Beginner Level Kabbalah: Text, Audio, and Video Resources
Kabbalah is the mystical tradition of the Jewish people. It dates as far back as Abraham (almost four thousand years), although it has gone through many stages of revelation since that time.
The accumulated insights of Kabbalah provide access to the inner dimension of reality and thereby to the experience of God in this world. Simply put, Kabbalah is the study of God. The students of Kabbalah desire to know God in order to emulate Him and thus come close to Him.
The Hebrew word Kabbalah has become the standard term used for referring to the vast array of mystical thought and practice revealed and handed down as part of our Jewish tradition. The popular use of this term, as we shall see, dates back approximately 800 years.
At the moment when Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, the heavens parted and the spirit of G-d descended from on high amidst thunder and lightning fire. In revealing Himself to the entire community of Israel, God in essence laid bare the hidden core of Kabbalistic truth which up to that point had been the privilege of a select few.
According to Kabbalistic tradition, the purpose of Creation is to provide God with a “dwelling place in the lower realms,” a goal which achieves fulfillment through the channeling of Divine light into the progressively denser “vessels” of human thought, feeling, and deed, and from there into the rest of material reality.
A primer on Kabbalah and Kabbalistic thinking. This article can be used as a first class on Kabbalah if you have an audience, and can easily be understood by even the most absolute beginner. Still, it contains deep insights into life, free will, parenting, and creation. Click here to read the full article.
The fundamental concepts of the inner dimension of the Torah are explained. It is important to note that there are a number of synonyms for this inner dimension: Kabbalah, the concealed part of the Torah, secrets of the Torah, sitrei Torah, nistar or the soul of the Torah. Although each synonym has its own subtleties, they are all basically interchangeable. Chassidut, also included in the concealed part of the Torah, is the inner dimension of Kabbalah, or the soul of the soul of the Torah. Click here to read the full article.
The Development of Kabbalah
The Development of Kabbalah in Three Stages. There are three distinct stages in the historical revelation of Kabbalah. Each represents a conceptual approach to understanding Kabbalistic tradition. Each is identified with a particular historical figure Rabbi Moses Cordevero, also known as the Ramak; Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, popularly referred to as the holy Ari; and Rabbi Yisrael, the Ba'al Shem Tov. Each system of thought served to advance the evolution of Kabbalistic theory by providing new and more illuminating frameworks within which to organize the totality of Kabbalistic doctrine existing up to their time.
The Development of Kabbalah in Light of Its Main Texts. In this lecture the fundamental character of Kabbalah is explained as the union between wisdom and prophecy. The five major texts of Kabbalah (Sefer Yetzirah, Zohar, Pardes, Eitz Chayim, and Tanya) are the focus of a summary of its development over the ages. The dangers of studying Kabbalah from a non authentic source are explained. (Audio Available)
At the moment when Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, the heavens parted and the spirit of G-d descended from on high amidst thunder and lightning fire. In revealing Himself to the entire community of Israel, God in essence laid bare the hidden core of Kabbalistic truth which up to that point had been the privilege of a select few. Click here to read the full article.
A sefirah (pl. sefirot) is a channel of Divine energy or life-force. This most fundamental concept of Kabbalah is that in the process of creation an intermediate stage was emanated from God's infinite light to create what we experience as finite reality. These channels are called the Ten Sefirot, Ten Divine Emanations, Ten Divine Radiances, Ten Divine Eluminices, or Ten Divine Powers which are the basic terms and concepts of the inner wisdom of the Torah which is called Kabbalah. Click here to read the full article.
Kabbalah teaches us that at every level of created being–from the perfected realm of Atzilut (Divine "Emanation") to the deficient plane of our own earthly existence–there exist ten sefirot (Divine "radiances" or "powers") around which that reality is constructed. Each of these sefirot is given a name describing its unique role in the fashioning of reality. Each of the sefirot possesses both an external as well as an internal dimension. The external dimension of each sefirah is identified with the "functional" role that it plays in the process of Creation; its internal dimension is identified with the hidden motivational force which inspires its activity. Click here to read the full article.
Before creation only God existed. Upon desiring to create independent reality and consciousness, He first revealed, to Himself, as it were, His Infinite Light. From this stage on, Kabbalah's understanding of creation is enormously complex and is not something that can be covered in detail in an introductory text. The various stages of creation are often called "worlds"–a term which is used to denote various developments in the creative process, as well as levels of consciousness and spiritual phases. Click here to read the full article.