Unbeknownst to many people today, there is a “secret” mystical tradition in Judaism. Kabbalah, which derives its named from the Hebrew word meaning “To Receive”, named for the method in which it was received orally from generation unto generation.
Kabbalah first reached a widespread audience with the publication of “The Zohar” a 13th-century collection of writings released by Jewish writer Moses de Leon in Spain. The Zohar contained esoteric collections of interpretations and commentaries on Old Testament books.
Another Kabbalistic practice includes the “Literal Kabbalah” or “Gematria”. This practice includes taking original Hebrew words or phrases from biblical texts and calculating their numerical equivalencies, then replacing those words or phrases with other with an equal number in order to find additional ways of unlocking hidden meanings from scriptures. Kabbalah also has a system of creating magical talismans and amulets using Hebrew words and imagery.
But perhaps the most famous aspect of Kabbalah is what is known as the “Tree of Life”. This is a pictorial glyph of ten circles, called Sephiroth or emanations, connected twenty-two pathways. Kabbalists view this diagram as a sort of “roadmap” of creation. It is believed that by studying and meditating upon the symbols and meanings and their relationship with each other and their physical world counterparts, that it is possible to achieve a greater understanding of man’s place in the universe and our relationship with God.
While at one time Kabbalah was secret and spoken of only in hushed tones, this is no longer the case. Since many of the previously secret teachings have been published and made widely available, there has been a great resurgence of interest in the system. Fortunately, it is quite easy to find books, study groups, and classes to learn this complex mystical system. One of these is Kabbalah Centre International.
Founded in 1984, The Kabbalah Centre is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching the Zohar and Kabbalistic practices. With centers in several of the United States, and international locations across South America, Europe, and Israel, it is easy to locate a place to further your studies. For those without a local center, The Kabbalah Centre publishes a wide variety of books, DVDs & CDs, and even online courses and mobile apps.
For more information on The Kabbalah Centre and their locations, publications, and course offerings visit: https://www.facebook.com/KabbalahCentreInternational/