Anyone With a Desire for Spirituality Should Study Kabbalah
The study of Kabbalah was forbidden to the masses for many generations. Kabbalists prohibited the study to women, children, and men under forty (in Kabbalah, age forty signifies intelligence—Bina—when a person already understands that the purpose of life is giving, something the public cannot under- stand because they are still at a beastly level). In other words, this kind of learning was forbidden to those who hadn’t evolved enough to be able to study Kabbalah.
However, as soon as there is a spark, a sensation of the appearance of a soul, one must study Kabbalah. When Rav Kook was asked, “Who can study Kabbalah?” he replied simply, “Anyone who wants to!” Desire is the one and only requirement for the development of the soul.
Baal HaSulam writes that if a person is ready to study Kabbalah, but refrains from doing so, then that person is the reason for all the disasters because he or she did not contribute his or her share to the management of creation. The collective law of reality is built in such a way that if a person must take an active part in the leadership of reality and refrains from doing so, the rough part of nature comes in its place. That switch between the force of humanity and the force of nature is felt in our world as tragedies and pains. As soon as we begin to feel a desire for the Creator, we must learn how to correct ourselves and thus change reality. If we refrain from doing that, we bring about more evil in the world.
Kabbalah Today & the Special Significance of Israel
Throughout history, Kabbalists were the ones to define the edification of the nation. For example, during the British mandate in Israel (1917–1948), Baal HaSulam tried to publish a Kabbalistic magazine. He saw that the time had come when the public wanted to approach the spiritual degree that only a chosen few had reached before. Hence, he tried to explain to the people about the Kabbalah. But there was still a need to convey it in a simple and easily understandable manner.
Why is this edification needed now, while it was not needed a hundred or two hundred years ago? Only after the last deportation in the previous century, and the return to the land of Israel, did a new era begin in the evolution of the souls. When the Creator brought us back to the land of Israel, He also brought us back to the spiritual soil, giving us an opportunity for spiritual operations and sublime attainments. That process is only just beginning; hence the new need to explain Kabbalah to the entire generation today.
In the past there wasn’t a need to study Kabbalah. Baal HaSulam wrote that there were many people who attained high spiritual degrees through the written and oral Torah alone. But Kabbalah books contain a greater illumination of upper light, which can assist one in the correction process. Though all holy books were written from the highest spiritual degree of the “end of correction,” the Kabbalah books that were written for our generation have a unique shine to them, instead of a general illumination, because they were written especially for those who want spiritual elevation in our time.
Why Everybody Will Eventually Study Kabbalah
Kabbalists do not say that we must teach everyone, but in our time in history it must be understood that Kabbalah is a method of development that obligates everyone. People often come, listen, and leave, and by doing so they prepare themselves for the next stage in the correction. Reading the books of Kabbalah is also a correction, and the rest is up to the Creator.
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