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Michael Laitman, PhD

Anyone Can Study Kabbalah

Q: 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?

A: Bans regarding the study of the Kabbalah existed only until the time of the Ari. Kabbalists themselves enforced them because the souls did not yet need the Kabbalah to progress toward the purpose of creation. But since the time of the Ari (end of the 16th century), he himself and other Kabbalists have lifted the ban that they had set up. It was done because souls have reached such a level of development that they’ve begun to feel within them the need for spiritual, exalted content.

The time of barbarism has ended. Millions of people are beginning to feel the need for the wisdom of the Kabbalah, and those who are worthy will study it. You cannot stop this process. The desire of the entire creation toward the Creator is the very basis of nature, and now it is becoming evident.

Because man’s desire is the force that determines his development, if a person wants to study, it indicates readiness mentally and spiritually, and no ban can stop that person from studying.

We should use the very means that we were born with to approach the Creator, and believe that in each given moment, the means that are at our disposal are the very best there are. Despite that, we must never stop searching for better ones.

Kabbalah is an understanding of the Creator, of the purpose of creation, a revelation of the Upper Light (within you, in your emotions), by changing your intentions. It is much like the Torah, in the sense that it, too, is not a historical tale, but a description of the universe and a method to understand the Creator.

In Kabbalah, concepts such as “forbidden” or “impossible” actually mean, “it cannot be done.” For example, when it was said that it is forbidden to see the Creator, it means that it is forbidden to receive Light in order to please yourself.

Therefore, the words, “forbidden to study Kabbalah” actually mean, “It cannot be studied because of a lack of will.” The statement is still correct today as far as the general public is concerned, but the souls that descend to our world today reach such a level of spiritual development that all their thoughts and earthly desires become aspirations for the Creator.

When that happens, we will say that we are “permitted to study Kabbalah” because we have reached a developed enough desire for it.

Q: Does a person have to be religious in order to study Kabbalah?

A: No, anyone can study. If the Creator gives us the desire, we will begin to feel a new attitude toward life, toward the people around us, toward ourselves.

Our genuine development from matter to spirit should evolve gradually, to the extent that we understand the world we live in. The more we discover the meanness and corruption in our world, the more we will be ready for an inner change. The law of the Upper World defines it in the words: “There is no coercion in spirituality.”Only the Creator can change our desires and intentions, so if we study diligently, the change will come.

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