NOTE! Learning the ZOHAR is NOT learning Kabbala, two VERY different teachings.
For a fast and direct answer, it's one hundred percent allowed (If you know your materials). The Mainstream system will say a lot of things to cover up a lot things, using peoples lack of intellect and understanding as a wall of justification and to hide from the truth.
In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is
Desiderius Erasmus (Desiderius Erasmus quotes), link at the bottom.
The myth of the being a 40 year old with kids, is not entirely true, the most if not the crucial part of learning or teaching these teachings are
- Guarding your Eyes and mouth.
- Keeping your Brit Milla.
- Having above average maturity (if you're sophisticated enough to handle multiple personalities, you are allowed to be a bit humorous, as long as it does not affect your intellect or perception). AKA stay far away from these teachings if you're immature as within the deep Zohar and Kabala you can go into some very sexual or explicit areas.
The following is from the book Or Neerav by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero,
For the full book go here
For Cordovero, the ideal student should have attained the age of twenty before commencing his study of Kabbalah. In stating this, he placed himself in conscious opposition to the view that Kabbalistic studies should be limited to those who had achieved the age of “understanding”—forty. Though Cordovero does not mention it in this context, he asserts in the introduction to Pardes Rimmonim that his own education in Kabbalah began at the age of twenty. Thus, in a self-reference, he could emphatically state: “Many have acted in accordance with our opinion and succeeded.”
Cordovero’s own experience with the study of Kabbalah is likely to have inspired him to demand of the potential student that he “first strip from himself the shell of gross pride which prevents him from attaining the truth. He should [then] direct his heart to heaven [to pray] that he not fail.” In the introduction to Pardes Rimmonim, Cordovero claimed to have undergone a similar conversion experience at the age of twenty, in which he renounced worldly vanities and turned to Kabbalah. As he said of himself, at the age of twenty “My Creator aroused me as one who is aroused from sleep, and I said to my soul, ‘Until when will you cause the misbehaving daughter to disappear?’”
The student, having attained the requisite age and deportment, should also have undergone a rigorous preparatory course in the classic exoteric Jewish texts. Influenced here as elsewhere by Maimonides, Cordovero asserted that the ideal curriculum ought to be divided into three divisions: Scripture, Mishnah, and Talmud. Mishnah was defined as the entire range of rabbinic law, while Talmud was meant to refer to pardes (esoteric studies). Thus Cordovero stated:
He [the prospective student] must be accustomed to engaging in profound pilpul [dialectical reasoning] so that he might be accustomed and able to strip [relevant] matters from parables…. He must apply himself to fill his belly with [the study of] the laws of the Gemara and the explanation of the commandments on the literal level in the work of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, the Yad…. He should also guide himself in the study of Scripture—whether [it be] much or little…. [Then] he will not fail.
Of course, mastery of these preparatory subjects should not become so complete as to inordinately delay the study of Kabbalah. As Cordovero stated:
There are those who imagine that before pursuing [Kabbalah], they must first master the science of astronomy. They have other notions which keep them from following the straight path. They sanctimoniously give themselves the excuse that their bellies are not yet full of the bread and meat of the Gemara. For these poor people, their entire lives will not be sufficient to learn even a bit of [Gemara], let alone to fill their bellies so that they could partake of this science [of Kabbalah] and be sated. Thus the poor people go to their eternal rest bereft of wisdom.
Beyond proper preparatory study, would-be students of Kabbalah must also possess a strong desire to study the subject for its own sake in order to enter into its mysteries, to know their Master and to achieve a wondrous level in the true acquisition of knowledge of the Torah. To pray before their Master and to unify, through His commandments, the Holy One, blessed be He, and His Shekhinah.
By way of contrast, those who desire to study Kabbalah merely as one discipline among many, and for whom acquiring “a bit of this science is the same … as [acquiring] a smattering of medicine, astronomy, logic, mathematics, and the other sciences,” were characterized as sinners.
So much for the student of Kabbalah; what must one expect of the teacher of this subject? Cordovero asserted that a student who truly desires to study Kabbalah should take as a teacher someone who has fulfilled the requisite standards for a Kabbalist. Thus, a teacher of Kabbalah must be a person with an adequate background in the exoteric texts, who has mastered Kabbalah for its own sake and not as one discipline among many. To study with a teacher who does not fulfill these conditions will lead the student to error and might eventually result in his losing his faith.
However, what is one to do if one is unable to find a suitable teacher? Does the lack of a qualified teacher mean that one may not begin the study of Kabbalah at all? Cordovero’s answer to this problem is self-study. Doing it by yourself, though it may lead you to error, is preferable to refraining from any attempt to study Kabbalah. In the end, Cordovero asserted, even the erroneous study of Kabbalah has its divine reward. In an era in which teachers of Kabbalah were few and manuscripts of Kabbalistic texts were scattered, it is not unlikely that Cordovero’s accommodating attitude toward self-study reflected the contemporary situation.
