I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.
Friday, April 17, 2009
In certain Christian and Catholic circles the word 'kabbalah' evokes great fear and certain writers using anti-semitic sources see it as part of a freemason-occultic conspiracy against the Church. They see that certain occultic and syncretising groups use elements drawn from Kabbalah or they see the distorted form of Kabbalah followed by celebrities. However to condemn Kabbalah because of its misuse is like condemning christianity because the New Agers use certain Christian concepts.
What then is Kabbalah? It is 'received Tradition'. It could be said that all of Divine Revelation in written and oral form is received tradition or kabbalah. However today the term Kabbalah is reserved for the mystical teachings of Judaism. All authentic teaching on Kabbalah is drawn from Scripture (Torah) and is a mystical reading and understanding of the text. Those books based on this mystical level of understanding the Divine Word such as the Zohar and Bahir- are commentaries or reflections on the mystical levels of reading Scripture. The writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross are a Catholic version of this approach to Scripture.
That much dross from occult and pagan eastern sources have entered into the understanding of Kabbalah today is undoubtably true. This is why it is important to study the original Jewish sources of Kabbalah rather than these modern versions or perversions. Many orthodox Jewish teachers of Kabbalah warn that one should study these mystical traditions through chassidut. Chassidut are the practical living out of a loving, joyful and merciful faith filled life of spirituality as taught by the Baal Shem Tov and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov and other chassidic teachers. Kabbalah and mitzvot (Godly acts)should not be separated or this can lead one into a false understanding of Kabbalah into a form of Gnostic and Occultic demonism. One must also believe in and attempt to live out the moral life as taught in Scripture and Tradition. Those who seek a spiritual way that is amoral or that doesn't transform their morals and ethics are on a spiritually dangerous path. They may enter into a false spiritual place called the Other Side (Sitra Ahra). This happened with the followers of Sabbatai Zvi who became antinomian and also to those followers of Lurianic Kabbalah that didn't distinguish between angels and demons and sought to call them up for selfish and prideful reasons. One may invoke in prayer the aid of angels and saints from heaven but to seek a physical manifestation of them is spiritism and forbidden in Scripture.
Note: One of these anti-semitic conspiracy books is "She shall Crush Thy head" by Stephen Mahowald a traditionalist Catholic. This book is being promoted in many Catholic circles eventhough his knowledge of Judaism is totally erroneous and inadequate. He also quotes from notorious anti-semitic authors such as Elizabeth Dilling with her totally distorted attack on the Talmud. These writers mix insights into Our Lady and her apparitions with their anti-semitic ideas which leads many innocent and devout Catholics astray who have no knowledge of Judaism.
Posted by Catholic Jew at 10:39 am