What is Kabbalah?
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difficult to categorize because it is a subjective
non-falsifiable belief system. In other words, it rests in
non-verifiable philosophy not in historic fact. Nevertheless,
kaballah is a mystical and esoteric system of observing and
interpreting the universe and mankind that also seeks to
reveal the true relationship between God, man, and the universe.
It teaches that there is a divine being which is neither male nor
female that has 10 primary aspects called sephirot which are
represented in the Tree of Life
(see diagram to the left). Kabbalah teaches that the supreme
being created the universe through a series of those 10 aspects
that descended through various levels until creation was
There are slightly different definitions of the word "Kabbalah". One source says it comes from the three Hebrew kbl which means "reception". Another source says "Kabbalah is a word meaning "tradition."1
Kabbalah is also know as cabala, cabalah, kabala, caballah, qabala, qabalah, etc. You do not have to be Jewish to study Kabbalah and its proponents state that it can adapt itself to any religious system.
Furthermore, the Kabbalist is supposed to gain understanding about God and himself by learning to understand these 10 aspects, their relationship to each other, and then apply the principles thus learned in his own life to help him return back to God -- Kabbalah teaches the soul's pre-existence.
Kaballah is the way of viewing reality based upon subjective, experiential interpretations of the world, life, death, creation, meaning, purpose, etc. It is an inner-contemplative movement and is considered to be a way of life.
Kabbalah relies heavily on mystical interpretations of the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) as well as the rest of the Old Testament. Its premises is that there are secret and hidden meanings in the biblical text that can be discovered by examining the shape of Hebrew letters, the gematria of words (mathematical values), and how these word values relate to each other. The problem is that this method often draws conclusions that are in contradiction to the plain teaching of the text that it examines. Thus, Kabbalah can have a variety of disjointed beliefs. This is why David A. Cooper, a Kabbalist, says, "Kabbalah does not lend itself to a straightforward definition or even a clear-cut history...it teaches us about the mysteries of life, how the creation works, where we are going, and how we get there."2
Where does Kabbalah come from?
Mr. Cooper in
his book, God is a verb asks, "What is it that cabalists
receive? And From whom do they receive it?"1 Mr.
Cooper's questions are extremely important especially since
Kabbalistic theology is unbiblical. It teaches reincarnation, a
type of karma, inner divinity, and no need for a Redeemer.
Indeed, we must ask where does the Kabbalist in the Kabbalist of
history get their information? They get it from the Zohar and the
The Zoar and the Sepher
Yetzirah which are essentially mystical commentaries and
interpretations of the biblical text as written and recorded by
various Kabbalists throughout history.
Nevertheless, are we to conclude that the philosophy taught through Kabbalah is godly? If it contradicts both Old and New Testament teaching, then how can it be from God? We conclude that it is not from God but is in reality yet another deception that proceeds out of the Garden of Eden where Satan said "you will be like God," (Gen. 3:5). The Edenic lie echoes through the hearts of mankind and has taken root in the philosophy of Kabbalah.
claim to receive their mystical interpretations of reality from
beyond themselves. The more you read Kabbalistic writings, the
more you will that it is mystical and unbiblical. You will also
discover that the philosophy cannot be verified. In other words,
there is no historical fact that verifies Kabbalah. It and
borrows heavily from the accounts written in the first five books
of the Bible, but it also radically reinterprets so many events
and so many concepts in the Bible that it is quite foreign from
what the word of God actually says.
Please consider some of the following phrases used in the the books that teach Kabbalah and notice their ambiguity and New Age "feel".
connections with other realities
the worlds of awareness integrate along a continuum
higher and lower realms of consciousness
unification of the finite with the infinite
energy of darkness
inherent light of consciousness
practicing Kavannah (awareness of the implications of everything we do)
the path to awareness
kinds of phrases are unverifiable and subjective and have no
inherent meaning apart from assigned philosophical
interpretations given to them by Kabbalah literature.
Furthermore, the phrases are highly reminiscent of New Age
teaching that also exalts humanity to the level of divinity,
teaches esoteric knowledge, secrets of the universe, and also
tries to unravel the mystical relationship between God, the
universe, and ourselves -- all based on subjective
interpretations of the Bible.
Both Kabbalah and at the New Age do not rest in historical facts and historical events that can be verified so as to support their interpretations. How do you connect with other realities? In fact, what does that mean? What is "higher awareness"? How does the finite become unified with the infinite? The answers that Kabbalah seeks to give to these kinds of questions are as equally subjective as the phrases that initiate the questions.
Because there is no way to verify the truth of the 10 aspects of God, that Kabbalah was given to the angels for the creation of the world, etc., the Kabbalist is left to either believe or disbelieve based upon his preferences. Instead of believing what the Bible actually says, the Kabbalist is left with following the baby and mystical interpretations of a few ancient Jews.
Unlike the Gospels, Kabbalistic literature is full of philosophical mumbo-jumbo and unverifiable and subjective ideas and words that are strung together in such a way as to appear to be semi coherent. The problem is, Kabbalah contradicts the Bible. Therefore, it is not true.
Leet, Leonora., The Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah. Rochester Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1999, p. 2
Cooper, David A., God is a Verb. New York, New York: Riverhead Brooks, 1997, p. 11.
ibid, p. 11 (From is capitalized in the original)
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