"As we have heard, so we have seen." (Psalms 48:9)

Words of the kabbalistic mysteries of the Torah are celestial matters which no eye has seen besides that of G‑d. They are wondrous things.

This is because the secrets of Torah teach us about the Essence of G‑d and the aspects of that essence which He bestowed in the upper worlds - things which astonish and frighten those that hear of them. These things depend only on pure faith, not on reason - i.e. only on the pure faith that a person holds that these are words of truth.

Thus, the secret aspect of Torah is called "the way of truth" for two reasons: First, it is intrinsically true, for it is the truth of the Torah. Also, it is the reason behind the mitzvot, so that without the reasons provided by Kabbala, a great number of mitzvot cannot be ascribed to any root or reason. Thus, through the way of Kabbala, a person finds satisfaction with all of the Torah and its mitzvot.

Without the reasons provided by Kabbala, a great number of mitzvot cannot be ascribed to any root…

About the essence of the Kabbala, it says at the beginning of Pirkei Avot, "Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it to Joshua." In other words, it was transmitted as a tradition orally from one generation to another. In this regard, the holy Zohar always calls Moses "the faithful shepherd". [Faithfulness, here,] has two aspects: One, as we have written, is that Kabbala is the truth of the Torah and its mitzvot; the second is that a person must believe in his heart that the matter is pure truth, as if he saw it with his own eyes without any distortion.

One who does not believe this with complete faith should not attempt to study it nor interest himself in it in any way, as the kabbalists have warned. And so King David said: "As we have heard so we have seen", meaning that we have perfect faith in the receiving of the Way of Truth which is in our hands. That which we have heard and received through our ears is as if we had seen it with our eyes; there is no distinction here between hearing and seeing.

[Translated by M. Steinberger and E. Linas from Sha'arei Aruchah 40, as anthologized in Peninei Avir Ya'akov, p. 213]

The next article in the Kabbalah for Beginners tutorial:
The Transmission of Kabbala (in the History section)

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