Entries in the 'Kabbalah Study' Category

The Meaning Of Kabbalistic Books, Part 7

laitman_284.05Three Limitations in the Study of Kabbalah

Comment: Baal HaSulam writes that in order to begin to study his commentary on The Book of Zohar or The Book of Zohar itself, you must first familiarize yourself with the four prefaces written by him: “Introduction to the Science of Kabbalah,” “Preface to the Sulam Commentary,” “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” and “Preface to The Book of Zohar. ”

Answer: Yes. It is impossible to approach reading The Book of the Zohar without a serious study of these four prefaces.

Question: In addition, Baal HaSulam writes that before proceeding with the study of The Book of Zohar, three limitations must be clarified, which cannot be violated. In spiritual attainment, there are four categories that are called: matter, form dressed in matter, abstract form and essence. The Book of Zohar does not deal with such concepts as essence and abstract form. What is this limitation?

Answer: It is impossible to deal with the essence at all since it is above our nature.

We cannot deal with the abstract form because it is not a science.

We only deal with matter, which takes some form.

For example, we study egoism, which can acquire certain egoistic or anti-egoistic, altruistic forms. We can put on these forms and examine them because we ourselves are the matter that takes on these forms.

It is impossible to explore something outside yourself, in particular, such a substance as the Creator. Only if He appears as a person and manifests itself in the form of some property: love, bestowal.

Question: The second limitation—Baal HaSulam says that The Book of Zohar considers only the worlds of Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya, that is, the concealment of the upper force from creation. Why?

Answer: We can only investigate what manifests in matter, and what is above it, abstract forms, abstract forces unclothed in matter, we cannot discuss them because they are absolutely unprovable and unrealistic.

Question: So there are five worlds and Baal HaSulam speaks only about three worlds?

Answer: Yes. He speaks only of those worlds where we exist: Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya.

Question: The third limitation—in each of the worlds BYA, there are three categories: ten Sefirot, the souls of people, and the rest of reality. The Book of Zohar explains phenomena associated only with people. What does this mean?

Answer: We should be interested only in what concerns us and what is clothed in us, and we can explore this from our practical comprehension.

We must see the limitations very clearly. A step to the left, a step to the right beyond the limits of our desire, which takes on various forms, turns us into philosophers and psychologists, but not scientists. Kabbalah is a purely a practical science.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/18/18

The Meaning Of Kabbalistic Books, Part 6

laitman_250Reasons for the Appearance of The Book of Zohar

Question: The Book of Zohar is a commentary on the Torah. Why did it have to be written?

Answer: Circumstances changed.

There were stages when groups of Kabbalists who were in a state of attainment, that is, a gradual rise from the beginning of the creation of egoism to its relatively complete development, as during the Second Temple, fell. The Book of Zohar was written in the second century AD in a state when a fall had already occurred. There were no groups, no nations; there was nothing called holiness, meaning a sense of at least relative unity. Everything was destroyed, crushed, split. Therefore, a technique was needed to crown this dark period of suffering, called the exile, which should end in correction.

The Book of Zohar is intended for the period separated from its writing to our time by a two-thousand-year exile so that, starting from our time onward, we begin to implement what is written in it, meaning to correct ourselves.

In our generation, we have been awarded The Sulam Commentary on The Book of Zohar. Therefore, we can reveal Kabbalah and begin to understand what the great Kabbalists Rabbi Shimon and his students said two thousand years ago.

Question: Are you saying that without the commentary written by the last Kabbalist of the 20th century, Baal HaSulam (Yehuda Ashlag) it is impossible to understand the Zohar?

Answer: Impossible. Therefore, it appeared.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/18/18

Kabbalah And Beliefs, Part 6

laitman_571.06Sacrifice—Getting Closer to the Creator

Question: In all faiths, the concept of coaxing the higher powers with sacrifice is practiced. What about in Kabbalah?

Answer: Kabbalah also has such a concept called “sacrifice.”

But here it is understood that a person sacrifices his egoism, does not want to use it, and does not want his egoism to command him. He wants to give it up, to change it for altruism and bestowal.

“Sacrifice” in Hebrew is “Kurban,” which comes from the word “Karov” (getting close). A person wants to correct his egoism and based on that come closer to the Creator. This is the sacrifice.

Question: That is, everything that is written in the Torah about donations to the Temple implies exactly this?

Answer: Only that. Donations are practically what they did in the Temple, because the Temple is a place of contact between a person and the Creator.

Question: Did people come there to unite with each other?

Answer: You can come to the Temple physically, but it does not mean anything. A man appears in a place inside his heart where he could sacrifice his egoism—“slaughter” it, sacrifice it, in order to come closer to the Creator with a feeling of absolute altruism, love, bestowal, and connection.

Question: So, this has nothing to do with the fact that animals were sacrificed in the Temple?

Answer: No. That is all allegory, like root and branch, cause and effect, nothing more. So you can kill as many animals as you like and it will not make any difference.

Question: So the high priest sacrificed his egoism in order to get closer to other people?

Answer: He was the most corrected person among all the people.

