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Questions tagged [mysticism-kabbalah]

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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“The Sophisticate and the Simpleton” story by Rabbi Nachman- where is the earliest mention of “the Devil” in Jewish Literature?

In his story The Sophisticate and the Simpleton Rabbi Nachman mentions the Devil (Source from Wikisource) Meanwhile someone came and said, "The Devil [Yid. Toivl, Heb. Azazel] has sent for you [...
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Why is Kabbalah sometimes referred to as “derech ha'emes”?

The Ramban (and others) often refer to pshatim that are of kabbalistic nature as being al derech ha'emes. Here is one example from Vayikra 23:36: ועל דרך האמת כי ששת ימים עשה ה' את השמים ואת הארץ (...
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First usage of golem to refer to a man-made humanoid

There's a famous folk tale that the Maharal created a golem, some sort of human shaped creature. The tale has it that he created it using practical Kabbalah. The gemarra even describes amoraim ...
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Can a sin be completely cleaned?

If a person does a sin, is it possible to completely clean it in the spiritual and physical worlds as it never happened and fix all the damages it caused? What are the sources that prove that? Are ...
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They could change nature and predict nature, but could not explain it

In contrast to the secularist position that the physical world is ours by right, whereas the spiritual world is hidden/inaccessible, the Jewish and generally religious position seems to be that Gd ...
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What’s the significance of the book and card ספר רזיאל המלאך? [duplicate]

What’s the significance of the book and card ספר רזיאל המלאך ?
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Were the spiritual worlds created (sources)?

I was told the spiritual worlds are above time, does that mean they always existed? What does it mean that on some level they do not experience any change? Sources please.
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Origin of the minhag to hold the kiddush cup in one's palm

There is a minhag which many have while reciting kiddush which is to hold the kiddush cup in the palm of the hand, with the fingers pointing upward without touching the cup. I have heard two ...
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What is the history and origin of the Etz Chayim symbol and the 10 Sefiroth?

This question is related to the question 'what is the origin of the Hebrew language?' since Hebrew is a key part of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. However, the question of Hebrew language origins seems ...
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According to Kabbalah is it okay to have a pet dove?

I want to buy a dove but my parents say that they heard that according to Kabbalah you cannot own a bird as a pet. I want to know what Kabbalah says about this.
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If we can't understand G-d at all, why do our sources try?

I have for a long time been been confused and dismayed that, although our sources -- including kabbalistic ones -- acknowledge frequently, emphatically, and without limitation that לית מחשבה תפיסא בך ...
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Picture by R' Aryeh Kaplan on the front cover of the Aryeh Kaplan Reader

Hello does anyone know of anyone I could contact or where I could look with regard to an explanation of the painting on the front of the Aryeh Kaplan Reader by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan himself?
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Zohar about the 18-19th century [duplicate]

I saw a quote one time--I believe it was in an Artscroll sefer--from the Zohar about how there would be tremendous spiritual and cultural revelations that would occur around the 18th-19th centuries. (...
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Position of Tefillin Shel Rosh

Why is it that we wear our tefillin specifically above our hairline? Is there any special reason for that part of the head? I recently heard the answer from a Rabbi however I couldn't recall. I am ...
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Talk to me about din

We always hear about din vs. rachamim, which got me thinking: If rachamim is made up of chesed and gevurah, then what are the components of din? I find it interesting or else inexplicable that the ...
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The origin of Metatrons cube

I have been reading countless Hebrew and English texts about Metatron. In the English they refer to Metatron cube. However, I can’t find a single Kabbalistic text in Jewish Kabbalah that references ...
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What is the earliest mention of the Zohar being explicitly cited in Jewish Literature?

What is the earliest mention of the Zohar being explicitly cited in Jewish texts? I've asked some friends but we were unable to determine where it was.
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Practical Kabbalah consequences

I remember hearing that there was a rabbi that used practical kabbalah with his disciples to fight SM' + LL', but I cannot remember his name. Arizal has prohibited it, right? I remember that he gave ...
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Water is Chesed

I read somewhere that "according to the kabala, water represents Chesed (kindness)". Any one know a source for this, and what that means in layman's terms?
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What is klipa (kabbala)

In kabala/chassidus Klipa translated as a shell, (i think it is used as a name of the source of evil) That is the etymology of the word? Why is the word shell used? It is somthing in it? (what?) or ...
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How does one explain to a non-Jew why we wash our hands 3 times after using the bathroom?

How would you explain to a non-Jew why we wash our hands 3 times after using the bathroom ?
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What is the origin and/or earliest use of the Ushpizin prayer (invitation of the 'exalted guests') during Sukkot?

While reading about Sukkot1 I came across a mention of a prayer recited during Sukkot, during which a celebrant invites the seven 'exalted guests' (well-known heroes and leaders of the Hebrew people/...
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Four Pairs of Tefillin: Why only the Shel Rosh?

Although not a normative custom, there is a rare custom practiced by lofty individuals to put on four pairs of tefillin (Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam, Shimusha Rabba and Raavad). In Hayom Yom, the ...
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What are the consequences of homosexuality?

We all know that homosexual intercourse is forbidden in Judaism (directly from Torah). But that it also has consequences in the spiritual world as everything in the physical realm has its ...
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Dating and Havdala candle

I've heard people talking about the merit of a good relationship with his shidduch in dating from the act of holding the Havdala candle. How does the two relate?
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Is it obligatory / recommended / permitted / discouraged / forbidden to tie a red thread to a child's crib?

The comments to this question discuss tying to a red thread to a child's crib. Garvey80 claims that it is a minhag yisrael to do so, and is thus obligatory. User6591 claims that it may be forbidden, ...
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What exactly is the Sefer Raziel, why is/was it used, and what are Jewish scholars' general attitudes toward it?

