Kabbalah has always been taught through books. The first books about Kabbalah were written thousands of years ago. Adam Ha Rishon (the First Man) wrote the book, “The Angel Raziel,” and Abraham the Patriarch wrote the book “Sefer Yetzira” (Book of Creation). The Zohar was written some 1900 years ago...
Why do Kabbalists such as the holy Ari, Rabbi Kook and Rabbi Ashlag maintain that it is necessary for any person to study the wisdom of Kabbalah, regardless of age, sex, or nationality?..
What exactly do you learn in Kabbalah? Is it only about the aim, or is it a real “academic study?”..
How many methods are there for the study of Kabbalah and which is the most efficient for our time?..
Is there a difference in the study of Kabbalah between men and women?..
I’ve begun to take an interest in Kabbalah. I want to start studying, but I’m told it’s dangerous. What exactly is the danger in studying Kabbalah?..
My friends suggested that I don’t study Kabbalah. They said it was too soon for me. Why do they think that?..
Do I have to study the Pentecost and the other scriptures before I begin to study Kabbalah?..
Everyone knows that before you start studying Kabbalah you need very serious preparation. It is said that before one studies Kabbalah one must also be proficient in Torah, forty years old or more, and so on. The Book of Zohar can only be studied with at least one other person, say a disciple and his rabbi. Which should I choose?..
You write that the first phase in the study of Kabbalah is to read as much versatile theoretical material as possible. If during reading questions arise, should I continue reading, or stop until the material has fully “sunk in?” If I feel fatigue or lack of will to continue the study, must I push myself to study the full amount planned? Should I set up a strict schedule and stick by it, or take into consideration the difficulties that arise from time to time?..
Why do we study only, or mostly, the Zohar, the writings of the Ari and the writings of the Ashlags?..
Can Kabbalah drive someone insane? Can over-exploring Kabbalah have a negative effect on a person with strong emotional responses?..
Q: I feel confused by your principle of restricting alternative sources. If I understand you correctly, all beginners are strongly recommended to use only a number of selected sources. But the book “Al Pi Sod” states that absolutely everything points to the Creator, whether it’s the Psalms, Agadot, Tanya, the literal Torah, even mathematics and physics, our daily life routine or even Buddhism. Everything is seen in a new way, reminding us of the Creator. Why is “superfluous material” out of bounds?
It is natural for man to aspire to knowledge. Why, then, has he not satisfied that aspiration over thousands of years?..
You always recommend reading more. But how is a person who simply reads different from another who is interested in philosophy and mysticism, or one who wants the title, “professor of Kabbalah?” Such people do not make even a single step forward in spirituality.
How do we attain the acts of the Creator? Do we understand in our hearts or in our minds?..
Is it enough to use reason and logic in order to understand Godliness?..
When I was studying the system of the worlds, I got to the point of the creation of Malchut and the first restriction. After that, I stopped understanding and I can’t make any more progress...
Can a person with limited talent advance in spiritual degrees by oneself, or does one need additional help?..
Will the study of the Kabbalah increase my intelligence?..
Why is it that after years of studying Kabbalah, the goal of life becomes “routine?” Those special thoughts seem to disappear, and it sometimes feels as if there is no movement or attainment. Sometimes the goal itself disappears. Is this a temporary state?..
You say that the most important thing is to attain the screen. I try to attain it day and night. I’ve become indifferent to the pain, but still I suffer...
You tell us to read our books in order to reach our correction. Is that all we have to do? This way it could take a million years before I reach the Upper World!..
How can I accelerate my spiritual progress and thus spare myself agony?..
At first I thought that bad situations came to us so we could try to overcome them. But apparently, there is a specific kind of “bad situation,” whose purpose is to show that nothing depends on us, and the final outcome is solely in the hands of the Creator. Can you explain that?..
Does the collective Providence still influence a person who’s begun to study Kabbalah, or is he now only under private Providence?..
If I understand correctly, the spiritual path begins with the formation of the screen within me, meaning with the restriction on reception of pleasures. Does that not lead to self-oppression? If I have to give up on pleasures, won’t that bring me to asceticism, which Judaism forbids?..
What do I do with my desires? I want a big, beautiful house, though a small one will do just fine. I want a new car, though the old one still runs. As for my job, I’m still interested in one that bears responsibility. Do I have to clear out these desires in order to make room for more study? (My relatives are already unhappy about the whole situation)...
I have no desire to do anything anymore. Things that used to give me pleasure - theatre, friends, even vacations – no longer do and I’m losing contact with old friends. What pains me now is my inability to understand the full structure of the world. My question is: although I feel a lack of excitement, I must still function in this world. How should I utilize the external world for the study of Kabbalah?..
