QUESTION: "A friend told us that Kabbala is believed to be some form of witchcraft and that we should stay away from it - why do people think this way? Also, was Einstein or any other scientist a Kabbalist?"
ANSWER: Many people involved in the occult use some ideas from Kabbala (they usually spell it "cabala" or "qabalah") for some of their "magic". This has nothing or very little to do with the real Kabbala. There were some famous classic scientists who were into these occult practices. As for contemporary scientists and Kabbala, go to www.borhatorah.org or the "Torah and Science" section of the Kabbala site: www.inner.org
QUESTION: "From reading the Bible/Torah the Lord specifically speaks out against magic and mysticism, yet this is basically what the Kabbala is teaching. Can you justify that for me?"
ANSWER: The Torah speaks against magic. But Kabbala is not magic. The Torah nowhere speaks against mysticism. The inner teachings are an integral part of Torah. Please read our article about the position of the great Safed masters towards Practical Kabbala.
QUESTION: "A man who calls himself a spiritual psychologist and claims the ability to read energy told me that I am 'possessed' via my father's line, from a curse placed on his great grandfather. I know this sounds crazy, but I have had my own streak of bad luck so I thought I would inquire whether you have heard about any Kabbala curses - and of course the 'cure' to break them."
ANSWER: There is a well-known concept in Judaism about a kind of "possession" called "dybbuk", but, regarding your acquaintance's ability to detect such a thing, it doesn't seem too likely, as Jews don't give much credence to information offered by psychics. If it worries you, however, then consider going in person to visit a holy Jew and ask his help. Where do you live?
QUESTION: "Do you have to be Jewish to study Kabbala?"
ANSWER: You have to be Jewish and qualified in order to understand true authentic Kabbala in its depths. However, there are benefits to everyone at an elementary level.
QUESTION: "I know that Kabbala is all about the study of Jewish mysticism and an offshoot of Judaism, but could it be considered a "religion" on its own?"
ANSWER: Kabbala is neither a religion on its own nor an "offshoot of Judaism". It is an integral part of Judaism and always has been.
QUESTION: "Madonna is one of the well-known people who converted to Kabbala. Some people think that Kabbala is now a "trend religion". Is that so?"
ANSWER: Kabbala is the old and sacred tradition of the Jewish mystical teachings. It is not a religion in and of itself, so you can't convert to it. Kabbala is an integral part of Judaism and inseparable from it. The people whose awareness of it is limited to Madonna and "trend religion" journalists and opportunist charlatans have been thoroughly deluded. It is not yet clear whether this is amusing or sad.
QUESTION: "What is the main difference between the way you are teaching Kabbala and what is offered at "The Kabbalah Center"?"
ANSWER: We are offering teachings translated or based on genuine sources AND we are not offering any magic, curses, or instant superficial solutions. Also, all of our teachings are consistent with revealed Jewish law and we do not charge any money at all for them.
QUESTION: "Where and how can I buy the Kabbala water?"
ANSWER: Forget about it. It is almost for sure not real, and absolutely certain to be exaggeratedly overpriced. Better, make a trip to Israel. Here you can get all kinds of things like that for free, as well as having a meaningful and inspiring experience.
QUESTION: "Which is the best talisman to wear for protection, well being, wealth and happiness. Where can I buy these spiritually empowered items?"
ANSWER: The only such item of apparel I am aware of is a kosher talit katan with kosher tzitzit. Equally or more effective is to have kosher mezuzahs on each door of your dwelling that requires it. They should be bought only through an Orthodox Jewish scribe or rabbi.
However, according to Kabbala, there are many spiritually empowered deeds you can do. But I can't advise you further on this until I know the extent of your current involvement in Torah and Mitzvot.
QUESTION: "Do Kabbalists use the red string bracelet?"
ANSWER: The red string bracelets from the Tomb of Mother Rachel are for good luck and protection (if you believe in things for good luck and protection - not everyone does). In Israel they cost 1 shekel - less then $USA 0.25. Some unscrupulous people sell them on the Internet for as much as $30.
QUESTION: "Are there Kabbalistic healers, and if so, how can you tell a charlatan from a true Kabbalist healer?"