I'm writing a thesis paper that involves Anksy's play The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds, and the Sefer Raziel is mentioned. I have a basic understanding of the roles of Kabbalah and Talmud, but the Sefer ...
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Source that indicates which Sefira corresponds to which persona

The Ten Sefiros can be correlated to people in Tanach. For example, Avraham is Chesed, Yitzchok is Gevurah, Moshe is Netzach, etc. I'm looking for an early source which lays out these correlations. ...
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How could Aharon stand inside the Mishkan

According to the position in the gemara in Shabbos :צב that all of the leviim (includes cohanim) were 10 amos tall, how could Aaron or Moshe fit in the Ohel Moed (10 Amos tall as well, see parshas ...
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Marriage in Kabbalah

Where in the Zohar and other books of Kabbalah can discussions pertaining to the significance of Jewish marriage laws be found?
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Do the sages/mystics endorse the idea that some prayers are more powerful when spoken by individuals of piety or righteousness?

Prayer is a powerful tool. That being said, are tools more powerful when in the hands of someone who knows how to best use them? My question is does there exist an inequality in prayer power. Does a ...
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Who says Moshe sinned for killing the Egyptian and why

The Be'er Yosef in Parshas Masei quotes the Arizal's Shaar HaMitzvos parshas Shoftim as follows: ‏ ...הרג את המצרי שהוא קין, היה שוגג, כי הוא חשב שהדין עמו על שהרג הבל, ולכן הרגו בשם המפורש כדי ...
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The Noam Elimelech on a “Tzaddik with wings”

Disclaimer: The following is very Kabbalah heavy, so obviously there is much to be understood with what is understood in that respect. My question primarily stems from locating a source. The Noam ...
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Was Eliezer a tzaddik or a rasha?

Derech Eretz Zuta (1:5) says that Eliezer, the servant of Avraham, was one of the people to have entered Gan Eden alive, while in Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer (16:14) we are told Eliezer is the same person ...
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How are things such as evil eyes/dark attachments/evil handled in Jewish tradition?

While the topic isn't discussed heavily in modern Judaism (outside of the evil inclination) the idea that there are dark forces which can negatively impact and overwhelm individuals is a very real ...
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שובבים and Taharas Hamishpacha

As we begin the weeks of Shovavim (the upcoming 6 parshiyos, Shemos through Mishpatim), many of us will notice signs going up all around us for improvement in keeping the Halachos of Niddah ("Taharas ...
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Significance of the numbers 3 and 7 in the story of Lavan

Al Berko in Why did Ya'akov enslave himself for so long? assumes that readers probably know what 3 times 7 stands for in the context of "Eisav's mission" to cope with "Lavan's Evil". He does not ...
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Sur meRah Mission

What does Sur meRah mean (sources please) in the context of Al Berko's answer to Why did Ya'akov enslave himself for so long?? I think it might mean to turn away from evil, but then there would ...
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Stealing of Beracha/Mission

Al Berko in Why did Ya'akov enslave himself for so long? claimed that "If you remember, he stole Eisov's Brochos, and therefore, Eisov's mission in this world." What does "stealing someone's ...
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Sefer of Kabbalistic sources of the mitzvots

I am looking for a book, in English, that elucidates the kabbalistic reasons for the mitzvos.
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Munn in the World to Come

The Rema in OC Simman 242 brings a minhag to eat "pashtidah" shabbos night in memory of the munn. The Beur Halacha is very bothered why one would do such a thing on shabbos, given that the munn ...
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Dovid got lifespan from Adam and/or the Avos

I think it's pretty well known that there's an idea that 70 years from Adam's life were given to Dovid Hamelech, which is why he lived to 930 and not 1000. A source that I found for this is Zohar ...
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Source of the lost letter shin?

I read here that in Kabbalistic tradition the four pronged shin (such as that on the tefillin) was once part of the Hebrew Alphabet but was lost, but I was not able to find a source for this tradition....
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Does Eternal Gehinnom (i.e. Eternal Judgment leading to Eternal Punishment) negate the concept of Reincarnation?

Where is there a rabbinic discussion of whether eternal Gehinnom (i.e. eternal judgment leading to eternal punishment) negates the concept of Reincarnation? (Because the concept of reincarnation, if ...
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Do we get to be with our wife after we die?

After we die, do we get to be one with our wife that we married here and love her still? Or does that go away?
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Yesh Me'Ayin - A transformation from a state of ‘nothing’ to ‘something’

Recently I came across this teaching from Chassidic or Kabalistic works which apparently has something to do with our 'task' in this world: Hayom Yom: Tackling Life's Tasks; Translated from the ...
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The Yiddish Language and its Sanctity

Rav Avrohom Schorr in his Sefer HaLekach V'HaLevuv al HaTorah (5763) for on Parshas Noach the following: (Took a picture because there is no online copy available) (Rough Translation by myself) ...
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Seven Ushpizot on Sukkot?

In a number of places online, I've seen reference made to a teaching from Menachem Azariah of Fano, or Rama MiPano, about seven female "guests" which visit the Sukkah over Sukkot, in paralel to the ...
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Source for Arizal’s teaching

I’m reading a book by Rabbi Shlomo Arush and he says the following: "According to our master, the Arizal, whoever wants to receive the light of Ein Sof in its entirety has to change its own nature ...
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To what extent are non-Chasidim bound by kabbalah?

Chassidim seem to follow the views of kabbalah to a greater degree than non-Chassidim. What status does kabbalah have in determing the practical halacha for non-Chassidim?