Living Kabbalah Wisdom

Part 2

Bob Lancer

It was not until the 13th century, in Spain, that the teachings of Kabbalah were published in detail, by one Moses De Leon. He, in turn, ascribed the teachings to a legendary sage of the second century, Rabbi Simeon Bar Yohai, who reportedly received the Kabbalah directly from the spirit of Elijah while hiding with his son, Eleazor, in a cave for 13 years, in an effort to survive the Roman persecution of Jews at that time.


The title of that massive tome is, Sephir Zohar or Book of Splendor. To get anything out of these writings you have to know how to read them. It involves open-mindedness, patience with no-meaning, respectful anticipation of the profound in the perplexing, an emotional sensitivity to the ecstatic.  A visceral connection with the sensitivities of one's soul or spiritual core. Obviously, the Zohar not for everyone.  But it is for some an exquisite, even miraculous text that shapes the mind as much as informs it. It might be called the Jewish Timaeus.  Here is a brief quote:


"He could not answer him, so they went and asked Rabbi Simeon. He said, 'The companions have explained that the name El indicates sometimes mercy and sometimes severity. If men are virtuous, El is there standing for loving kindness; and if they are not deserving, El is there standing for severity and is called Gevurah. The real truth, however, is as follows. El everywhere stands for the light of Supernal Wisdom which exercises its influence everyday, and without which the world could not stand a day before the heavy chastisements that arise everyday against it.'"


Even these brief views of these two foundational texts of Kabbalah, the Book of Formation and the Book of Splendor, reveal that they are not easy to fathom.  And yet they offer deep perceptions of timeless and universal truth that feeds the soul on unspeakable levels. 


The Hebrew Letters


One of Kabbalah's central focal points is an exploration of inner dimensions of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  Kabbalah teaches that these letters are not creations of human beings, but rather sacred divine energy forms from which all is created. They make up the original fiery building blocks of the universe.


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