Question: Along with internal work, he took a lamb, cut it, and they ate it?

Answer: Yes. They performed all the actions at the same time, starting from the most spiritual, highest actions, to the lowest, material ones—together and in the same intention.
From KabTV’s “Basics of Kabbalah” 2/17/18

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The Meaning Of Kabbalistic Books, Part 2

laitman_262The Torah Is a Secret Code.

From the point of view of Kabbalah, the Torah is a completely secret code. Moreover, it is classified such that each person can understand it in one way or another depending on the extent of his correction or corruption.

Question: The secret is not in that I have to understand the meaning of some word?

Answer: No. You cannot extort its code from someone, open this book with a special key, or see what is hidden between the pages. It is impossible.

But if you have a certain quality—bestowal, love, exiting yourself, i.e., the quality of the upper world—then while reading the Torah, you begin to see that the book describes not our world, but a completely different, reverse upper world.

If a person can acquire such qualities that are contrary to one’s current properties, then one reads this book correctly, as it was written by its author. And if one does not possess these qualities, then one reads it like everybody else in this world.

Question: I have heard that if one picks a letter after every ten words while reading the Torah, it is possible to reveal some information in this way.

Answer: No. You can read it as you like: front to back, back to front, after every ten or twenty words—nothing will help.

Question: Can the future be predicted by this book? They say that it contains all the information.

Answer: It contains information about everything. Not only about our world, but about all the worlds, about everything that exists, about each and every one of us and all of us together, regardless of time and any possible states. But the fact is that this cannot be revealed.

Question: Is it really possible to find information about a person who will be born, suppose, in 20 years, and about what will happen to him in 50 years?

Answer: To the smallest detail. Moreover, all his external and internal properties are described there, everything that will happen to him every moment, with all the billions of people, animals, and plants, every grain of sand, all the worlds, and their mutual representations.

Question: Can Kabbalists decipher this?

Answer: Yes, to the extent of their development. They read it in the same way as we read a plain text.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 12/18/18

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Hebrew Is A Way To Express Kabbalistic Knowledge

laitman_248.02Question: Was there another language in Kabbalah before Hebrew?

Answer: No. From the very beginning, Hebrew has been the only way of expressing Kabbalistic knowledge. It appeared out of a necessity to express spiritual roots, words, and actions. It exists for this sole purpose.

Conversational Hebrew should not have been used in our world at all. The fact that in Israel today Hebrew is used for writing, reading, and communication is incorrect. It never used to be like this. Kabbalistic texts have always been those written in Hebrew. Other languages were used for everything else, such as Aramaic or ancient Greek, but not Hebrew.

Hebrew is purely a language of branches that is used only for describing the spiritual forces, qualities, and actions.
From KabTVs “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 6/23/19

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The Meaning Of Kabbalistic Books, Part 1

laitman_531.01The Many Faces of the Torah

Question: When we open the Torah, we find a collection of historical stories with many characters. How should we correctly relate to them?

Answer: If the Torah did not come from a special source but was an ordinary book written, suppose by a person in the Middle Ages, then it would just be an interesting historical novel.

The Torah itself is presented in very interesting language, and when you start reading it, you cannot stop, because it captivates you. There is something in it that makes you never get tired of reading it.

I speak of this as an ordinary reader who has nothing to do with the origin of this book, religion, history, geography, or with anything else. It is just written in an interesting style.

Some perceive the Torah as a historical document, others as fiction, or, perhaps, as a collection of instructions or legal documents. It contains a lot of information about the interaction of people and nations in ancient times, about their view of the world.

In general, the Torah is a very interesting book. We see something similar in Josephus Flavius, if it is possible to compare the Torah and his works at all. To some extent, he retells the Torah and describes it as a historian.

Josephus is a truly stunning historian with a broad outlook and a deep knowledge of historical facts. He wrote his works while in exile in Rome where a huge institute was created especially for him, where hundreds of people worked for him.

But all the same, what he wrote cannot be compared with the Torah itself.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 12/18/18

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A Sign Of Good Advancement

627.2Question: Three years ago, I began studying Kabbalah and thought that I understood everything. Both the “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” (Pticha) and TES were really understandable and clear.

Now after three years, I’m beginning to feel that not only do I not understand what was clear before, but also, Pticha, TES, and work in the group evoke some disgust in me. Is this a normal sign?

Answer: This is a sign of good advancement. You must pass this period by force and persistence, and then you will begin to understand everything with both your mind and feelings.

Question: So, these disturbances are in fact helping?

Answer: Yes. But it can go on for quite a long time, maybe for a few years. The main thing is not to leave and you will see how it will be rewarded.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 6/23/19

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Kabbalah And Beliefs, Part 5

laitman_261Is It Possible to Pray to the Law of Attraction?

Remark: As I understand, in Kabbalah there is no plea for mercy, no atonement for sins in exchange for promises of unquestioning obedience?

My Comment: We deal with serious actions. I do not stand before the judge begging for forgiveness. I face a system that completely defines me and I am trying to figure out how we influence each other.

