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15 votes

Does Kabbalah really teach this?

Reductionism is the ultimate form of sarcasm. Sarcasm is a subset of cynicism and is forbidden and very dangerous for one's soul, because it makes light of the holy, and that has a powerful affect in ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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14 votes

Sex in the world to come

The Talmud (Berachot 17a) states: העולם הבא אין בו לא אכילה ולא שתיה ולא פריה ורביה ולא משא ומתן ולא קנאה ולא שנאה ולא תחרות אלא צדיקים יושבין ועטרותיהם בראשיהם ונהנים מזיו השכינה שנאמר ויחזו את ...
Alex's user avatar
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13 votes

Did Rashi learn Kabbalah?

In his commentary on the Gemara, Rashi refers to Sefer Yetzirah several times. One example, on Menachos 29b: אחת בה"י ואחת ביו"ד - חלק את שמו והטיף מכל אות ג' טיפין ומאותן טיפין נעשו מים ואש ואויר ...
Meir's user avatar
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12 votes

Does Kabbalah really teach this?

The claim: The universe is ruled not by one god but by several deities of various characters That line contradicts three of the first 13 principles of our faith, as redacted in the Ani Ma'Amin's and ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
10 votes

The Yiddish Language and its Sanctity

In a letter to the Tog–Morgn Zhurnal, February 24, 1961 (also printed in דרשות און כּתובֿים), Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik wrote that Yiddish can be considered as a tashmish kedusha. He says that ...
magicker72's user avatar
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10 votes

Picture by R' Aryeh Kaplan on the front cover of the Aryeh Kaplan Reader

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was among many things a painter. He mentioned this in his book Jewish Meditation (p. 29): I also remember a period during which I was painting. I had just learned how to use ...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
10 votes

According to Kabbalah is it okay to have a pet dove?

It's one of the stipulations of Rabbi Yehuda Hachassids ethical will: לא יגדל אדם תורים ובני יונה בתוך ביתו (ע' סי' תתרל"ח). לפי שהבית אשר יגדלו בה או ימותו בניו או לא יהיה לו זרע. One should ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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9 votes

Dovid got lifespan from Adam and/or the Avos

Yes at first glance they are in conflict. Sefer Yosef Tehilos 42:9 (Chida) reconciles this with the explanation that David did not sleep and this the nights counted towards the 140 years. יומם יצוה ה׳...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
9 votes

Munn in the World to Come

Talmud Bavli (Hagigah 12b), from Sefaria: ר"ל אמר שבעה ואלו הן וילון רקיע שחקים זבול מעון מכון ערבות... שחקים שבו רחיים עומדות וטוחנות מן לצדיקים שנאמר (תהלים עח, כג) ויצו שחקים ממעל ודלתי שמים פתח ...
Oliver's user avatar
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9 votes

Introductory seforim for learning Kabbalah

Inner Space from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (written by his students based on his teachings) is a great intro in English. He goes through the concept of ein sof, tzimtzum, the four worlds, the sefirot, ...
ASL's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Warnings of R. Chaim Vital

The list you are looking for seems to be towards the end of his introductions, in the paragraph beginning וצריך להתרחק (page 23 in this edition). He lists 10 things not to do and 10 things to do ...
b a's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Munn in the World to Come

One source for this is the Midrash Otiot D'Rabbi Akiva (Version A) (s.v. Uma Nishtana in Battei Midrashot Vol. II) which states: ומנין שהמן בשחקים והיה טחון ברחיים בשביל צדיקים ובשביל ישראל לעולם ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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8 votes

Was Eliezer a tzaddik or a rasha?

In this medrash Talpiot written by Hamekubal Rav Eliyahu Hacohen of Izmir about 300 years ago he writes in entry "Eliezer" (the entries are written in alphabetical order) Eliezer did a kabalistic ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
8 votes

Need help in deciphering a Litvish term regarding Yichud Hashem

It looks like the first is שליטתו - His control, and the second is מציאותו - His “Existence”.
Joel K's user avatar
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8 votes

Is the author of the Shu"t HaRidvaz the same one as the one known to be the rebbe of the Ariza"l?

Indeed, this is the same person. The entry for "David ben Solomon ibn Zimra (Radbaz)" in The Responsa Literature states: He conducted a large yeshiba and many famous scholars were his pupils. The ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.5k
8 votes

Black Raven bad luck?

