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Q&A: Why Not Learn Zohar Without Chassidut?

Q: I am curious as to why the Zohar can be understood only through Chassidic explanations.  I'll be the first to admit at I am not ready to begin to try to understand the Zohar, but am wondering if it is true that only Chassidut would be able to explain it.

A: There are many dimensions to "understanding." One can acquire an intellectual understanding of concepts in Kabbalah through authentic ancient commentaries on the Zohar such as "Mikdash Melech," and more. However, we strive to acquire understanding that delves into the emotions of the soul so that we can internalize these concepts and make them a part of our lives. This can be achieved specifically through the study of Chassidut. It is for this purpose that God brought the souls of the Ba'al Shem Tov and his disciples to the world. Through the deep understanding of the Kabbalah (Zohar) as explained in Chassidut through the teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov, we will be redeemed with mercy.

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