A Guide to the Hidden Wisdom of Kabbala
It is therefore the most useful language for the student to make inner
progress and to correct himself. If we study the writings of Baal HaSulam,
there is no danger of becoming confused.
Spirituality can be attained by studying the right books, i.e., books written by
a true Kabbalist. The Bible’s texts are Kabbalah texts. They are books
Kabbalists wrote to one another to exchange ideas and to assist each other
in learning. A person whose spiritual feelings have grown can see how these
books assist him in continuing his growth and development. It is like being
led by a tour guide in a foreign country. With the aid of the guidebook, the
traveler becomes oriented and better understands his new whereabouts.
We need books that are suited to our souls, books by the Kabbalists of our
generation or the previous one, since different souls descend in each
generation and require different teaching methods.
A student in search of a Kabbalah teacher must do so with care. There are so-
called Kabbalists who teach incorrectly. For example, it is sometimes claimed
that wherever the word “body” is written it refers to our physical body, that
the right hand symbolizes charity and the left, bravery. This is exactly the
strict prohibition rendered by the Bible and Kabbalists in “Thou shall not
make a sculpture or a picture.”
Why are there those who teach and interpret this way? First of all, they
themselves do not comprehend the kabbalistic language of branches. [See
the chapter on “The Language Of Kabbalists: Branches.”] If there were a
direct connection between spiritual forces and our physical bodies, it would
have been possible to teach people to succeed in life, and to cure the body
by physical means under the guise of spirituality.
It is important to join the right study group in which to explore the writings
of a real Kabbalist. This should be done under the guidance of a Kabbalist.
The group provides strength. Everybody has at least a small desire for
materialism, and an even smaller desire for spiritualism. The way to augment
the will for spiritualism is through joint desire. Several students together
stimulate Ohr makif (Surrounding Light). Although the physical body
separates people, it does not affect spiritualism, since in spiritualism, the
point of the heart is shared by all, resulting in a much greater result.
All of the Kabbalists studied in groups. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai held a group
for students, and so did the Ari. A group is vital in order to progress. It is the
primary tool of Kabbalah, and everyone is measured by his contribution to
It is essential to receive from a true Kabbalist who himself studied under the
guidance of a Kabbalist. A group does not eliminate the need for a Kabbalist;
it is impossible without a Kabbalist since it is he who directs the group.
The texts and the Kabbalist help the student so that he does not deviate
from the correct way of studying. He works on himself and on his inner
being. No one knows the others’ place in the group, nor his level of
spirituality. The books, the group and the Kabbalist simply help him to stay
on course and increase his will for spirituality, instead of following other
desires or worthless endeavors.