Qabalah: Introduction to the Kabbalah

Qabalah- the Tradition is still alive

By Robert Zucker

Kabbalah is the collective name for the Oral Traditions handed down from generations of Jewish rabbis until the teachings reached the mass populous today.

Kabbalah is spelled many ways with just three basic sounds

Whether it is written in English- Kabbalah, Kabalah, Kaballah, Kabala, Kabballah, Qabalah or Quabalah (Quaballah)- it is the same meaning. It is the same name.

QBL (Hebrew letters that stand for the word Kabala) is the study of the mystical Tree of Life often referred to as Jewish Kabbalah.

I spell it here several ways to remind you that it is only the sounds that are important- not the letters: ka ba la.

The word Kaballah, spelled in Hebrew as QBLH means "tradition." There are many ways to spell the English translation of Kaballah, Kabbalah, Kabala, etc.

The actual spelling in Hebrew are the four letters: Q, B, L, H which are pronounced as Qa Ba LaH. The Kabbalah is deeply rooted in the Jewish religion. It's roots possible proceed the beginning of the Judaism.

The Oral Tradition of the Qabalah

Over the centuries, this occult knowledge was passed from person to person by word of mouth. The sacred knowledge was not written down. Instead, it was usually told in parables, legends and stories. This was the Oral Tradition.

The unwritten traditions of the Qabalah were eventually copied down. Most people agree it was probably in the form of a book now called the "Sefer Yetzirah," (Sefer Yetzira). In English, it is called the Book of Creation or The Book of Formation.

Dozens, maybe hundreds, of handwirtten copies were passed down through generations. Almost all were written in Hebrew. Only a few are still in existence today.

The Book of Creation was eventually printed in Hebrew in 1562 with commentaries from famous rabbis over the centuries. The Book has been reprinted in dozens of languages and more than a hundred editions. Now, the contents of the Book of Creation are distributed freely across the Internet.

Since anyone can now obtain a copy of the Book of Creation, either in Hebrew, English, German, etc., Kabbalah isn't a secret anymore.

The originators of the Kabbalah perceived this and hid the knowledge inside of the strange symbols and stories we read today.

The beginnings of the Kabbalah

The Oral Teachings are the hidden meanings of manuscripts scribed mostly in the early centuries after the birth of Christ and a resurgence in the Middle Ages among the Sephardic and eventually Hasidic Jewish communities.

Kabbalah has its roots deep in early Judaism religion. The Jewish Kabbalah examines the Visions of the Chariot by Ezekiel, the Bahir, the Merkabah and the Sefer Yetzirah. These written works, including the Torah, provide the cornerstones of understanding this mystical practice.

While the true knowledge is buried deep in the Hebrew language, Christian Kabbalah of the Middle Ages also helped bring these mystic names and words into the western world.

Jewish Kabalists follow to the letter of the Hebrew alphabet in its original inscription. Christian Kabalists interpret these Judaic teachings through the veil of their religion. This site focuses on the Jewish Kabbalah.

But, Kabbalah is not a religion. It is a meditative look into ones soul and into the reflection of a greater energy.

Forging a Tree of Life

The Kabalah Tree of Life is the map, or set of paths and sephiroth (spheres) linked together to represent the entire structure of the Universe. Each path and intersecting sphere has a meaning, a letter and a sound that brings to life a special soul. The ten sephiroth contain all the energies of the 22 interacting pathways.

By studying the Zohar, the Bahir, Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation- also called The Book of Formation) and other books provide the keys to form the names to make the energies come alive. But to gain the highest level of mystical knowledge, understanding of the traditional books and teaching of Judaism is necessary.

These pages explore the understanding of Qabalistic teachings at the time of origin and how they relate to today's life.



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See links to some of the best, and most authoritative, books on Kabbalah.

An ancient inspirational form of Jewish mysticism Kabbalah has now reached cult-like popularity among celebrities and throughout America. But what is behind the new-found fascination with this sacred body of wisdom?Once exclusively reserved for study by ultra-religious male scholars of Judaism Kabbalah has recently become known as a multi-million dollar celebrity-endorsed phenomenon. SECRETS OF KABBALAH strips away the hype and demystifies the writings that have been studied by Jewish scholars for thousands of years.

Amazon.com: Gershom Scholem, who died in 1982, remains the biggest gun in kabbalah scholarship, and On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism is perhaps his most accessible book on the subject. It contains definitive essays on the relation of the Torah to Jewish mysticism, the mythology of the kabbalah, and the place of Jewish mystics in the Jewish community. This book helped reinvigorate 20th-century Jewish studies with an awareness of the living reality of God, after the 19th century's more astringent scholarly emphasis on law and philosophy.

• Paperback: 240 pages
• Publisher: Schocken; New Ed edition (January 30, 1996)
• Language: English

"Sefer Yetzirah" and Kabbalah books from Abebooks US
and AbeBooks.co.uk (UK)