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What is Kabbalah?

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Kabbalah is an ancient faith tradition, rich in myth and symbols, that dates back to the 12th century. It is not a religious denomination; it is about improving one’s life from a spiritual point of view.

Kabbalah, which stems from Jewish mysticism, is pronounced “kah-bah-LAH.” It comes from the Hebrew root, “to receive or to accept.” Kabbalah is a mystical and esoteric explanation of the Torah that reveals how the universe and life itself works. Its spiritual power is universal and is intended for all who seek personal fulfillment. According to Kabbalah.com, “It’s the grand unified theory pursued by Einstein,” and “The original instruction manual for life.” Followers of Kabbalah study many philosophical questions such as: What is God? What is reality? Why was I born? What is the purpose of my life? How can we understand God?

It is believed that when God gave Moses the written law of the Ten Commandments, he also received oral wisdom and laws which were never written but only passed down verbally through the generations. The main text of the Kabbalah is the Old Testament however there are other texts which are said to contain enlightenment. One of these is the Zohar, which literally translates as Radiance or Splendor.

In the tradition of Kabbalah, God is known as “ein sof”, which means “the infinite.” Kabbalists have defined ten attributes of the divine through which the divine is revealed to us, which they call sefirot. There are ten sefirot:

  • Chokhmah – wisdom
  • Binah – understanding
  • Daat – knowledge – also known as tree of life
  • Chesed – kindness
  • Gevurah – severity
  • Tiferet – beauty
  • Netzach – eternity
  • Hod – glory
  • Yesod – foundation
  • Malkuth – kingship