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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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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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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333 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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Non-Jewish Mysticism

According to the minhag I follow, one who is not a talmud chacham should not study Jewish mysticism (maase merkavah, heichalot, kabbalah, et c.). Following this, would one be able to read non-Jewish ...
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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 ...
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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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Our bodies aren't here for the long haul?

I seem to have learnt something a long time ago. In basic terms that after the coming of Moshiach and the resurrection of the dead there will be a time where we won't need our bodies and we will live ...
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Zohar Origins - Why is it accepted as emes? [duplicate]

I've read arguments and counter arguments for the origins of the Zohar and I'm perplexed. I accept the truths in kabbalah and chassidut, but I didn't realize how it sort of just appeared one day in ...
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3answers
155 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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714 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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1answer
193 views

Sources in Rishonim on the Authenticity of the Zohar

Are there any early contemporary discussions from the time of the revelation of the Zohar among recognized Rishonim about it's authenticity? I mention "among recognized Rishonim" because I am aware ...
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Demons and smoke

R. Kaduri used to smoke 3 times a day. At his old age, I wouldn't think that he did it for any other reason but to smoke. I've heard that R. Kaduri was asked the question as to why he smoked, and he ...
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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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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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51 views

What is the kabbalistic understanding of the name אזבוג״ה?

In the sefer Brit Menucha it mentions the name of God אזבוג״ה which comes from Shemos 15:1. I would like to understand what the kabbalistic associations with this name are. Particularly what is the ...
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63 views

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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92 views

Current Attitude Towards Sefer Raziel Hamalach

What is the current attitude of Kabbalists towards Raziel Hamalach? Is it considered a legitimate work of Kabbala? Is it studied? If not, why not?
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Validity of Houston Kabbalah centers?

For you Houstoners, there is a building on S Shepherd called "The Kabbalah Center" that uses a map of the 10 sefirot as it's logo. It looks like something that might exist in other cities. All the ...
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Where is it written in the Zohar that the Yishmaelites must have Eretz Israel until Mashiah comes?

I remember reading a paper where it was written that the Yishmaelites should have Eretz Israel until the coming of Mashiah according to the Zohar. Is it true ? If it is the case, where is it written ...
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58 views

May a woman study Kabbalah?

Is is permissible according to Jewish law, tradition or custom for a woman to study the Kabbalah (given that she meets all other qualifications and requirements or those also imposed on men)?
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72 views

Making kabbalistic declarations aloud

Many siddurim include sections before tefillot and mitzvot (such as Baruch She'amar, tzitzit/tallit, and tefillin) kabbalistic declarations of intent, typically beginning with the words hareini or ...
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26 views

The Chofetz Chayim's system of the olamos

In the sefer Toras Habayis (written by the Chofetz Chayim) in chapter 4 the paragraph that starts with ha'nimshal muvan me'elav, he writes the hierarchy of the olamos (worlds) like this: Briyah, ...
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361 views

Is there positive proof that the Rambam did not accept Kabbalah?

I have heard many times that the Rambam's omission of mystical ideas is proof, or evidence, of his rejection thereof. However, if one accepts the authenticity of Kabbalah as being a legitimate ...
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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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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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What is the Zohar referring to when it speaks about 'Zer Anpin' (ז"א)?

The Zohar (and the Sulam even more so) refers to 'Zer Anpin', usually in relationship to other middos/bechinos such as Malchus. What does Zer Anpin mean?
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82 views

Should one in todays age be learning kabalah [closed]

Has any godol today or even pre-war given an opinion if one should be learning kabala (not zohar) today
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133 views

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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153 views

What does this piece of jewelry say?

A classmate showed me a pendant that she recently acquired. It was described to her as representing some sort of blessing for marriage. None of the people who looked at it could figure out what the ...
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The 1080 amalgamations of the tetragrammaton

In the sefer Nefesh HaChaim Gate 1 Chapter 2 in the first gloss (hagah) the author explains that what is meant by God continually renewing the world is the constant reconstruction (amalgamation) of ...
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2answers
126 views

What is a Parzuf?

Can someone please explain in terms that a simple Jew can understand, the definition of the kabbalistic concept called a Partzuf?
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68 views

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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Raziel Hamalach Book as a Segula

What is the origin of owning the book Raziel Hamalach as a segula for protection against harm?
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Are Segulot a Prohibition of Nichush?

Rambam Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 11:12 writes: הלוחש על המכה וקורא פסוק מן התורה, וכן הקורא על התינוק שלא יבעת, והמניח ספר תורה או תפילין על הקטן בשביל שיישן - לא די להם שהם בכלל מנחשים וחוברים, אלא ...
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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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Is there a “peshat”-style commentary on Chaim Vital's Etz Chayim?

Does there exist a commentary that explains the basic (if it weren't kabbalah i would say "peshat") of Chaim Vital's Etz Chayim (as opposed to a commentary "al derech ha-derush" which expands or ...
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Can one read Tehillim or Tanach at night? [duplicate]

I remember hearing people quote sources that say it is better not to reading Tehillim or Tanach at night. Does anyone know the source to this, and to why it should not be read at night? Does one ...
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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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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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156 views

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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336 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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6answers
525 views

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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77 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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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?