, Lurianic Kabbalah, Christian Kabbalah, Hasidism, practical Kabbalah, and so on.

You teach the Kabbalah of Baal HaSulam. Some claim that this branch is one of many others, while you present it as the main one.

Answer: Personally, I have no complaints about this matter against anyone. I understand man’s nature, and therefore, even the greatest opponent of Kabbalah is legitimate in my eyes. There are no discrepancies here: everything comes from the nature and structure of mankind and man. That is first.

Secondly, there are many ways to reveal the Creator, which can co-exist and be parallel to each other.

When I was next to my teacher Rabash, I went with him to many Kabbalists and saw his meetings with them. Granted, at the time I still had a very limited understanding of what they were talking about and could not tell whether I was next to a Kabbalist or not, what degree he was on, and what method he used to penetrate into the upper world and attain the Creator.

Naturally, there are different methods. But they all come down to raising people above their egoism. This happens based on what is written in the Torah: everyone must gather into tens, the way Moses established when coming out of Egypt.

In other words, rising from Egypt, going through the desert—through a specific phase of attaining the quality of Bina—is possible only in groups where people divide into tens and where a system of interconnection between people is created in them. This is described by all the Kabbalists. There are no disagreements about this at all.

Kabbalah is divided into two parts: theoretical study and practical Kabbalah.

The theoretical study of texts is usually associated with the term “Jerusalem Kabbalists.” You see, there used to be a group of Kabbalists in Jerusalem who engaged only in individual study of the texts. They knew the books of the Ari, The Book of Zohar, and others inside out, literally by heart, but at the same time, they were not doing any inner work. They had no attainment.

Getting back to the question of different teachings in Kabbalah, the great Kabbalist of the 16th-17th century Baal Shem Tov is notable. He gathered about thirty young men around him, taught them Kabbalah, and sent them off across all of Eastern Europe.

Each of them created his own Kabbalistic school and these schools have practically no differences between each other. They are based on the same method of Baal Shem Tov. The only difference is the external explanation. It is the same as how, for example, at a university there are 20 physics teachers and each of them explains it differently in some way. The meaning is the same, but the external presentation is different.

This is felt among Kabbalists to this day, but it does not mean that they are explaining different things. The only problem is to tell whether or not they are engaged in attainment of the Creator. As Baal HaSulam writes, Kabbalah is the system of attaining the Creator by man in our world.

Question: Do you teach only according to the method of Baal HaSulam?

Answer: I teach according to the method of the Ari, meaning along the lineage: The Book of Zohar, the Ari, Baal HaSulam, and Rabash.

Question: But are there other methods as well?

Answer: No, they are all still based on The Book of Zohar and the method of the Ari.

There was a time even before I came to Rabash, around 1978, that I was acquainted with people who followed the Ramak. There were several such old men in their seventies in Tel Aviv. They had no students. Therefore, I think there is no one left from that group today.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/10/17

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