Knowing that the Kabbalistic movement started among the Sephardic Jews it spread to the Ashkenazim much later. Although the Hasidic movement is very Kabbalah oriented. Many important rabbis especially non-Hasidic Jews such as Rabbi Yechezkel Landau opposed the Zohar and it doctrines. Are there any other examples orthodox rabbis or movements rejecting the validity of Kabbalah today?

  • Define "orthodox Jews"
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 2:17
  • 2
    Jews who believe and practice what is written in the Tanakh, Talmud, and other rabbinic literature such as midrashim. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 2:21
  • Does "other rabbinic literature" include the Zohar?
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 2:24
  • 1
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 2:26
  • 1
    @Bach Alex mentioned it above 18 months before your comment
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 14:47

4 Answers 4


Rabbi Yiḥyah Qafiḥ, his grandson, Rabbi Yossef Qafiḥ. From wikipedia:

The work for which Rabbi Qafiḥ is most well known is Milḥamot HaShem (Wars of the Lord, which takes the same name as earlier books) and which he began writing in 1914. In it he argues that the Zohar is not authentic and that attributing its authorship to the Tannaitic sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai is to besmirch him. Milḥamot HaShem maintains that the theology of Lurianic Kabbalah promotes the worship of Zeir Anpin (the supposed creative demiurge of God) and the Sephirot and, in doing so, is entirely idolatrous and irreconcilable with the historically pure monotheism of Judaism

And his movment, Dor Daim

The Dor Daim movement was formed by individuals who were displeased by the influence of Kabbalah which had been introduced to Yemen in the 17th century. They believed that the core beliefs of Judaism were rapidly diminishing in favor of the mysticism of the Kabbalah. Displeased by the direction that education and the social development of Yemen was taking, they opened their own educational system in Yemen (see Dor Daim and Iqshim). They were also unhappy with the influence that Kabbalists (mystics) were having on various customs and rituals (e.g. the text of the prayer book), in addition to a strong superstitious influence which they saw as contrary to Maimonides. For example, Rabbi Yosef Qafeh relates one of many Yemenite customs for "חינוך הבית" whereby they would bake plain bread without salt and prepare "the table of appeasement." Inviting more than 10 children aged seven or eight who waited outside, they set the table, scattering thin-ash upon it; crumbled the plain bread into bits, placing them upon the table holding the ashes; and exited the kitchen stating, to the demons (Hebrew: שדים), "this is your portion."Shortly thereafter they would abruptly open its doors, whereupon the children burst in, grabbing the saltless pieces and eating them. Rabbi Yiḥyah Qafeh sharply opposed these minhagim being of the opinion that, in addition to the stupidity of the matter, they are Biblically forbidden because of darchei haEmori.


You need to define the term Kabbalah.

If you're referring to the hidden meaning of the Torah, then you have to deal with the Gemarot (e.g. Chagiga 13a-b) that discuss how and to whom to teach the hidden meaning of the Torah.

If you're referring to praying using the Ari z"l Kavanot (meanings of the prayer) then say so.

If you're referring to the Zohar then your title is misleading.

  • 1
    The problem is that the OP is both unclear and too broad, so this is the best answer we can get Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 13:23
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    @NoachMiFrankfurt - should be a comment, but I couldn't leave this unanswered. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 14:32
  • Strongly agree on that Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 17:37

It seems the Chasam Sofer had a different opinion on the zohar

  • Hi Ein Yeedle, I can't really make heads or tails of that link and I don't see anything about the Chasam Sofer. Would you be able to explain?
    – Silver
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 21:02

Yes. Rabbis' Israel Chait & Moshe Ben-Chaim reject the Zohar as a divine book from G-d. Many orthodox Jews reject mysticism as a whole. Must a Jew believe in anything outside of the Torah and Talmud(s)?


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