If I have any requests, I have to state them in such a way that the system will correctly respond to them. If there are no requests, then this is a problem because the system expects real intervention from me in it.

Question: Is it just like I cannot pray to the law of attraction?

Answer: Of course! How is the law of gravity different from others? This is also the law and force of the Creator, like all other forces of nature.

Question: What is the difference between the Creator and the laws of nature?

Answer: There is no difference. Pray to the law of gravity. You can pray to any force of nature and ask to be in the right alignment with it.

Question: If I fall, I cannot ask the law of gravity to soften the blow?

Answer: No, it will not help.

Question: What should I do? Should I place a mattress or something else to soften the fall?

Answer: It will help. Or you should ask the Creator to make sure that you do not fall: “How should I change so as not to fall?”

That is, you do not ask Him to protect you from falling, but you ask how to change in order not to fall. Everyone in the world asks for protection, but it does not help. But to change, to make yourself better, so that you are properly acted upon by the forces of nature so you do not fall, that you can ask. That is, you only ask for your correction and nothing else.
From KabTV’s “Basics of Kabbalah” 2/17/18

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624.02Prayer and Prayer Books

Question: In Kabbalah, prayer means to “judge yourself.” What does that mean?

Answer: It means that a person evaluates himself, his qualities, and checks based on what properties he measures and evaluates the Creator. Therefore, he judges himself: Am I doing it right, am I rising above my egoism, can I be objective, etc.?

A person carries out internal clarifications of the level of one’s perception, how objective it is and how correctly one senses the Creator, undisturbed by one’s inner egoism.

Question: Is it possible to say that prayer is the realization of what a person desires from the current state and what state one aspires to? This delta causes a necessary internal request in the person, and although one does not understand whom one is addressing, a person senses changes within himself.

Answer: Precisely.

Question: And this nothing to do with those prayer books also written by Kabbalists?

Answer: Everything is much more complicated here. Prayer books are what the Kabbalists wrote for themselves, that is, a research plan of their own perceptions and how it can be corrected and adjusted.

Kabbalistic prayer books are a whole system of human interaction within himself, with the world, and the Creator, which is inside him. This is very serious instruction and very serious work.

Question: What if you just read what they wrote as is traditionally accepted on holidays without understanding it? Does it have any effect?

Answer: The fact is that there is an ordinary prayer book and there is a Kabbalistic one. A Kabbalistic prayer book will be understood only by a Kabbalist, and only starting from a certain level. An ordinary prayer book can be understood by anyone who knows this language.

Remark: But the usual prayer book was also written by Kabbalists.

My Comment: Yes, but the Kabbalistic prayer book deals with the interaction of forces and the human being. In an ordinary prayer book, this is conveyed in a language understandable to everyone.

Question: So can prayer be divided into two parts? Is one of them my inner prayer that now I really am lacking in relation to the state I want to come to, what pains me right now?

Answer: Yes. There is also a prayer that the Kabbalists wrote. If I read it, it will be like an instruction of spiritual elevation for me. Although I don’t yet feel such states, it nevertheless raises me, helps me.
From KabTV’s “Basics of Kabbalah,” 12/17/18

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What Is The Difference Between Philosophy And Kabbalah?

laitman_600.01Question: I read in Wikipedia that Kabbalah and philosophy are two systems of knowledge about man and the world and that both are based on the same question—the question of the purpose of existence.

If we talk about the origins of philosophy, the German philologist and humanist Johann Reichlin (XV-XVI century) wrote that his teacher Pythagoras, the father of philosophy, adopted his teaching not from the Greeks but rather from the Jews. Therefore, he should be called a Kabbalist, and he was the first to translate the word “Kabbalah,” unknown to his contemporaries, into Greek as “philosophy.”

Did the Greeks study with Kabbalists?

Answer: The Greeks studied with Kabbalists in the time of the Jewish prophets.

At that time, people were already connected and the Jews accepted everyone who wanted to study. Just like in ancient Babylon, those who wanted to joined Abraham and those who did not could join later. Kabbalah was open to all.

Question: What is the difference between Kabbalah and philosophy? Is it the fact that Kabbalah does not take into account abstract and speculative reasoning, for example, about the soul and God, as philosophy does?

Answer: Yes, because philosophy does not have a clear tool to approach a person, how to start “poking around” in it, to study desires and their various gradations, and examine a person’s intentions. So, there is no difference between intentions for my sake and for the sake of others.

Philosophy does not study how to exit ourselves toward others, to raise and lower our desires, how to work when you are in an ascent or descent of desires and intentions, and so on. That is, Kabbalah is a science and huge internal spiritual psychology.

Question: Can we say that philosophers are people who studied under Kabbalists, but did not achieve the understanding of the Creator; that is, they did not acquire a screen, but simply remained at the level of knowledge and then developed a science called “philosophy”?

Answer: Of course. Since they could not attain the upper world and the Creator, they began to develop it in the direction of logical thinking, using their mind and conclusions.

Therefore, philosophy is, of course, not a science. Today, only those who still want to spend their lives in fruitless thoughts become philosophers.
From KabTV’s “Basics of Kabbalah,” 12/13/18

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