I feel that I’m learning for myself, which makes me feel ashamed. There are struggles within me, and I have reached a dead end dealing with them. I feel miserable because I don’t know how to change my aim, how to invert it, so that none of the things I do will be for me. What do I do?..
Why do we sometimes reach a state where the Torah wears us out to the point of physical fatigue? Does it mean that we lack desire for spirituality?..
When I first started my studies, I was very excited whenever I went into the classroom, as though I were floating. Now, I feel almost indifferent. Why does it happen and what do other participants feel?..
When I speak of Kabbalah to other people, I suddenly feel very tired, almost ill. Is this a natural reaction of the body?..
The other day I felt bad for no apparent reason. Prayer helped for only five minutes. I shared my pain with my friend and everything was okay, but the next morning I felt that he was in torment. Perhaps I should have suffered alone?..
When is a physical act more beneficial than pure study? Is it when a person still does not understand the purpose of the study? How is there progress, if the physical act is “below reason?”..
Lately I’ve been going through a “cooling off period.” At first, I was reading your books and I understood everything. Later on, various thoughts began to appear in my mind during my studies. Then, I had to make substantial efforts in order to follow the text. Later still, when I tried to understand what was written, I began to fall asleep over and over while reading the same line. How do I overcome this obstacle? Should I continue reading without understanding and wait for this to go away, or must I change something?..
Every now and again new insights appear in me, and quite surprisingly. How does it happen?..
If I study a lot in the evening and I continue to think about Kabbalah in my sleep, is that part of the spiritual work and progress, too?..
If a person gets very tired and wants only one thing -- to sleep-- is there spiritual work in that situation, or should he simply go to sleep?..
In his article, “The Time of Ascent,” Baal HaSulam writes that during the spiritual ascent, it is good to read the articles hundreds of times. Is there any indication of how well I absorbed this or that article?..
Why is it that each time I hold a book of Kabbalah, I immediately get all sorts of disturbances that “crawl” into my mind, until I just want to drop it all and leave? But as soon as I’m sent pain from Above, I take a Kabbalah book in my hand and then I have no problem focusing on it?..
Is it a good idea to study Kabbalah at work? Sometimes there’s free time and a possibility to escape to the Internet and read the texts instead of programming. In a way, it is cheating, although the boss will get his work done anyhow. I know that it’s important to “come clean” to the study, so what should I do?..
I have four hours of leisure a day. Do I utilize the time for spiritual work, or do I do domestic chores? Do I decide according to my mood or by a fixed rule?..
Why is it that, as soon as you ask a question, the situation changes? In such a case there is no need for the answer because it always comes too late. Somehow this happens all the time. Why?..
Sometimes I feel that the answers are given to me impatiently, perhaps even unwillingly. Doesn’t the Creator want me to study?..
I study Kabbalah and I feel that my whole life is changing: my thoughts, my feelings, my relationships with people, but it all seems strange. You read, and you suddenly begin to understand everything as something uniform. You realize that the Creator created this world so that it would come back to Him. The more the state is exalted, the more you feel your own corruption. Am I studying correctly?..
I’ve begun to study Kabbalah and I feel that I’ve become more irritable and less tolerant...
What do I get out of studying Kabbalah, since the Kabbalah has to go into my heart and not to my head?..
Sometimes I feel like I’m making progress and I know things, but I don’t take pleasure in that. In fact, quite the opposite. Sometimes I think I’m paused or even going backwards. Is this normal? Are the sensations of knowledge and progress the pleasure itself?..
Can people who are interested in Kabbalah, but do not live in Israel, who read the texts on the Internet site, get together and study Kabbalah? Will we make mistakes without a teacher?..
I do not live in Israel, but I very much want to study Kabbalah. Please help me!..
I’m writing to you from London. Right now, it is impossible for me to study Kabbalah in Israel. Do you know of anyone in London who can help me get started? As I understand it, without a genuine Kabbalist rabbi and a group, I cannot make progress...
Can I study Kabbalah even though I’m not sure how it will affect me?..
It seems that in Kabbalah, just like in any other field, it takes a great effort to make it to the top. But most people are busy with their little everyday problems and their small affairs. The ordinary person thinks: “Kabbalah relieves us of pain and has a sublime goal. Great! Too bad I’m just an ordinary person, unsuitable for such exalted goals.” Can I progress in spirituality, knowing in advance that I will not be able to give myself entirely to Kabbalah, or is it not worth it for me to even begin?..