Kabbalah; a Philosophy that is as old as Methuselah

Kabbalah is a school of thought that seeks to explain the nature of the universe, human beings and their purpose for existence. Whereas it is closely associated with religion especially in its development, Kabbalah is not a religious philosophy.

Its origin is traceable back to the period before development of any of the world religions that we have today. Indeed, it is believed that religion, science, arts and philosophy have borrowed significantly from Kabbalah. Historically, its emergence is associated with the earliest forms of Jewish mysticism. Beginning from the 18th century, Kabbalah was popularized as Hasidic Judaism. During the 20th century, an increased interest in Kabbalism led to a cross-denominational renewal of the Jewish tradition as a result contributing to an increase in modern spirituality which is not necessarily Jewish.

One important fact to remember is that Kabbalah developed within the Jewish tradition, and its adherents use ancient Jewish historical sources as a basis for their explanations. Today, Kabbalah is a well-developed tradition that has attracted the attention of scholars world over. For example, there is established Kabbalah Centre International based in Los Angeles, which is a nonprofit organization that provides courses to those interested in learning more about Kabbalah. The centre provides teachings through various methods to enable people to access the lessons according to their preferences. There are online lessons, study groups in various parts of the world and city-based study centers. The center, founded by Phillip Berg and his wife Karen Berg prides itself on an international staff that offers training to a diverse student community. People at the center are notorious for white dressing, probably the centers’ uniform.

The establishment of the center was not without opposition. Jewish traditionalists felt that its establishment was contrary to the views held by Judaists. In particular, traditionally, Judaism believed that the mysteries surrounding Kabbalah were more often than not misunderstood and as such forbid male students from trying to learn about Kabbalah until they had first been duly grounded in Jewish law. It was believed that one had to reach the age of forty before they could be said to have obtained sufficient knowledge in the law. It was after this age that one could be allowed to learn about the mysteries surrounding Kabbalah.

Against this background, we can understand why Judaism adherents were not satisfied with the establishment of the center because it allows people below the age of forty to learn what they would not have traditionally been allowed to. Visit the Kabbalah Centre on their website for more information.

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