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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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)?
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Was Rav Hai Gaon a kabbalist?

In a recent conversation a friend indicated that Rav Hai Gaon was a well known kabbalist, while another friend pointed to his teshuva [teshuvas ha'geonim 115] to indicate that he was not [and ...
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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. Some people claim the Zohar ...
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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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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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Playing with non-kosher animals

I have often heard it said that there is a tradition amongst kabbalists not to own, play with or possibly even look at animals that are not kosher. Assuming that this is correct, my question is ...
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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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understanding tzimtzum k'peshuto

According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Vilna Gaon holds that the tzimtzum is to be understood literally, that God literally withdrew Himself from the creation. How can this be understood given that ...
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Who were the Nistarim?

It has been documented that there is a group of righteous people called "The Nistarim". I am not referring to the lammed vav tzaddikim of the Gemara (Sanhedrin 97b, Sukkah 45b). Rather, a mystical ...
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Why didn't the prophets (and others “inspired from Above”) ever learn the secrets of science or cures for disease?

Why is it that people like the prophets, and other, more modern figures who are seen as being divinely inspired (the kabbalists, the Chasidic rebbes, etc.) never seem to be told secrets of science, ...
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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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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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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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What is Kabbalah? [closed]

What is Kabbalah in plain and Brief??
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What are the “four worlds” in Kabbalah?

A friend told me something about there being "four worlds" in Judaism. I think he was referencing something about Kabbalah (though I'm far from an expert at that). I was wondering: What are these ...
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What is the difference between the Zohar Hakadosh, the Tikounei Zohar and the Zohar Hadash?

What is the difference between these 3 series of sefarim: the Zohar Hakadosh, the Tikounei Zohar and the Zohar Hadash? Also, what is the Matok Midevash in the Zohar?
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Kiddush cup with the name of angels engraved on the inside

I just bought an antique kiddush cup in Yerushalayim with names of the angels written all throughout the inside on the whole length of the kiddush cup (in several columns around the cup). The store ...
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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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Learning Kabbalah & Yeshiva World

What are the principles for learning kabbalah in Ashkenaz Yeshiva world (Litvish/Yeshivish, non-hasidim)? I understand that Yeshiva bochurim do not learn kabbalah: in Yeshiva they concentrate solely ...
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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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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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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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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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What is the significance of “mayim nukvin” according to chassidus

What is the spiritual significance of "Mayim Nukvin" (feminine waters) according to Chassidus? I have seen it plenty of times in Tanya and various Maamarim, but I never really understood the concept.
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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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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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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 its own Nusach (and the Nusach Arizal is the Shaar ...
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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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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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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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Who wrote Tohar HaYichud?

Who wrote the anonymous rationalist debunking of kabbalah entitled Tohar HaYichud?
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How exactly are the three tamei klipot the source of a forbidden thing?

I often hear that something which is forbidden originates from the three tamei klipot - where no good comes from - and as such it cannot be used for good. However, that which is permitted originates ...
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How are we to understand Lurianic Kabbalah?

We believe that the Torah is eternal and never-changing. And yet, the Arizal brought quite a number of innovations to our religion. Although none really change halacha, they certainly do build upon ...
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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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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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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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Chilufei Otiyot and the 22 Alef-Bets

In Sefer Yetzirah we are told of the 231 Gates, in various other sources we learn that there are many different Alef-Bets (Some saying as many as 231). Of these I know the standard, AtBash, AlBam, ...
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What is the chassidic version of ruach?

In my understanding by comparing the Arizals works to the Tanya, the animal soul = nefesh, the G-dly soul = neshamah. But what about ruach?
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Most auspicious times for bathing in Mikve according to Kabbalah

I am interested in the Kabbalistic answer to this question (below) because of my interest in the deeper spiritual experience and philosophical knowledge, but if you know of an answer according to ...
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Etz chaim question: Circular vs. linear sefirot

The Arizal explains in Etz Chaim, Palace of Adam Kadmon, how the sefirot have both linear and circular aspects. He also connects this to the soul levels, the nefashot being the circular aspects and ...
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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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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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Cutting one's nails at night

I recently asked a friend if I could borrow his nail cutter, but he told me that he would prefer I do it in the morning because it isn't good to cut one's nails at night. When I asked him why, he told ...
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Reincarnation in the Hechalot Texts

This answer claims that the idea of reincarnation is found in the Hechalot texts. Is this indeed the case, and if so, where? According to R. Aryeh Kaplan in Meditation and Kabbalah reincarnation is ...
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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 Baal HaSulam kosher?

There is a wide range of credible, and not so credible sources in the field of Kabbalah. I was wondering if the works of the Baal HaSulam (Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag) such as "Talmud Eser Sefirot" are ...
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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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Drawing the line between not judging and not being a fool

I am what you refer to as a gentile but I have an interest and cursory understanding of Kabbalah and the red string precept of pertinence to not judging others. i.e. Evil eye. I've gone to great ...
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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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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 ...