Just as Cordovero was exacting with regard to the choice of an instructor, preferring self-study to instruction by an inadequate teacher, so was he exacting with regard to the texts the student should study. Living in an era in which several more or less systematic accounts of Kabbalah were available, Cordovero advised the beginning student to avoid all of them. The authors of these Kabbalistic works, he said, had “compose[ed] their books in riddles and metaphors so that their message is encumbered by much [extraneous] matter. We ourselves would not do this, God forbid. It is improper to place a blemish upon sanctified things.”
Rather than rely upon such books, Cordovero urged students to concentrate mainly on the Zoharic literature and such sanctified works as Sefer Yeẓirah (“Book of Creation”) and Sefer ha-Bahir (“Book of Clear Light”).
[The student] should stick to these books lovingly. He will succeed in [mastering] this science on condition that he delve deeply into them and [devote to them] exceptional study. He will then find explanations for most of what is to be found in the books of the latter commentators, which he need not consult. It is not our intention to declare these [latter works] unfit, God forbid, but rather to indicate to the student the path which is short, though it seems to be long.
In pursuing the study of these texts, some times are better for learning than others.
It is certainly easy for a student to study throughout the day. However, the optimum time for gaining profound wisdom is the long night, from midnight on, or on the Sabbath day, which is [itself] a factor. This [also applies to] the eve of the Sabbath, commencing at noontime and on holidays, particularly on Aẓeret [Shavuot]. I have tried this many times and found it to be a marvelously successful day. Also, there is great success [in studying] on Sukkot in the sukkah. These times [1 have] mentioned I have tried. I am speaking from experience.
In addition to studying the optimum texts at the optimum times, the student was to approach his studies in the following way:
First of all, [the student] should review the texts many times, making notes in order to remember his studies fluently. He should not delve too deeply at first. Secondly, he should study the material with great concentration according to his ability…. At times [the amount of time given to] the two forms of study should be increased and sometimes lessened, all according to the need of the hour and the [degree of] peace of mind…. Though it may seem to the student that he does not understand [the texts], he should nevertheless not cease studying, for his Master will faithfully cause him to discover esoteric wisdom…. I have experienced this innumerable times…. Should any subject in this science seem doubtful for [the student], he should wait. For in the course of time the matter will be revealed to him. The essential reward [for the study] of this science is [derived from] waiting for [the revelation of] the mysteries which will be revealed to him in the course of time.
As previously noted, Moses Cordovero’s son, Gedaliah, considered all the material we have dealt with so far as merely prefatory to the essential part of Or Ne’erav, which is the epitome of Pardes Rimmonim. The section of the work containing the epitome is entitled “On the Necessary Preparations for Beginners in This Science.” We noted earlier that Cordovero, in criticizing the authors of other Kabbalistic treatises, stated that his work would differ from theirs. He was presumably saying, though not in so many words, that Pardes Rimmonim was an adequate text for Kabbalistic studies and that Or Ne’erav was a proper way for beginners to be introduced to the material it contained.
It has been observed that Cordovero’s ethical work, Tomer Devorah, pioneered a genre in which Kabbalistic ideas and motifs began suffusing and controlling moral and ethical discourse. It has not been sufficiently noted, however, that Or Ne’erav begins another trend: the publication of abridgements and epitomes of Kabbalistic works. In the seventeenth century, two further abridgements of Pardes Rimmonim appeared. In addition, Reshit Ḥokhmah (“Beginning of Wisdom”) by Moses Cordovero’s disciple, Elijah De Vidas, who saw his work as a sort of primer leading to the study of Pardes Rimmonim, was issued in abridged form. Other Kabbalistic works, such as Isaiah Hurwitz’s Shnei Luḥot ha-Berit (“The Two Tablets of the Covenant”) also generated abridgements.
In any account of the attempt to popularize the study of Kabbalah, Moses Cordovero and his Or Ne’erav deserve a prominent place. However, this is not because the work attained a continuing degree of popularity. It was never completely forgotten amid the welter of books offering an entree to the study of Kabbalah and was reprinted several times. Nonetheless, due partly, perhaps, to its admittedly unfinished character, and partly to the relative eclipse of Cordoveran Kabbalah by the writings of Isaac Luria and his disciples, it never became the important conduit to the study of Kabbalah that it was intended to be. It remains, however, a precious document for historians of Kabbalah and of Jewish education, for it enables us to gain an insight into what a major authority on Kabbalah thought about Kabbalistic education in an era in which that education—like Kabbalah itself— was undergoing tremendous expansion and change.