ANSWER: Anyone who advertises himself as such is not likely to be the real thing, and if he asks for a significant amount of money the likelihood becomes a virtual guarantee. Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish Law, in a discussion of healing amulets, states that you take such a person seriously only if it is proven that he was successful at least three times. There are no formulas, although I suppose a person knowledgeable in Kabbala could test the proposed healer's knowledge. It is also worthwhile to ascertain if he had a kosher teacher.
QUESTION: "I was wondering if you had any hot-tips on how to improve one's business & finances...
ANSWER: NOPE. There are no magic formulas and no instant solutions. The only spiritual "device" is to increase one's merit in G‑d Al-mighty's eyes, which means to do lots more good deeds in helping others, and if you are Jewish, to improve in fulfilling the commandments and studying the Torah. Good luck!
QUESTION: "How can the study of Kabbala or taking on rituals or practices from the Kabbalistic wisdom assist me in finding my intended spouse, and knowing I have found him!?"
ANSWER: There are no magical solutions or instantaneous ones. Better than "rituals and practices" would be to take on some of the Kabbala emphasis on "kavana" -focused attention and concentration on the mitzva deeds you do and the words of prayer and Torah that you say. This will increase your spiritual sensitivity as well as your merit, which will certainly lead to the successful fulfillment of the above stated quest, hopefully soon.
QUESTION: "Is there a way I can have my fortune read to ask about a certain person in my life, and where my relationship with her is going to go? Can't a Kabbalist tell your fortune?"
ANSWER: Not in legitimate Judaism there isn't. A Kabbalist-fortune teller is a contradiction in terms and therefore a fake. At your own risk!
QUESTION: "Can the Kabbala predict an individual's future, almost like astrology. If I have a question or I am unsure what to do in the future, can the Kabbala help me to determine my destiny?"
ANSWER: In Judaism it is forbidden to use such techniques to determine one's future and decisions, including Jewish techniques such as those available through Kabbala. However, it is recommended for a Jew to seek the advice and blessings of a highly learned and/or spiritually accomplished Jew for the major events of one's life.
QUESTION: "What's the real deal with not learning Kabbala until you're forty? Does this apply to all levels of the subject?"
ANSWER: The best preparation for Kabbala is not so much age as background. Of course, it is desirable to be as well versed as possible in the Jewish holy books. But certain basic concepts are available to everyone and should not be ignored.
Anyway, it is not a question to ask someone in Safed, as the holy Ari was the main Kabbala teacher, and he was not yet 40. His students included the author of Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Law, who was then over 70.
Please see our article Kabbala Before Age 40 (click here).
QUESTION: "What does Kabbala contain that makes it so dangerous for people to read if they are younger than 40 years old and if they are not well versed in Torah?"
ANSWER: I doubt if there is much danger in "reading" it, especially in translation, which of necessity loses both layers of meaning and preciseness (even if there is enough left to be informative and inspiring). But someone who gets into it in a deep level can lose his bearings and be swept away if he is not well grounded, which is the idea of being 40 years old and learned in the basics before approaching Kabbala.
Please see our article Kabbala Before Age 40 (click here).
QUESTION: "Angels/chieftains of the nations have got a
mission from G‑d. They don't have free will. Why were the chieftains of
the nations punished and judged when they were just doing their mission?"
ANSWER: I recommend you take a look at Exodus 31:7. G‑d rejects Moses because
his people have sinned. Moses himself did not do anything. But that's the way it
goes when you are in a position of responsibility.
Also, G‑d judging, or punishing, the angel-chief of a nation, is the beginning
of the process to punish that particular nation.
QUESTION 1: "How does a Kabbalist view the Old
Testament in one's life?"
ANSWER 1: The commandments are forever binding.
QUESTION 2: "The Old Testament has 24 Books, of which
the commandments are only a part. If one focuses just on the commandments, one
cannot get the full benefit of G‑d's communications to us, including the
ANSWER 2: In general, the Prophets also came to exhort
the people to fulfill the commandments and to intensify their relationship with
QUESTION: "How or where can I get a Kabbalistic
astrological birth chart done?"
ANSWER: Kabbalah does not do birth charts. The closest thing, if you are Jewish,
is on our home page. Click on the button on the left side: Personal Torah Codes.