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Michael Laitman, PhD

Contemporary Study Books

Q: Why do we study only, or mostly, the Zohar, the writings of the Ari and the writings of the Ashlags?

A: Because these are actually one writer, one soul that reincarnated from the first man, through Abraham, Moses, Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, the Ari and finally, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag. It is a soul that came down only to show humanity the path for correction. Although there are Kabbalists who know more, they were not given permission to write books meant to teach and correct people, especially not the newcomers to the spiritual path.

Thousands of books have been written throughout the history of Kabbalah, but my rabbi instructed me to study and teach only through these sources:

I advise all of you to start studying these sources. Later on, when you have absorbed the material, you’ll be able to understand other writers. This will give you a solid basis from which to examine other sources to see if they suit you as well.

By no means do I devalue other sources. Many of the Kabbalists were at an even higher degree than Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai or the Ari. However, they were not permitted to write, or if they were permitted, it was with minor implications that were meant for those who were already in the Upper Worlds.

Q: The articles that we study rely a great deal on the Ladder commentary. What is the Ladder commentary?

A: Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) named his commentaries on the Zohar “The Sulam” (Ladder), because reading it helps one in our world climb the ladder toward the Creator, spanning every degree in between. That is the purpose of creation.

Note that the Zohar commentaries can be understood only after studying all the introductions, the most important of which is the “Preface to the wisdom of Kabbalah.”

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