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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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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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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Does 'not in heaven' apply to kabbalah?

There is a famous dictum: 'lo ba'shomayim he', meaning that after the torah was given at Sinai its rules, mandates and precepts are determined by man and not dictated by heaven. An example is when ...
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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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286 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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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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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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Animals Created By Sefer Yetzirah

The Malbim explains that someone created a calf using Sefer Yetzirah, and it could then be eaten with milk. What is it about the animals created from Sefer Yetzirah which make it permissible to eat ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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184 views

Conditions for Learning Kabala

What are the necessary conditions for being ready to learn Kabala? And if one meets those conditions, what books should he start with? Please provide a source.
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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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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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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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195 views

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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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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185 views

Is there really a distinct “Jewish soul”?

I have heard many times about Jews having a "special soul" or a "Jewish soul" - a soul which is either lacking and/or fundamentally different than that of non-Jews. However, the sources which are ...
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64 views

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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85 views

Do converts represent a “farblondzshet” neshama?

Before our wedding, a mikvah lady learned that my wife was marrying me -- a convert to Judaism. Her response was that I must represent a "farblondzshet neshama" (a confused or a lost Jewish soul). ...
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530 views

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 Modern Belief the Shekhina is the Feminine Presence of God?

What are the modern beliefs and opinions of the Shekhina being the feminine presence / version / alternate of God who dwells on the earth? In his article "Shekhina," as referenced by the Encyclopedia ...
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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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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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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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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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334 views

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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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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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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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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Sheidim, fact or fiction?

Are there really such thing as sheidim? If so, what are they? Please include sources.
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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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133 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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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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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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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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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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Seeking living holy clairvoyant

I have a question to ask someone who possesses clairvoyant powers which definitely derive from the side of holiness. Who is the best person today to ask? (They also needs to be someone who does not ...
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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.
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Why do Sephardim tuck in their tzitzit?

It has been mentioned previously that Sephardic custom, according to R. Ovadia, is to wear the tzitziot from a talit katan inside rather than exposed. Can someone provide an explanation for this ...
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Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah? Not necessarily that the Rashbi authored the Zohar, but in the general tenets of kabbalah including but not limited to: tzimtzum, sefirot, ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...