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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Kabbalah is not a discipline unto itself.”

The study of Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah, presents a special problem.

Though the Kabbalah is probably the only extant Jewish theological system, there are various attitudes to its study, which question not the relative value of studying Kabbalah, but the qualifications necessary to undertake it.

It is very important to recognize that, unlike other mystical doctrines, the Kabbalah is not a discipline unto itself but is closely linked to mainstream religious practice.

It is in a sense a commentary on both the written and oral Torah, and cannot be separated either in theory or practice from the full panoply of the mitzvot.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz