Kabbalah is the mystical teachings in Judaism that are mainly based on the Zohar (traditionally attributed to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai) and then later elaborated upon by others such as Rabbis Isaac Luria and Israel Baal Shem.

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Where did the book Otzrot Hayyim come from?

I've seen the book Otzrot Hayyim recommended as the best first text to use when starting to learn the system of the Ari. When was this book published and where did it come from? References to Kitvei ...
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Does Jewish mysticism involve “feeling” G-d?

I have read an accusation from the Traditionalist Catholics that Modern Catholicism has changed under the influence of Judaism its understanding of the Holy Ghost. Modern day Catholicism together with ...
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200 views

Red string on Tefillin arm?

I've heard a man shouldn't wear anything on his left arm (as a bracelet, watch, etc) while having tefillin tied on. If this is true, would it be completely wrong to wear a red string on the left arm ...
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The essence of a thing is in its Hebrew name?

Based on this comment here. According to Kabbalah, how do physical objects derive their life-force from their Hebrew name, if Hebrew doesn't have names for everything?
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Zohar vs. Yerushalmi

M"B 25:42 makes it clear that we always follow Gemara over Zohar. And we similarly follow Bavli over Yerushalmi (as is clear from the Hirhurim article quoted in this related discussion). However, do ...
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70 views

Ohr HaChaim on Redemption because of Torah

I've heard that the Ohr HaChaim quotes the Zohar Chadash that we will be redeemed because of the merit of Mosheh and learning Torah. Does such a comment exist in the Ohr HaChaim? If so, can someone ...
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90 views

What is Shevirat Hakeilim?

Shvirat hakeilim seems to be a Kabbalistic concept denoting how the light was created within the Genesis account. However, I cannot seem to find information regarding it. Can someone please explain ...
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391 views

What coin is this?

It is a little over an inch diameter, thicker and heavier than any coin would be. The lettering almost seems random....or maybe the middle word is a name? Can someone help me identify this coin? ...
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355 views

English Translation of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin's Nefesh ha-Chaim?

I need to find an English translation of Nefesh Hachaim. Preferably one that is gratis on the World Wide Web. Thanks!
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697 views

How are sorcery or witchcraft viewed in Judaism and Jewish Mysticism?

How are sorcery or witchcraft viewed in Judaism? I have heard that it has something to do with Kabbalah. Please correct me if I am wrong. Also Solomon (may peace and blessings be upon him) is falsely ...
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289 views

Minhag not to view moon through a window?

I have a vague memory of being told not to gaze at the moon through the glass of a window. I think it had something to do with kabbalah. I know it's permitted to say kiddush levanah by looking at the ...
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375 views

What is a good place to buy kabbalah seforim online?

I am aware of Nehora and the other sites I could find googling this same inquiry, I'm looking for other recommendations of sites that have a good selection. Specifically I'm looking for Kanfei Yona ...
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258 views

What's the history of Hekhalot/Heichalot/Heikhalot literature?

There is a field of study, which focuses on the Hekhalot literature. However, the internet gives conflicting information about them. For example, some state that they were written by the early ...
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131 views

Unique signature of the Chida

The Chida has a very unique signature. What is the significance of this signature (if any)? Is it in any way related to the seven kabbalistic seals? Are there other similarly unusual signatures by ...
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283 views

What is the source for Pardes?

What is the source for expounding the torah according to remez, derush and sod (along with 'pshat' the group can be referred to by the acronym PaRDeS)? These forms of hermeneutics are not found in ...
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309 views

Why is practical kabbalah not considered kishuf?

To preface I know next to nothing about so called 'practical kabbalah'. But from the few things I have read about, things like face or palm reading, making a golem (essentially an android) or any ...
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100 views

Is there a list of Nusach -> Shevet correspondence?

It says in the introduction of the English Tehillas Hashem siddur (in the name of the Maggid of Mezeritch - Likutei Amarim 133) that each tribe has it's own Nusach (and the Nusach Arizal is the Shaar ...
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Ana B'choach - Private prayer or Sing-Along song?

Many people have the custom to recite the prayer "Ana B'choach" after the initial six chapters of Tehillim said in Kabbalas Shabbos and before "Lecha Dodi". Based on the fact that it references ...
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228 views

From which side does Klipa come?

It says in some seforim, that Klipa "leeches" off the "right" side (since Gevura is about limitation, it can only give to one who is worthy, while Chesed, kindness, can give to everyone). On the ...
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141 views

Looking at a picture of the face of a Rasha

The Zohar (and Megillah 28a thanks DoubleAA) says that it is Assur to gaze at the face of a Rasha. Would this also apply to looking at an image or painting of a Rasha?
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Maharal and Kabbala (a few questions)

Since the Maharal (born 1512) lived around the same time as the Arizal (born 1534), and it doesn't seem like they had any acquaintances. Which sources did the Maharal utilize when learning Kabala? ...
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83 views

Sources for Hamsa

I know from Ben Ish Hai Shana Bet Parashat Pinehas siman 13 where he writes to make a Hamsa from wood. However, I am wondering if there any earlier sources to solidify the fact that this would ...
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841 views

Trimming or Shaving the Moustache

Are there any halachic or kabbalistic reasons to forbid (or avoid) trimming or shaving one's moustache? I am defining "shaving" as cutting until there is no visible hair remaining, and "trimming" as ...
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Accusations against the Zohar HaKadosh:

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 ...
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269 views

Learning Kabbalah from other students of the Arizal?

