What is Kabbalah?
What is Kabbalah? Why are people today, including some celebrities, so interested in it? These are two of the common questions people have about the Kabbalah religion.
What is the Definition of Kabbalah?
Kabbalah is the mystical form of Judaism.
Broadly speaking, Kabbalah refers to Jewish mysticism dating back to the time of the second Temple, approximately 400 years before Christ. For many years, the Kaballah religion existed as a carefully guarded oral tradition before it became systematized and dispersed in the Middle Ages.
The kabbalistic worldview was expressed most importantly in the Yalkut Re'uveni by Reuben Hoeshke in 1660. It also made its way into prayer books, popular customs and ethics.
What is the Meaning of Kabbalah?
The focus of Kabbalah is the simultaneous transcendence and immanence of God, with the latter described in terms of the sefirot, or attributes of God.
There are 10 sefirot, which are emanations from God through which he created the universe. Each have corresponding qualities in human beings. This hidden aspect of God and his relationship with humanity can be better understood by speculation and revelation.
The hidden side of God can be seen as the feminine side of God, which complements the masculine (or external) side revealed in the Tanach. This female side or aspect of God is sometimes called the Shekhinah ("dwelling"), which traditionally has referred to the divine presence and is associated with light.
Kabbalah Astrology, Numereology, and Magic
In addition to a special insight into the divine, modern Kabbalah includes teachings on astrology, numerology and magic, and incorporates eastern ideas like auras and chakras.
"Hebrew was something that was formed by an Infinite Being and has intrinsic meaning and holiness. Each letter is a symbol of a spiritual reality that God created. There are twenty-two letters, which are divided into three groups by the kabbalists: A group of three that are symbolic of the primordial elements with which God created physicality: air, water, and fire. A group of seven that are ymbolic of the seven main celestial bodies: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and Mars. These in turn have a connection with the seven days of the week. And a last group of twelve that are symbolic of the twelve signs of the zodiac, and the twelve months, which in turn are connected to the twelve tribes of Jacob.
Each of these groups fulfills a function in the world aside from its representation of a higher reality. The stars and planets are conduits for the spiritual influences from above. The first two groups combine to form a group of ten. This group is the precursor to the ten statements of creation, the ten plagues in Egypt, and the Ten Commandments. Ten is a unit. It represents completeness. God hid the knowledge of how the spiritual world is structured; yet at the same time He revealed it to us through the stars, planets, and the alphabet. The Torah also hints to much of the mystical side of the universe. If you are sensitive to the words and looking for spiritual insights you will find them in the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and also the Siddur.
Understand that the group of ten is an essential theme in Kabbalah. The group expresses ten qualities of Godliness that we find in the world. These ten qualities are known as the Sefirot, and they exist as the backbone of the spiritual realm that exists somehow between God's essence and our reality. What is the purpose of the knowledge of these sefirot or any of the other aspects of Kabbalah? All of existence is here for us to come closer to God. Every commandment is an opportunity for a connection to God, and every piece of Torah knowledge binds you to God. It's His book, and His instructions. That's what the Torah and the commandments are here for. The study of Kabbalah in particular describes how God runs the universe, which is a much more powerful and more revealing glimpse of God's actual self, so to speak. We can never, as we've said, really know God while we are in the body. Kabbalah, however, gives us the greatest possibility of closeness. For this reason, Kabbalah in traditional sources is called Chachmas HaElohus" which means "The knowledge of Godliness". One who studies Kabbalah without wanting to understand and get closer to the Almighty is like reading a book on advanced Geometry because you like the looks of the diagrams. You're missing the point. If you separate Kabbalah from its source then you no longer have Kabbalah. You have something else. One must be involved in some way with Torah study and mitzvah observance in order to really ever know Kabbalah." http://kabbalahclub.com/essays/essay10.html
Kabbalah and Celebrities
Kabbalah has been a trend among celebrities in recent years, who are said to "study" the religion. Such entertainers who have expressed public interest include Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor, Brittney Spears, and baseball player Alex Rodriguez.
Kabbalah is sometimes expressed by means of a bracelet worn by adherents. This bracelet is sometimes how different celebrities have been identified with the belief system.