Kabbalah – What Is it?

Is it a science, a religion, a teaching? Is it secret or evident? Is it something we can sense and evaluate? Is it outdated, or is it relevant in our time?

Kabbalah is a wisdom about the universe. However, it studies much more than the part of the universe that we perceive through our inborn five senses. Kabbalah explains that the universe is, in fact, much wider than what we perceive through our five senses. It teaches about that part of the universe that we currently don’t perceive.

Kabbalah explains how the universe began, how it develops, and how it will end. It studies the universe’s general structure and all of its particular details. This wisdom consists of several sections, all of which talk about the general law of the universe and how we can attain it.

If we break it into sections, then Kabbalah covers:
• The creation of the entire universe and all of its levels: still, vegetative, animate, and human.

• The phases and the final goal of the entire evolutionary process, including man’s part in that process.

• The connection between our current state and the states we were in before we appeared on the Earth.

• The purpose of existing in a biological body for several decades and perceiving the surrounding world through the body and its five senses.

• Our state after we leave this world.

• Our reincarnations and the relationships between them.

• The way of evolving to a higher, spiritual form while living on earth.

Where Did the Authentic Kabbalah Come from?

The wisdom of Kabbalah appeared over five thousand years ago. Its roots go back to deep antiquity, the Sumerian-Akkadian period and the time of ancient Babylon. However, Kabbalah remained virtually hidden from humanity for millennia.

Despite the concealment, people have always been interested in it. Renowned scientists and philosophers the world over, including Newton, Leibniz, and Pico Della Mirandola investigated the wisdom of Kabbalah and attempted to understand it. Johannes Reuchlin, a humanist, classics scholar, and expert in ancient languages and traditions, writes in his book, De Arte Cabbalistica: “My teacher, Pythagoras, the father of philosophy, took his teaching from Kabbalists … He was the first to translate the word, Kabbalah, unknown to his contemporaries, to the Greek word philosophy…”

Yet, to this day, authentic Kabbalah is tainted with many misconceptions and misrepresentations, such as red strings, holy water, spells, miracles and whatnot. Evidently, only a few know what authentic Kabbalah is really about.

Therefore, one must first clarify what the wisdom of Kabbalah is. Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag puts it this way in his article “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah:”

“…this wisdom is no more and no less, than a sequence of roots, which hang down by way of cause and consequence, in fixed, determined rules, interweaving to a single, exalted goal described as ‘the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world.”

What does this mean? It’s saying that there is an Upper Force or the Creator, and there are forces that descend from Him to our world. We are here, in our world, and we are governed by these forces. They’re similar to the forces we are aware of, like gravity or electromagnetism. The only difference is that these forces are of a higher order, and they act while remaining hidden to us.

“The Creator” is the ultimate, all-inclusive force. He is the sum of all the forces in the universe and is the highest of all the governing forces. The Upper Forces descend from the Creator, going through phases called “spiritual worlds,” and finally they give rise to our world and man inside it. This constitutes the subject of the wisdom of Kabbalah.