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July 24, 2024

The Real Reason Why Kabbalah Was Hidden for Thousands of Years

The Real Reason Why Kabbalah Was Hidden for Thousands of Years

Past Writings of Kabbalists Were Often Hidden

Anything that people need spreads naturally in the world. But when it comes to The Zohar and the Kabbalah, matters are not that straightforward.

The disclosure of the writings of Kabbalah has been accompanied by intriguing stories. The Book of Zohar has undergone many hardships, and only a small portion of the original manuscript remains today. The writings of the Ari [Rav Isaac Luria, author of The Tree of Life], were dug out of his grave only three generations after his demise. Indeed, there is a special integration of revealed and concealed, and painful labor pangs when it comes to expanding the wisdom of Kabbalah.


Difficulties that Surrounded the Spreading of Kabbalah in the 20th Century

Baal HaSulam made great efforts to publish his interpretation on The Zohar, the Sulam [Ladder] commentary, and wrote as much as 20 hours a day. When he fell asleep on his desk, it was hard to pull the pen out of his hand because his fingers were cramped around it.

For lack of funds to print the manuscripts, he had to wait until he could find the resources. And once he found them, he arranged the lead letters in the printing press by himself, although he was already ill and very weak. Yet, volume by volume, his life’s work was completed.

Still, people were afraid to open The Zohar and preferred to stay clear of it. As early as 1933, Baal HaSulam began to disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah in an effort to prevent the looming holocaust. “Time to Act” was the title of his opening essay in the first tract that he printed—out of fifty that he had planned to publish. However, his work was frowned upon by certain orthodox circles, and within a few weeks they managed to apprehend the printing of the tracts to prevent the expansion of the wisdom.

In 1940, Baal HaSulam published a paper, The Nation, in which he called upon the Israeli nation to unite. His wish was to establish a by-weekly paper, but the paper initiative, too, was thwarted after the publication of the first issue.


Apprehension to Kabbalah Is Due to Egotism

The question that arises out of all that is “Why does everything that concerns the disclosure of the wisdom of Kabbalah happens in such an odd way and evokes so much resistance?” After all, it is a wisdom that discusses human psychology, our inner makeup, family values, education and culture, conducts of Nature and the foundation of creation. Don’t we need this information?

Whatever the case may be, within each of us is a special feeling, a kind of internal recoil from The Book of Zohar and the wisdom of Kabbalah, which originates in our very nature. What separates Kabbalah from any other teaching is the issue of correction. Kabbalah talks about how we should correct ourselves, change our attitude toward ourselves and toward those around us, so it is only natural that our egos wince at that dictate.


Today Kabbalah Is Open to Anyone

The sages of Kabbalah certainly knew all that, which is why they hid the wisdom for millennia until the moment was ripe and people would really need it. They themselves were the ones who stirred the public away from it, declaring strict limitations on studying it: age 40 or above, men only, married, and only after having been filled with all the other parts of the Torah. The sages also spread rumors that Kabbalah could make you lose your sanity!

In previous generations, the desire to discover the spiritual world still did not awaken in the hearts of most people; hence, the wisdom of Kabbalah was kept hidden. However, if the desire did awaken in anyone, the wisdom was opened to that person. The Ari [Isaac Luria], Chaim Vital, the Baal Shem Tov, the Vilna Gaon, the Ramchal, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, and many others studied and taught the wisdom of Kabbalah long before they reached the age of 40. In our generation, this desire is awakening in millions of people the world over, hence the wisdom is being shared openly with the public.

Unlocking The Zohar “The Real Reason Why Kabbalah Was Hidden for Thousands of Years” is based on the book, Unlocking the Zohar by Dr. Michael Laitman.

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