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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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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Jewish mourning practices - candle cup of water salt for seven days after burial

I am looking for more information regarding the following custom or minhag excerpt: "It was customary to keep a candle burning in the death chamber during the week after burial; one report has it ...
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25 views

English translation of etz chayim (arizal)

Does anyone know of a good English translation of Etz Chayim by the Arizal?
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42 views

Counting of hours and days

The Torah states (Deuteronomy 18:10) “There shall not be found among you one who calculates times.” There are however, "permissable" counting, such as the counting of the omer, the counting of My ...
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28 views

Punishment for damage from an Ayin Hara according to the Zohar and Kabbalah

Ive read that when it comes to din / punishments, one may only be punished for physical actions (including speech / lashon hara) but never because of thoughts and emotions. However, what about the ...
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207 views

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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Nullifying a chametz-based medication before Pesach

Let's say you are a choleh who is permitted or required to take a chometz-containing medication during Pesach (according to the halachos described here: ...
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6answers
630 views

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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1answer
68 views

Was there any foreknowledge of the Paris hostage crisis within Judaism?

Did any school of thought within Judaism (like Kabbalah) predict the Paris hostage crisis? Did any Jewish scholar make a prediction? Are there any rumors about such a foreknowledge? The question is ...
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183 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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290 views

Zohar Origins - Why is it accepted as emes?

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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435 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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37 views

שלח vs שלחן (send / emissary vs table)

I would like someone to tell me of any grammatical-qabalah-talmudic meaning when we transform the word [שלח] to [שלחן]. [שלח] = send [שליח] = emissary Somehow [שלח] does not conform to the the ...
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8answers
2k 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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2answers
101 views

Palm-reading in Judaism

Are there Jewish sources which affirm the validity of the art of palm-reading? If yes, how does this work. i.e. what is the underlying idea behind it. (the reason I ask, is because I actually met ...
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62 views

Is the Kabbalah Center kosher?

I suspect many have heard of the Kabbalah Center. Founded by Philip Berg (who went by the moniker of R' Yehudah Berg, despite likely lacking semicha), the Kabbalah center is known for publishing ...
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49 views

What did the Arizal's contemporaries write about him?

Over here, ray posits that the validity of certain schools of Jewish philosophy rests on the Arizal's word. The Arizal was most famous for his teachings in Safed (though he only lived there for two ...
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48 views

Testing Hashem (for Monetary Gain)

If I remember right, The Legacy of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler describes how a son tests his father's ability to sense if a glass has been toveled in a mikveh. The father passed the test consistently. ...
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469 views

From where do we know that sexual intercourse with a non-jewish woman is forbidden?

From where do we know that a jewish man cannot have sexuel intercourse with a non-jewish woman? What say the Kabbala about this ? Is it related to dark forces, "qelipoth"?
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37 views

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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109 views

Demons and smoke

R. Kaduri used to smoke three 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 from a lecture by Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi that R. Kaduri was asked ...
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25 views

What are the five level of Neshama according to the Zohar

What are the five level of the Neshama for a Jew and the two level for a non-Jew according to the Zorah? What are their meaning? What is the source in the Zohar of this.
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94 views

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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2answers
352 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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48 views

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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449 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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49 views

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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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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4answers
753 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
212 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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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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201 views

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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55 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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71 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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108 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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228 views

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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146 views

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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64 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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1answer
77 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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28 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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426 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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2answers
176 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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4answers
434 views

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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128 views

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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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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145 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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2answers
157 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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127 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?