kabbalah

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Chokhmah

What Is Chokhmah? Chokmâh (חָכְמָה ,חכמה, ḥoḵmah or khok-maw’) is the Biblical Hebrew word rendered as “wisdom” in English Bible versions (LXX σοφία sophia, Vulgate sapientia). The word occurs 149 times in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) describes knowledge of the Talmudic order of Kodshim as a high level of wisdom, chokhmah. It is cognate with the Arabic word...

Primary Texts Of Kabbalah

Primary Texts Of Kabbalah The primary texts of Kabbalah were allegedly once part of an ongoing oral tradition. The written texts are obscure and difficult for readers who are unfamiliar with Jewish spirituality which assumes extensive knowledge of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), Midrash (Jewish hermeneutic tradition) and Halakha (practical Jewish law). The Torah For kabbalists, ten utterances in Genesis with which...

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Happiness In Judaism

Happiness in Judaism Happiness in Judaism and Jewish thought is considered an important value, especially in the context of the service of God. A number of Jewish teachings stress the importance of joy, and demonstrate methods of attaining happiness. Terminology There are a number of words in the Hebrew language that denote happiness: Simcha (שמחה‎), a generic word...

Gilgul

What Is Gilgul? In Kabbalistic esoteric mysticism, Gilgul/Gilgul neshamot/Gilgulei Ha Neshamot (גלגול הנשמות, גלגולים Gilgulim) is a concept of reincarnation. In Hebrew, the word gilgulmeans “cycle” or “wheel” and neshamot is the plural for “souls.” Souls are seen to “cycle” through “lives” or “incarnations”, being attached to different human bodies over time. Which body...

The Tree of Life in Kabbalah

The Tree of Life in Kabbalah The tree of life is a diagram used in various mystical traditions.[1] It usually consists of 10 nodes symbolizing different archetypes and 22 lines connecting the nodes.[2] The nodes are often arranged into three columns to represent that they belong to a common category.[2] The nodes are usually represented as spheres and the lines are usually...

Jewish Mysticism

What Is Jewish Mysticism? Academic study of Jewish mysticism, especially since Gershom Scholem’s Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941), distinguishes between different forms of mysticism across different eras of Jewish history. Of these, Kabbalah, which emerged in 12th-century Europe, is the most well known, but not the only typologic form, or the earliest to emerge. Among previous...

 What is Kabbalah?

What is Kabbalah? The word Kabbalah means many different things to many different people. In a nutshell, it is an ancient wisdom that reveals how the universe and life work. On a literal level, the word Kabbalah means “receiving.” It’s the study of how to receive fulfillment in our lives....

Zohar

What is Zohar? The Zohar (זֹהַר, “Splendor” or “Radiance”) is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah.[1] It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and scriptural interpretations as well as material on mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology. The...

Hasidic Philosophy

What Is Hasidic Philosophy? Hasidic philosophy or Hasidism (חסידות), alternatively transliterated as Hasidut or Chassidus, consists of the teachings of the Hasidic movement, which are the teachings of the Hasidic rebbes, often in the form of commentary on the Torah (the Five books of Moses) and Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Hasidism deals with a...

Sons of God

Sons of God Sons of the God (בני האלהים‎,bənê hāʼĕlōhîm,[1] literally: “sons of the Gods”[2]) is a phrase used in the Hebrew Bible and apocrypha. The phrase is also used in Kabbalah where bene elohim are part of different Jewish angelic hierarchies. Hebrew Bible Genesis 6 And it came to pass, when men began...

Jewish Meditation

Jewish Meditation Jewish meditation can refer to several traditional practices, ranging from visualization and intuitive methods, forms of emotional insight in communitive prayer, esoteric combinations of Divine names, to intellectual analysis of philosophical, ethical or mystical concepts. It often accompanies unstructured, personal Jewish prayer that can allow isolated contemplation, and underlies...

Judaism’s Religious Books

Judaism’s Religious Books Judaism’s Sacred Texts The importance of Judaism’s sacred texts extends far beyond their religious significance. These ancient documents embody not only Judaism’s religious precepts, but also the historical, cultural and social heritage of the Jewish people. In Israel, where attitudes towards tradition range from the ultra-orthodox to...

Jewish Religious Texts

Jewish Religious Texts The importance of Judaism’s sacred texts extends far beyond their religious significance. These ancient documents embody not only Judaism’s religious precepts, but also the historical, cultural and social heritage of the Jewish people. In Israel, where attitudes towards tradition range from the ultra-orthodox to the secular, sacred...

Rabbinic Literature

What Is Rabbinic Literature? Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writing, and thus corresponds with the Hebrew term Sifrut Hazal (ספרות חז”ל‎ “Literature [of our] sages,” where Hazalnormally refers only to the sages of...

Midrash Halakha

Midrash Halakha Midrash halakha (הֲלָכָה) was the ancient Judaic rabbinic method of Torah study that expounded upon the traditionally received 613 Mitzvot (commandments) by identifying their sources in the Hebrew Bible, and by interpreting these passages as proofs of the laws’ authenticity. Midrash more generally also refers to the non-legal interpretation...

Jewish Liturgy

Jewish Liturgy Jewish liturgy refers specifically to following the Torah in all of its rites and ceremonies, whether in the home or in the Synagogue. The main purposes of following the carefully laid out observances is to maintain uniformity, and to avoid improper and unacceptable practices at variance with those...

Kabbalah

 What is Kabbalah? Kabbalah, a medieval and modern system of Jewish theosophy, mysticism, and thaumaturgy marked by belief in creation through emanation and a cipher method of interpreting Scripture Kabbalah (קַבָּלָה‬, literally “reception, tradition”[1] or “correspondance”[2]:3) is an esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought of Judaism.[3] A traditional Kabbalist in Judaism...

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