Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Are there any responses by Rishonim or Aharonim (even contemporaries) against those who criticize the Kabbala and the Zohar done by many people? Like this accusation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbLuOM8F7Ps Some people claim the Zohar doesn't fit into the Torah. They claim it contradicts the Torah. They claim the Eser Sefirot are against the Torah because it Has WeHalila "split Kudsha Berich Hu into ten." Are there any Gedolim who discuss this topic?

share|improve this question
    
Could you clarify in what way the criticisms you seek are "like" the one you link to? –  msh210 Dec 30 '11 at 1:18
    
@msh210 I did but I'm not really looking for anything specific. –  Hacham Gabriel Dec 30 '11 at 1:29
2  
see the Rivash where this "issue" is addressed. –  Shmuel Brin Dec 30 '11 at 1:53
1  
It's important to understand that we view the sefiros as creations of Hashem, not as Hashem Himself. –  Naftuli Tzvi Kay Dec 30 '11 at 22:01
2  
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/8925/… –  WAF Dec 31 '11 at 22:32
show 12 more comments

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You might want to check out "Iggeret Chamudot", by R' Eliyahu Chaim Genazzano, an Italian Kabbalist of the 15th century. Part of the main focus of this work (actually a letter, I think) is to rant against those who employ "speculative reasoning" and philosophy in their quest for religious truth instead of kabbalstic tradition. The sefirot come up, of course, as well as other kabbalistic concepts, but I don't think it is much of a detailed defense of kabbalisitc ideas found in the Zohar.

If you're looking for explanations of how the sefirot don't contradict God's "indivisibility", I have come across explanations for this in the works of Rishonim (particularly I seem to recall Rambam's "Moreh Nevuchim" and Abarbanel's "Ateret Zekenim"), but I can't point to exact sources at the moment. The general idea is that the sefirot express God's attributes, not His essence. The same way we would be able to say "God is kind" without necessarily saying that "kindness" is "part of" God's essence as a separable part of His being.

Also what comes to my mind is Abarbanel's lengthy defense of the Zohar's concept of reincarnation (which, incidentally, is one of the ideas that the linked video calls antithetical to Judaism) from those followers of Aristotle who denied its veracity.

share|improve this answer
    
Also, just food for thought, but consider that both the Baal Shem Tov and Vilna Gaon were renowned kabbalists. By extension, both the Litvish/yeshivish leaders as well as the "founder" of Chassidus held by the Zohar and by kabbalah. Nachmanides and many other rishonim did as well. –  Naftuli Tzvi Kay Dec 30 '11 at 22:00
    
@TKKocheran The Besht and Gra I agree, but it is quite unlikely that Nachmanides ever saw the Zohar which was only available in Europe starting in ~1270. –  Double AA Aug 27 '12 at 4:19
add comment

Look in Derech Mitzvosecha [Mitzvas Ha'amanas Elokus (Mitvah of Belief in G-d) Chapter 3 and onwards] where the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch discusses the question concerning unity of Hashem and the Sfiros.

share|improve this answer
add comment

See http://onthemainline.blogspot.com/2011/12/marc-shapiro-on-question-of-obligation.html ans all the links therein.

share|improve this answer
2  
Perhaps it would be a good idea to provide a general summary here. –  HodofHod Dec 31 '11 at 22:31
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.