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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What is the source and substance of the kabbalistic holiday on 17 Shevat?

In the work of Isiah Tishby he records a kabbalistically based holiday celebrated by the Ramchal and his followers on the 17th of Shevat. I'm looking for any further information on this holiday ...
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What is a ger's birthday in terms of Jewish astrology? conversion date or birth date?

In terms of Jewish astrological signs and influences on people, per Kabbalah, would a ger use their actual 'birth' date or their date of conversion which is considered a rebirth?
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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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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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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 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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93 views

What does the concept of rehovot hanahar mean?

I have seen the phrase Rehovot HaNahar (wideness of the river) used, often in a kabbalistic context, but am not sure what it symbolizes. The phrase can be found in the shabbos song Kel Mistater (the ...
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93 views

Why is Sefer Yetzirah attributed to Avraham?

It seems fairly widely accepted that Sefer Yetzirah, one of the primary books of Kabbalah, is attributed to Avraham Avinu. Why is that?
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153 views

What are the three impure klippot?

Kabbalah and Chassidus discuss the "three impure klippot" and Klippos Noga. What is the difference between each of these three klippos?
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234 views

Who wrote Tohar HaYichud?

Who wrote the anonymous rationalist debunking of kabbalah entitled Tohar HaYichud?
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141 views

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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Painting the backs of tefillin straps black?

I've heard and seen religious Jews painting the backs of the tefillin straps black, and they claim a kabbalistic reason somewhere in the Schulchan Auruch. Does anyone know anything about this, the ...
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82 views

Place to study Zohar

What is a good place for an American to learn Zohar in person (anywhere internationally)? (This question is for a friend who is much more learned than I am).
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96 views

Source for saying Aramaic parts of davening quietly?

I remember reading somewhere that there is a kabbalistic tradition to say the parts of davening that are in Aramaic (e.g. the targum in Uva Letziyon) quietly. What is the source for this?
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110 views

Question on Terminology used in the Teaching of the Ari regarding Levels within the Highest Emanation

In Otzrot Hayyim, Sha'ar Tant"a (Ta'amim Nekudot Tagin Otiyot), in a description of Adam Kadmon, the first form taken by the line of light of the Infinite that enters the vacated space, it says that ...
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275 views

Is there a special significance of 4 directions as opposed to 6?

According to halacha, when a person says the word "echad" (אחד) in Shema: בדלי"ת צריך להאריך יותר כדי שיעור שיחשוב שהקב"ה יחיד בעולמו ומושל בד' רוחות העולם [One should] draw out the dale more ...
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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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217 views

Are there any female kabbalists?

Are there currently or have there been historically orthodox female kabbalists? If not is this a quirk of history or is there a specific reason?
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141 views

How did Chazal know they were right about “who is a Jew”?

My question is predicated on the assumption that Jews were created by God as fundamentally different from non-Jews. (I am referring, for example, to the idea that Jews have a special type of soul. And ...
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372 views

Clairvoyant Powers

Recently met a certain Rabbi with clairvoyant powers. He was able to look at my name and tell me all sorts of spooky stuff. For example, that I have two mezuzas with problems. (I hired a sofer to ...
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62 views

Ramchal and Tzimtzum

Tzimtzum is a term said to be used in the teaching of Isaac Luria. It claims that God began the process of creation by "contracting" his infinite light in order to allow for a "conceptual space" in ...
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122 views

What was Hevel (Abel's) sin?

The Arizal says that Hevel was reincarnated many times to purify his sin. What was his sin?
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Belief in Yechidah

According to Chabad.org, Yechidah connotes the essence of the soul--its unity with its source, the singular essence of G-d. For the essence of the soul of man is "literally a part of G-d ...
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67 views

Seforim of Ramchal

I have heard (and don't remember where) that the seforim of the Ramchal, Mesilas Yesharim, Derech Hashem, and Klash Pischei Chochma are meant to be as steps in a ladder (no pun intended) of learning. ...
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393 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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Days you shouldn't visit a cemetery

Someone told me you shouldn't visit a cemetery on Friday. Is this correct? More generally, are there any other days (holidays, events, etc) that you shouldn't go to a cemetery?
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Is there a tikkun to say/do when your relationship is in danger?