Knowledge is knowledge, we all learned the ABC's though when it comes to practicing, or meditating or getting intimate with your learning, better be mature, pure, and strong as you can experience mix emotions and so forth, this is why, it's best to get an authentic teacher/guide, where they can guide you through these practices, or it can go horribly wrong, though there's a cure.
As I have mentioned a great many times, if you are interested in learning any kind of Kabbala please go here The rabbi here/there studied in Porat Yosef an Ivy league yeshiva that birthed the minds of great sages and many world leading and great hidden Kabbalists at that time, to name a few
2.Rabbi Mordechai Elyahu,
4.Rabbi Yehuda Tzadka and son,
5.Rabbi Ovadia Yosef,
6.Rabbi Ben Zion Abba Shaul,
7.Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim,
8.Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Haim,
9.Rabbi Zion Levy.
They all studied under the grand Rabbi Ezra Attiya.
Now what's unique of the rabbi in https://www.koshertorah.com (Rabbi Ariel Bartzadok) Is that he not only met and discussed a few things with the Grand Rabbi Kaduri, he learned Kabbala with Rabbi Meir Levy, a student of the Rashash, or Rabbi Mordechai Sharrabi, whom is arguably if not already noted to be a greater Kabbalist than the Baba Sali himself, because his grand father started the Kabbalist yeshiva nahar shalom, that teaches mostly the meditation kaballa during prayer, that's headed by another of Rabbi Sharabis' student, Rabbi Shmuely Benayahu. So yes https://www.koshertorah.com has a Good Hechsher or Hashgacha, and he teaches to all levels of mankind, jewish and not. He has written many books on sacred teachings from demonology and more. You can find them on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rabbi+ariel+bartzadok&i=stripbooks&dc&crid=3R0J7H0K4K6AU&sprefix=rabbi+arieal+bartzadok%2Cstripbooks%2C104&ref=a9_sc_1
You can also find him on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/@koshertorahschoolofrabbiar9394/videos
Why I choose to promote Rabbi Ariel Bartzadok, is very simple, he's an American rabbi, that can relate to anyone in any parts of the world, he's not one to simplify things, he gives it to you how you need it, especially in a world full chaos and ignorance, he wants you to study the truth, and be weary of the world around you. He's also one of the last individuals to truly share his light with the world, in great depth, helping many who are confused and lost. In my neighborhood I have found two people that have personally learned with him.
Why have I not promoted Rabbi Arye Kaplan like Rabbi Bartazdok? Because there's not a single person that teaches his teachings in depth, or better yet, there's not a physical system in place, like that of rabbi bartzadok.
For those that are looking for an easier or censored materials you can go to https://www.amazon.com/Meditation-Kabbalah-Aryeh-Kaplan/dp/0877286167
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplans followings are mostly people that are your city folk looking for something soft and digestible nothing heavy, though his students know very well the full spectrum of all the teachings connected with kabbala.
And yes Like Rabbi Bartzadok, the students of Rabbi Kaplan, practice the teachings as well.
In the book of rabbi Kaplan, he goes into great depths to divide the types of Kabala, he goes from the most basic to the elites (yes he even mentions the books of the elites). Think of it as samples.
He gets into the Sefirot, though mainly, the following,
The most basic is meditation on the Hebrew letters (the elite form of this type of teaching leads one to Rabbi Abulafia and his prophetic incantations, by repeating Hebrew letters in a specific formula).
Then meditation in prayer, that's taught by Nahar shalom.
Astrology with celestial math, (you can say gematriot) Until he goes into the bahir a bit more,
Straight into the seals like that of the Solomon seals, that is used to give a person or help a person find love, have lust or sexual desire towards their partner, expansion of intellect, wealth, and so forth, Note(Rabbi Ariel Bartzadok goes into further detail, and in great depth within seals and so forth, expounding the teachings of Sefer Razziel).
Rabbi Kaplan dose provide some small meditations that one may practice, as the recitation of the Shema, or going to the Mikve and so forth.
Rabbi Yakove Hillel was cautioning mostly about the elite teachings, that of Demonology, Angles, Seals, the language of the angles and so forth in great depth, yet to each their own.
NOTE! Learning the ZOHAR is NOT learning Kabbala, two VERY different teachings.
There are other Rabbis (Guides) that provide a system to lean on,
Rabbi Dove Pinson,
Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsberg,
And only teachings directly from rabbi Berg, (the founder, not his kids)
And Rabbi Michael Laitman, Bnay Baruch.
Rabbi Berg and Rabbi Michael Laitman are students of the Baal hasulam.
For those that speak Hebrew and live in Israel, and want something more, Please go to Rabbi Yaakove Addes, by the kottel.
Hope this answers your question.
Desiderius Erasmus quotes. (n.d.). BrainyQuote. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/desiderius_erasmus_161329