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I keep running into a problem repeatedly. I am Jewish but I study kabbalah in an organization with non-Jews and Jews alike. People I study with who are not Jews keep insisting they are Jews because they feel that if they study Kabbalah they are Jews. I try to accept it but sooner or later I find myself upset by it. I feel like somehow it is insulting my grandparents and ancestors for all they went through and through it all, continued Torah and mitzvot. But there is something more than that inside me that I don't understand. It makes me angry and even more like I want to cry. It goes away for a while and then it comes back up. Is this just a personal issue or could there be some reason from our history that I can't shake this disturbing feeling.

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  • Jews believe that they have a special relationship with God and you can only become a Jew through birth or through a tribunal of higher ranking Jews. When a non-Jew sneaks in without going through that, he is insulting us by demonstrating that our relationship is open. Christians, in particular, are very big on how everyone is able to have the same level of relationship with God. As Syndrome from the Incredibles said, "When everybody is holy, nobody is" Aug 30, 2023 at 18:28
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    Mystical traditions often are presented as "shortcuts" to salvation/enlightenment/reward etc. They often appeal to people who are not in sync with their own traditions. People studying only the mystical teachings may feel a connection with the larger, non-mystical, population. But, while Sufism is studied by non-Muslims, they are unlikely to adopt life as a Muslim. Likewise, (assumed) Christians studying Kabbalah may feel connected to Jews but won't be observing the mitzvot. Or converting. This may be the cognitive dissonance you feel when they call themselves Jews.
    – user33345
    Aug 30, 2023 at 18:35
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    I've heard of organizations that teach Kabbalah to non-Jews. I'm afraid I've never understood how they justify it.
    – Harel13
    Aug 30, 2023 at 19:49
  • I think it is disturbing because when a non-Jew claims that he is Jewish, others who don't know the truth might use what that person does or says as some sort of genuine expression of Judaism even if it is completely wrong.
    – rosends
    Aug 30, 2023 at 20:36
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    You feelings are absolutely correct. It's also worth noting that no legitimate rabbi will teach Zohar, Kitvei Ari, or any other real kabbalah to non-Jews. Disassociating yourself from this place is likely your first step. Aug 30, 2023 at 22:39

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