Kabbalah: What it is and What it isn’t

We know that the Tanya discusses many different Kabbalistic concepts and ideas. Many people know about Kabbalah from mainstream sources – or they think they know about Kabbalah.

What Kabbalah Is

Kabbalah – from the Hebrew root word meaning “to receive” – is essentially a system of understanding the deep insights of the Torah.

The Torah is the foundation of the world, a precious gift given to us by Hashem millennia ago. We learn that the Torah existed from before the Creation of the World.

There are several levels of Torah interpretation. Most of us concern ourselves with the plain meanings, the ethical teachings and the moral dogmas we find in the Torah.

But Kabbalah can be thought of as the “soul” of the Torah. Kabbalah offers us a comprehensive mystical and philosophical structure for the universe, a system rooted in the Torah and not deviating in any way from the Torah.

There is no Kabbalah without the Torah and its laws, and one cannot be separated from the other in any way.

What Kabbalah is NOT

Kabbalah is not a system outside the Torah. You cannot understand Kabbalah unless you understand – and believe in – the Torah.

Kabbalah is not a separate religion, G-d forbid. It is not merely a philosophy. It is not some new age method of meditating your way to a stress free life.

It is not about wearing red strings, drinking special water or attending prayer circles or religious interpretive dance.

Kabbalah is not magic, hocus pocus, or in any way attached to the occult, Heaven forbid.

Kabbalah has no outside influences from any of the world’s religions or philosophies.

 

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