Has anyone come across a tikkun for a spouse during a separation?
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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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Are there mystical underpinnings to Maccabi?

One of the explanations I have heard for the title מכבי is that it is an acronym for the pasuk 'מִי-כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם ה (Shemos 15:11). Is there any reason, mystical or otherwise that that pasuk (or ...
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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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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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596 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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Was Shlomo Molcho a great kabbalist or a false messiah?

History records that a Portuguese Marano, Diego Peres (born 1500), after being spurned by Jewish adventurist David Reuveni, circumcised himself, changed his name to Shlomo Molcho, and went on a ...
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254 views

Why can we not say the names of certain angels aloud?

I have found in certain kabbalistic documents that contain names of angels there is an instruction not to say the names of those angels aloud - example with names in parenthesis. I realize we are not ...
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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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64 views

Source for Taanis Esther as a tikkun for the Eitz Hadaas?

In this article the author asserts in the name of Rav Chaim Vital that The three-day fast that Mordechai and Esther ordered for the Jewish people, says Rav Chaim Vital, was a tikkun for the ...
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191 views

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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95 views

Saying names of angels

I've heard you shouldn't say the names of angels, except for the four that surround us at night. What's the source and reason for this? Is it halacha or kaballah?
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134 views

How to remedy a case of possible Ayin Hara?

If someone gave you a bunch of compliments that you suspected might be based on some jealousy, what can you do to ward off any possible Ayin Hara--at the time the compliments were given or afterwards? ...
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58 views

Linking Malchut to Feet

Does anyone have a citation (specific sefer with daf/se'if please) that links the concept of malchut to the concept of the feet?
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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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Leaving the room during a kabbalistic dvar Torah

We learn from Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef Z"l, as well as R' Hamburger Shlit"a, and the rest of the non-Chassidic, non-Lurianic world that it is improper for one unlearned in sha"s and halachah to learn ...
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Is this analogy in Reisheis Chokmah?

I've heard of a analogy that may or may not be in the sefer Reisheis Chokmah, that in a part of gehennom, "sinners" cut, in a forest where they see ghosts, wood for a burning fire. Does anyone have ...
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39 views

List of halachot that relate to 'demons' [duplicate]

Are there any practical halachot (not minhagim) that are a direct consequence for our concern for demons or 'evil spirits'?
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352 views

Meaning of Chai and Hamsa Hand

I noticed a woman yesterday that had a very colorful and beautiful tattoo of a Chai and a hand on her right wrist. I looked up on the internet and found the hand was called Hamsa Hand. Of course, I am ...
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Mystical Practices within Kabbalah: Is There a “Ceremony of Remembrance”?

Within Kabbalah, something I am very new to, I find lots of explanation surrounding the "theoretical" or "speculative" aspect of metaphysics (I do not use these words in the unqualified connotative ...
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Benefits of studying Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim vs. R. Vital's Etz Chayim?

Curious if anyone has a definitive answer on whether Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim should be studied adjacent to R. Vital's Etz Chayim, before it, or not at all? I've heard various approaches to Ramak from ...
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Spilling water from a full cup? [duplicate]

When I've been to yeshiva, I've seen bochurs filling a cup with water or juice all the way and spilling a bit from the top in the trash can. At first I thought it was random but then noticed a lot of ...
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85 views

How does hashem tell you if you really are fit to learn kabalah [duplicate]

How does one know if one is really fit to learn kabala. As we all know one has to be on a high madrega before learning it and it is not for everyone. So how can one know if he really is on the ...
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How does Lurianic Kabbalah treat Da'at?

Da'at is difficult to interpret. I have found this and this, but I am looking for the Lurianic interpretation specifically. Please note that I cannot read Hebrew.