Jewish Mysticism and The Kabbalah

This page is from the new book by Robert Zucker, “Kabbalah’s Secret Circles,” available on Download a free PDF sample of the book.

Jewish mysticism bridges the connection between the material and the spiritual worlds in order to become closer to God. This practice, secretly shrouded with legends and traditions, is called the Kabbalah. ק ב ל ה The word ‘Kabbalah’ (Q-B-L-H is derived from the Hebrew “to receive, reception” or “tradition.”

The Kabbalah is the collection of traditions received from our ancestors. These traditions may have originated with the first man– Adam, who supposedly acquired a magical book from the angels that contained the secrets of the Universe.

Part of these “traditions” may have also been received by Moses on Mt. Sinai along with the written Ten Commandments. Legend says that Moses communicated these secret teachings to Joshua, his successor. This sacred knowledge was passed on through generations until it was written down about 2,000 years ago.

For centuries, only a few select rabbis and their followers kept this hidden from the general public, although the fundamental concepts of Kabbalah permeate all Jewish religious services and thought.

The Medieval term “cabal” is used described a clandestine circle of people who share similar interests at the exclusion of outsiders. Kabbalists were members of their own secret society. It was so secret that only those “in the know” were aware of its existence. However, the advent of the printing press over 500 years ago, and some prolific writers, made it possible for the masses to eventually have access to this occult knowledge.

There is no one authoritative book on the Kabbalah. Since these teachings were transmitted verbally over hundreds of generations there are numerous interpretations. By the time they were written down, much of the original intent was lost in time.

The ancient manuscripts of the SEPHER YETZIRAH, the BAHIR, the ZOHAR, the TANYA and SEPHER RAZIEL are some of the most popular handbooks on Kabbalah that still exist today to carry on these teachings. These works, including the TORAH, provide the cornerstones to understand this secretive, mystical practice.

There is an underlying theme common among all of these important texts. This is embodied in the concept of the Tree of Life– a symbolic representation of humans and their interaction with the Universe.

Some practitioners only focused on the religious aspects of the Tree of Life and its ten spheres (called Sephirot in Hebrew). Other groups employed practical applications such as meditation exercises, elaborate ceremonies, and cryptic letter permutations techniques. Either way, they depended on the basic principles of the Kabbalah to achieve their goals.

While the true knowledge is buried deep in the early Hebrew culture, these concepts were introduced into the general populous during the Middle Ages. Jewish Kabbalists followed the original traditions and Christian Cabalists interpreted the Semitic teachings through the veil of their own religious views.

But, Kabbalah is not a religion. The Kabbalah is based on elementary ideas and their interrelationships. It is used as a meditative gaze into one’s soul. Understanding the deeper, symbolic meaning and relationships between each of the 22 Hebrew letters is the Key to understanding oneself and the universe around us.

This page is from the new book by Robert Zucker, “Kabbalah’s Secret Circles,” available on Download a free PDF sample of the book.

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