In Sanhedrin 65b: תנו רבנן מנחש זה האומר פתו נפלה מפיו מקלו נפלה מידו בנו קורא לו מאחריו עורב קורא לו צבי הפסיקו בדרך נחש מימינו ושועל משמאלו The Sages taught: The enchanter mentioned in the verse (...
josh waxman's user avatar
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8 votes

Is the malachim aleph beis from a non-Jew for the occult or something legitimate from a Jewish source?

I assume you were looking at the Celestial Alphabet. Note that Agrippa explicitly stated that he found these forms of writings among Jews: "Amongst the Hebrews I find more fashions of Characters....
Harel13's user avatar
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7 votes

Rashbi and Talking in Shul

The source you are looking for is in the Zohar, parashat Teruma, 131b, traditionally attributed to Rashbi: ומאן דמשתעי בבי כנישתא במילין דחול, ווי ליה דאחזי פרודא, ווי ליה דגרע מהימנותא, ווי ליה ...
Aryeh's user avatar
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7 votes

Are there still anti-Kabbalah Orthodox Jewish movements?

There are several contemporary (or recently deceased) rabbis, with followings, that express anti-kabbalistic attitudes and ideas. I'm not so sure that I would go quite so far as to call them formal &...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
  • 8,466
7 votes

Naming your baby - does the name influence the child?

The earliest source that a name has an intrinsic influence on the child is the Midrash Tanchuma: זכור ימות עולם בינו שנות דור ודור: לעולם יבדוק אדם בשמות לקרוא לבנו הראוי להיות צדיק, כי לפעמים ...
chortkov2's user avatar
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7 votes

In what sense does the Arizal claim that Rabbi Akiva was the reincarnation of Cain?

I'm not claiming to give a full answer; I did learn about this topic, but I don't remember the specific example. However, there is one answer which works in general. In Judaism, the concept of ...
Binyomin's user avatar
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7 votes

Every Forbidden thing has a corresponding opposite

The Talmud says: Yalta said to her husband Rav Naḥman: Now as a rule, for any item that the Merciful One prohibited to us, He permitted to us a similar item. [Chullin 109b] Numerous examples follow.
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
6 votes

Creating things with the Sefer Yetzira?

It is documented in the R' Aryeh Kaplan translation of the sefer yetzeira regarding forming a humanoid from earth/clay (Golem) and engraving the name of God on his forehead then there are specific ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
6 votes

Was Eliezer a tzaddik or a rasha?

There were two Og's, kings of Bashan. One was Eliezer, the other was the famous rasha Og. Source: Daas Zekeinim to Genesis 24:39
Yehuda's user avatar
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6 votes

Practical Kabbalah consequences

From the Encyclopedia.com entry on Joseph Della Reina: JOSEPH DELLA REINA , hero of a kabbalistic legend who attempted to bring an end to Satan's power and thus lead to the redemption. The ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Women and the 248 words in Shema

In his book Shorashe Minhag Ashkenaz (vol. 2 pg. 58), R. Hamburger brings that the Minhat Elazar was asked this question and he replied (ME vol. 2 §28) that since the idea is Zoharic it follows that ...
Oliver's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Introductory seforim for learning Kabbalah

Shomer Emunim Hakadmon (Rabbi Yosef Irgas), generalities and introduction to abstract language Amud Haavodah (Rabbi Boruch Kosover), optimization of the first. Very long but very clear. Shaare Ora (...
kouty's user avatar
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6 votes

Introductory seforim for learning Kabbalah

You do not specify if you are looking for an English or Hebrew book. In English, you could try The Thirteen Petalled Rose: A Discourse On The Essence Of Jewish Existence And Belief by R Adin ...
mbloch's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Who made this claim about the author of Sefer Habahir?

Edit: Found it. It was written by Rabbi Meir ben Shimon of Narbonne in a letter he wrote against the Kabbalah (published by Adolf Neubauer in JQR 4:3, pg. 358): "...וכבר הגיע אותו ספר לידינו ...
Harel13's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

English Translation of Milhamoth Hashem by Yiḥyeh Qafiḥ

Is there an English translation of it, or an overview? To my knowledge R. Yihyeh Qafih's ספר מלחמות השם has not been translated to English in its entirety. However the work Tohar Hayihud translates ...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
  • 8,466

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