It says in Sforim that one shouldn't learn Kabbalah from any of the students of the Arizal except for R' Chaim Vital (as they didn't understand the Arizal properly). I have never seen such a worry ...
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157 views

What are the major ancient literature on Judaic mysticism and spiritual development?

What are the major ancient literature on Judaic mysticism and spiritual development? By ancient I mean B.C.E. I also would appreciate if you can also provide links to online English translations if ...
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The Alshich and Lavan

There are many sources online mentioning the story of how the Alshich once gave a Drasha and the Arizal was present. In the Drasha he elaborated on the 100 different ways Lavan deceived Yaakov. At one ...
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What's the source for a Cheirem al pi Kabbalah?

The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe describes: "'a real cheirem as prescribed by Kabbalah' requires the following: a court of seventy-two rabbis fast for forty consecutive days (excluding Shabbos ...
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314 views

Can anyone explain the meaning of this amulet / inscription?

Right before my grandfather went away to fight in WWII, a rabbi in Munkács (מונקאטש) gave him a small cloth container that had a piece of parchment in it, as a kind of amulet. The piece of paper has ...
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Is there a list of Mitzvot and their corresponding body parts?

The Talmud (Makkot 23B)and the Zohar (1:170B - unverified English translation here) say that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 limbs of the human body. (The Mishna (Ohalot 1:8) lists ...
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992 views

Do gentiles have neshamot?

As I have seen here, some say that only Jews have a neshama, others say that all humans have one. There was a reference there only of the former opinion (Jews only), and I know from elsewhere that ...
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Why is the idea of sefirot not shituf?

Why are the sefirot not considered a problem of Shituf? Is there anything wrong with believing in sefirot?
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Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

From the answers to this question it seems that most if not all Jewish sources treat Trinitarian Christianity (in particular, their doctrine of the Trinity) as either Shittuf or outright Avoda Zara, ...
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Is there a Kabbalistic source for not walking with one's hands behind one's back?

I've heard from people that it says in Kabbalah that one shouldn't walk with one's hands behind one's back. Does anyone know the source?
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Reincarnation vs. resurrection of the dead

Some Jews believe in reincarnation. They are also supposed to accept the Resurrection of the Dead, where actual bodies are resurrected. In that case, for each soul, which body is resurrected?
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Proper Way of Learning Jewish Mysticism

I have been very much interested in learning the core teachings of mysticism since I was a young boy. I didn't know that it was called Jewish mysticism but nonetheless I was attracted to its beliefs ...
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Why is ויהי נועם said after הנני מוכןs?

Most (but not all) Siddurim have the פסוק of ויהי נועם at the end of הנני מוכןs (such as before ספירת העומר, before the ארבע כוסות, or before בדיקת חמץ). Where does this practice come from and why is ...
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474 views

Rav Yaakov Moshe Hillel and wearing tzitzios out

Does someone know anything about Rav Yaakov Moshe Hillel shlita hamekubal stating that tzitzios should be worn outside the clothes? I read it once but without any sources on a web forum. It would be ...
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213 views

What do people mean when they say “Kaballah”?

I recently spoke to someone who said she was interested in learning Kabbala but could not find any classes. I mentioned to her she may want to try learning Tanya because there is a lot of Kabbala in ...
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103 views

What is Kabbalah?

What is Kabbalah in plain and Brief??
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405 views

Halakha and Spiritual Healing?

What are the halakhic guidelines and limitations for using psukim from the Torah to heal illness? Does it make a difference if the psuk is being used to heal a "spiritual" malady which is believed to ...
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582 views

Kabala in Halacha

Which of the major authors or codifiers of halacha. . . a) refer directly to or quote from kabala in their legal discussions? b) employ conclusions based only on kabala in their legal argumentation ...
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268 views

Demon or Sheidim

My son since birth never has been peaceful. At around 1 year old he would stand on his crib while sleeping fighting who knew what and crying and crying, I tried to calm him and soothe him. But that ...
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595 views

Ayin Hara - The evil eye - Hocus Pocus

There are people that do some sort of procedure with lead that they claim gets rid of Ayin Hara. Is this hocus pocus or true?
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269 views

Differences of Opinion in the Order of the Ushpizin

The order of the Ushpizin according to the Zohar (Thank you Mekubal!) corresponds to the order of the Sefiros each one represents. Why does the Shelah disagree and place Yosef before Moshe, Aharon, ...
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How Kabbalistically accurate is the golem-making procedure described in “Niflaos Maharal”?

There's been plenty of discussion about the historic authenticity of "Niflaos Maharal", a book that appeared in the early 1900s describing how the Maharal made a Golem to defend the Jews against blood ...
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More info on tzerufei shemos (permutations of G-d's name) vis-a-vis months of the year?

I've seen some siddurim -- I think the Artscroll all-Hebrew Nusach Sefard -- that list one permutation of the name YKVK for each of the twelve months, and that one should have appropriate kavana when ...
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Where does the concept of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism come from?

What is the source of Gilgulim in Judaism? Are there people who disagree with its existence? Who was the first to mention it? What I am asking essentialy is what is the historical development of ...
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741 views

Minimum Age to Learn Kabbalah?

How old do you have to be to learn Kabbalah? (I think its 60 ) but it seems everyone learns it anyway (Maharal, Chassidus). Is there a defense or is it just done?
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Walking Between 2 Women - Relatives

A man is not allowed to walk between two women. Does this apply where one of them is his mother (or sister)?