Let My People Know

"Commercialized Kabbalah is like an intoxicating mantra; it's like trying to cure an illness by chanting the chemical formula of the remedy"


Unfortunately, today Kabbalah has been commercialized by those who pretend to grasp its innermost secrets. 

These pretenders purport to teach–and to sell–what they do not understand, to people who are not equipped to receive it. 
Kabbalah's mystifying formulas become nothing more than intoxicating mantras to those who mindlessly repeat them. 

This is like trying to cure an illness by chanting the chemical formula of the remedy.

This is not to say that Kabbalah should not be studied and learned. 

In fact, it is incumbent upon Jewish scholars to understand the whole map of Torah from beginning to end, the Hidden Law no less than the Revealed Law. 

Throughout history, there have been those who, very quietly, achieved extensive knowledge of the Hidden Law.

But today, most of us are simply incapable of comprehending Kabbalah. 

For us the question is, "Is there some way we, too, can 'receive' the remarkable teachings of Kabbalah in a meaningful way, without treading upon its divine essence?"

One answer lies in the Hasidic approach to Kabbalah.

It is a basic Kabbalistic concept that the human soul is, in a manner of speaking, a spark of Divine revelation within the world and that each human being is a microcosm of the entire universe.
Hasidism shows how the rarified teachings of Kabbalah, which speak to the macro-universe, can be adapted into a structure with ethical and practical meaning for our individual lives.

In this way, Hasidism is a form of applied Kabbalah. 

Just as the Revealed Law frames the behavior of our bodies, the internalization of Kabbalistic notions of the Hidden Law can attune us to our soul, educating it to connect with the Divine. 

In this model, the power of Kabbalah is harnessed not to serve our own desires but to align them with the wishes of the Almighty. 

One of the most important Hasidic books is called Zohar Chai, "the living Zohar." 

That is what Hasidism does: 

It gives the Kabbalah life by translating it into something meaningful in one's relationships with others and, most important, something that can quell the strife within one's own soul and calm the struggle of one's inner being.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From an essay, "Kabbalah for Today?" by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz