Questions and Answers

Beginner Level Kabbalah: How Can I Know if the Source of Kabbalah I Am Studying is Authentic?

The true study of Kabbalah is the study of how to become close to God and to emulate His Divine attributes. In the proper study of Kabbalah and Chassidut, one should attempt to appreciate and to identify with selflessness in the presence of God. If the person or institution that purports to teach Kabbalah tells you that you have rare spiritual powers, or promises you spiritual powers, that is the first sign that this source is not authentic Kabbalah.

The study of Kabbalah for the sake of experience is a questionable matter. One has to honestly assess if he is searching for God (the experience of selflessness) or if his desire for an experience stems from his ego. The basic differentiation between non-authentic and authentic Kabbalah is how it is represented: as things or as selflessness in the presence of God.

God created our world with love. It is His desire that we rectify ourselves and return to Him with love–without harsh judgments, God forbid. If a person or institution tries to manipulate you with threats of severe punishment in this world or the next, this is another clue that the source is not authentic Kabbalah.

The mitzvah ("commandment") of charity is considered the all-inclusive mitzvah of the Torah and is fundamental to Judaism. This mitzvah includes giving directly to the needy as well as support of organizations that support others both materially and spiritually. Donating to such a cause gives one the merit of participating in all the good deeds and goals of the organization. In many circles it is also customary to give charity when consulting with atzadik.  A true tzadik or an authentic organization will not relate to a person according to the size of his donation or lack thereof. They will accept every person with patience and loving-kindness, out of a true desire to help others.

Authentic Kabbalah in our generation necessarily begins with the thoughts and deep insights of Chassidut. Through the study of Chassidut, the innate desire of the Jewish soul to become one and close with God is aroused and revealed. All healing and blessing come exclusively from this, and from nothing else.

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