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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28
votes
9answers
4k views

Sheidim: are they fact, or fiction?

Are there really such thing as sheidim? If so, what are they? Please include sources.
13
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5answers
7k 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"?
19
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11answers
2k views

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah? Not necessarily that the Rashbi authored the Zohar, but in the general tenets of kabbalah including but not limited to: tzimtzum, sefirot, ...
10
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1answer
1k 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 its authenticity? I mention "among recognized Rishonim" because I am aware ...
23
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8answers
8k 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 ...
22
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5answers
6k views

Is there a list of Mitzvot and their corresponding body parts?

The Talmud (Makkot 23B)and the Zohar (1:170B - unverified English translation here) say that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 limbs of the human body. (The Mishna (Ohalot 1:8) lists ...
21
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4answers
3k views

Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

From the answers to this question it seems that most if not all Jewish sources treat Trinitarian Christianity (in particular, their doctrine of the Trinity) as either Shittuf or outright Avoda Zara, ...
26
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6answers
3k views

Minimum Age to Learn Kabbalah?

How old do you have to be to learn Kabbalah? (I think its 60 ) but it seems everyone learns it anyway (Maharal, Chassidus). Is there a defense or is it just done?
23
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5answers
2k views

The Origins of the Zohar - Why is it accepted as being true?

I've read arguments and counter arguments for the origins of the Zohar and I'm perplexed. I personally accept the truths in kabbalah and chassidut, but I didn't realize how the Zohar sort of just "...
9
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9answers
1k views

Kabala in Halacha

Which of the major authors or codifiers of halacha. . . a) refer directly to or quote from kabala in their legal discussions? b) employ conclusions based only on kabala in their legal argumentation ...
15
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4answers
796 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?
12
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2answers
608 views

Reincarnation vs. resurrection of the dead

Some Jews believe in reincarnation. They are also supposed to accept the Resurrection of the Dead, where actual bodies are resurrected. In that case, for each soul, which body is resurrected?
12
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1answer
2k 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 ...
11
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4answers
931 views

Proper Way of Learning Jewish Mysticism

I have been very much interested in learning the core teachings of mysticism since I was a young boy. I didn't know that it was called Jewish mysticism but nonetheless I was attracted to its beliefs ...
12
votes
1answer
963 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 ...
2
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1answer
798 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 ...
6
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4answers
509 views

Conditions for Learning Kabala

What are the necessary conditions for being ready to learn Kabala? And if one meets those conditions, what books should he start with? Please provide a source.
12
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4answers
825 views

What is the source for Pardes?

What is the source for expounding the torah according to remez, derush and sod (along with 'pshat' the group can be referred to by the acronym PaRDeS)? These forms of hermeneutics are not found in ...
11
votes
2answers
729 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). ...
6
votes
0answers
225 views

Sources for Hamsa

I know from Ben Ish Hai Shana Bet Parashat Pinehas siman 13 where he writes to make a Hamsa from wood. However, I am wondering if there any earlier sources to solidify the fact that this would ...
3
votes
1answer
268 views

Leaving the room during a kabbalistic dvar Torah

We learn from Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef Z"l, as well as R' Hamburger Shlit"a, and the rest of the non-Chassidic, non-Lurianic world that it is improper for one unlearned in sha"s and halachah to learn ...
2
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3answers
627 views

Red string on Tefillin arm?

I've heard a man shouldn't wear anything on his left arm (as a bracelet, watch, etc) while having tefillin tied on. If this is true, would it be completely wrong to wear a red string on the left arm (...
19
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2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
536 views

Why is one permutation of the name of God backwards?

If you spell out each letter that makes up the name of God, then add up the gematria (numerical value) of each letter of each fully spelled out letter you get various values. The value depends on how ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Walking Between 2 Women - Relatives

A man is not allowed to walk between two women. Does this apply where one of them is his mother (or sister)?
6
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2answers
627 views

Who wrote Tohar HaYichud?

Who wrote the anonymous rationalist debunking of kabbalah entitled Tohar HaYichud?
5
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4answers
428 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
274 views

Saying names of angels

I've heard you shouldn't say the names of angels, except for the four that surround us at night. What's the source and reason for this? Is it halacha or kaballah?
17
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5answers
2k views

What is the Gorel Hagra?

