The main thing in the study of Kabbalah is not the acquisition of knowledge but the use of the wonderful property of learning (Segula), about which Baal HaSulam writes in the Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot.
Through the study, we are influenced by the force that develops altruistic qualities and love of one’s neighbor in us. And with the help of these qualities, we attain the upper world, the system that controls us.
It does not depend on the volume of material studied but only on the true intention in the heart, on the effort to become bestowing and loving, which the Kabbalah sages speak about.
Question: Where in the Kabbalistic books is the force that makes such qualitative changes in a person that he reveals a new reality?
Answer: The Kabbalistic books were written by Kabbalists who reached high degrees of bestowal and love for their neighbor and describe all these spiritual actions. When we read, we want to attain what they attained, to become bestowing like them, and to reveal the Creator. We try not to be deceived by imagining the Creator somehow differently but only as the general force of bestowal and love that we want to become similar to.
We begin to change in the direction of bestowal to our neighbor, we get closer and do everything for each other because only in this way will we be able to reveal the Creator. We try to convince ourselves that in this way we are advancing and want changes to take place in us.
Every day I check: have I started treating my friends better? I look for how I can reach love of the neighbor as myself in order to come from the love of the creatures to the love of the Creator.
Question: What is the role of a teacher in studying Kabbalah?
Answer: The role of a teacher is to awaken the ability to hear what the wisdom of Kabbalah says in a person. After all, a person listens to what is said about love for the neighbor, but what is said as if falls on deaf ears. Yet, if he does not fulfill this condition, he will not reveal the Creator and all his studies will be in vain.
Question: What is the difference between a regular teacher and a Kabbalah teacher?
Answer: The Kabbalah teacher is a guide who leads a person through all of his internal and external states so that the student will eventually understand that the main thing is love for the other.
Without a teacher, it is impossible to study Kabbalah because a person in this life is guided by his egoism. Therefore, he will never be able to direct himself to correct actions, that is, to bestowal to the friend that leads to bestowal to the Creator.
Question: How does one select a Kabbalah teacher and check that he is a real one?
Answer: First of all, this is determined according to the feeling in the heart. Besides, you need to check where this person has studied—this is very important. It is not for nothing that Kabbalah has its name “Reception,” because it is transferred as a spiritual legacy from the teacher to the disciple.
It was always this way in the past and only recently we see that the mass study of Kabbalah in big groups has begun. Therefore, a teacher passes his knowledge not to one disciple, but to the entire group.
Kabbalah can be taught by someone who has received it from a recognized Kabbalist, has been engaged in it for many years, and can explain what is written in the original sources.
Question: Are there any preliminary requirements for a person to start studying Kabbalah?
Answer: It is necessary to be in a normal state in the physical, psychological, and mental sense. No other conditions and no exceptional abilities are required. All people should eventually become Kabbalists and reveal the Creator in this world.
Question: What if a person does not like to study and is not inclined to science?
Answer: It is written: “It is not the wise who learns,” but the one who, according to the inclination of the heart, aspires to know what he is living for, what the meaning of his life is. If a person cares about these questions, this indicates his readiness for spiritual development.
Question: Children always look forward to holidays. Does a Kabbalah student also perceive learning as something burdensome?
Answer: There are no awards or degrees given for the study of Kabbalah. Therefore, a person who wants to study will have to pay for it with his time and efforts. In return, he will receive spiritual satisfaction from the fact that he is engaged in the most exalted thing that can exist, not only in our world, but in all of reality in general.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/20/17