What is it? How is it performed? May one perform it? And, if so, when may it be used?
10
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8answers
440 views

What do people mean when they say “Kaballah”?

I recently spoke to someone who said she was interested in learning Kabbala but could not find any classes. I mentioned to her she may want to try learning Tanya because there is a lot of Kabbala in ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Clairvoyant Powers

Recently met a certain Rabbi with clairvoyant powers. He was able to look at my name and tell me all sorts of spooky stuff. For example, that I have two mezuzas with problems. (I hired a sofer to ...
5
votes
2answers
766 views

From which side does Klipa come?

It says in some seforim, that Klipa "leeches" off the "right" side (since Gevura is about limitation, it can only give to one who is worthy, while Chesed, kindness, can give to everyone). On the ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Sources for Holding One's Left Hand in Right Hand During Prayer

What are the earliest sources for the practice of holding one's left hand in one's right hand during prayer? (particular during the Ammidah). The Talmud Shabbat (10a) notes a practice of holding one'...
11
votes
1answer
375 views

Animals Created By Sefer Yetzirah

The Malbim explains that someone created a calf using Sefer Yetzirah, and it could then be eaten with milk. What is it about the animals created from Sefer Yetzirah which make it permissible to eat ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
503 views

Was Rav Hai Gaon a kabbalist?

In a recent conversation a friend indicated that Rav Hai Gaon was a well known kabbalist, while another friend pointed to his teshuva [teshuvas ha'geonim 115] to indicate that he was not [and ...
5
votes
6answers
326 views

Why didn't the prophets (and others “inspired from Above”) ever learn the secrets of science or cures for disease?

Why is it that people like the prophets, and other, more modern figures who are seen as being divinely inspired (the kabbalists, the Chasidic rebbes, etc.) never seem to be told secrets of science, ...
5
votes
3answers
726 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. Some people claim the Zohar doesn'...
5
votes
2answers
460 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?
4
votes
1answer
202 views

Painting the backs of tefillin straps black?

I've heard and seen religious Jews painting the backs of the tefillin straps black, and they claim a kabbalistic reason somewhere in the Schulchan Auruch. Does anyone know anything about this, the ...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

Machloket about the goal of the creation

The book Mishnat Chasidim from Rabbi Emanuel Chy Ricchi, begins by a presentation of the project of creation. He gives two reasons, for Ish Yare (man who fears God): To make known His perfection, To ...
3
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6answers
2k 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?
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Source for saying Aramaic parts of davening quietly?

I remember reading somewhere that there is a kabbalistic tradition to say the parts of davening that are in Aramaic (e.g. the targum in Uva Letziyon) quietly. What is the source for this?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What coin is this?

It is a little over an inch diameter, thicker and heavier than any coin would be. The lettering almost seems random....or maybe the middle word is a name? Can someone help me identify this coin? ...
2
votes
3answers
726 views

Was Shlomo Molcho a great kabbalist or a false messiah? [closed]

History records that a Portuguese Marano, Diego Peres (born 1500), after being spurned by Jewish adventurist David Reuveni, circumcised himself, changed his name to Shlomo Molcho, and went on a ...
15
votes
2answers
479 views

Can anyone explain the meaning of this amulet / inscription?

Right before my grandfather went away to fight in WWII, a rabbi in Munkács (מונקאטש) gave him a small cloth container that had a piece of parchment in it, as a kind of amulet. The piece of paper has ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Are there any female kabbalists?

Are there currently or have there been historically orthodox female kabbalists? If not is this a quirk of history or is there a specific reason?
12
votes
1answer
436 views

What is a ger's birthday in terms of Jewish astrology? conversion date or birth date?

In terms of Jewish astrological signs and influences on people, per Kabbalah, would a ger use their actual 'birth' date or their date of conversion which is considered a rebirth?
11
votes
6answers
702 views

Is there a Kabbalistic source for not walking with one's hands behind one's back?

I've heard from people that it says in Kabbalah that one shouldn't walk with one's hands behind one's back. Does anyone know the source?