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Why does this page accept a redirect from a word that is never explained, or even mentioned, on it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:11, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Inevitable POV[edit]

The problem that I see inherent in this article is that it is going to lead to inevitable POV disputes. You have the scholarly angle, which disputes many of the claims made by classic Kabbalists. Then you have the traditional approach as practiced by the Yeshivot of Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Tzefat. Then there are the more recent offshoots, whether Yehuda Ashlag or Philip Berg. The problem is that who is anyone to say "this is Kabbalah". Entire books are written on simply the history of the subject, and wikipedia by nature tries to reduce everything to a short encyclopedia article. Therefore unless Kabbalah is spoken of only in the most general of terms, the article will inevitably fall into POV controversy. Take Aryeh Kaplan's Meditation and Kabbalah for example, even there despite covering only major trends in the most general way, he still had a POV slant of a Jerusalem Kabbalist. When dealing with something that is both a part of a Religion(or a religion) as well as having a long scholarly history it is inevitable.הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 08:43, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. Berg and the Kabbalah Center have their own article and are not in this article exactly because of that. (I regard Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag himself as still within tradition, but there is little about him in the article.) I have discussed separating the religious and academic approaches to Kabbalah, but I can not do much about that until an editor, or editors, sufficiently qualified, start to strengthen what is in the article about the religious Jewish teaching of Kabbalah. If it develops that there is plenty of written int the article about different approaches, "Jerusalem Kabbalah", etc, we can create separate articles. But if someone does not begin to do the writing, nothing will ever happen. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:11, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

The issue is not so much about writing as the need for complete rescripting of some parts. I will make my suggestions here and see what comes of things.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 14:17, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

You write above, "The problem is that who is anyone to say "this is Kabbalah". Entire books are written on simply the history of the subject, and wikipedia by nature tries to reduce everything to a short encyclopedia article. Therefore unless Kabbalah is spoken of only in the most general of terms, the article will inevitably fall into POV controversy." That's the fun of wikipedia! The more views it presents, the more encyclopedic it becomes. POV disputes are very informative. The only issue is making sure that this main Kabbalah page gives a concise overview of the main trends/approaches/schools/opinions in Judaic Kabbalah, allowing detailed fuller coverage on linked sub-pages. As long as the opinions are kept in comprehensive, but succinct proportion with each other on this page - both traditionalist and academic - then the page can be improved to read as one informative narrative. Therefore, the only issue is the need to improve the page, Kabbalistic history, concepts, schools, opinions, scholarship, contemporary study etc. - all in fair overview balance. April8 (talk) 20:46, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Kabbalistic understanding of God[edit]

The article states, " In Kabbalah every idea grows from the foundation of God [10], and the entire study is based on that central belief. The statement by Maimonides, from the Mishneh Torah is accepted by all traditional Kabbalists:

   The foundation of all foundations, and the pillar of all wisdom is to know that there is God who brought into being all existence. All the beings of the heavens, and the earth, and what is between them came into existence only from the truth of God's being.

Kabbalah teaches that God is neither matter nor spirit. Rather God is the creator of both.

This question, "what is the nature of God?", prompted Kabbalists to envision two aspects of God, (a) God himself, who in the end is unknowable, and (b) the revealed aspect of God that created the universe, preserves the universe, and interacts with mankind. Kabbalists speak of the first aspect of God as Ein Sof (אין סוף); this is translated as "the infinite", "endless", or "that which has no limits". In this view, nothing can be said about this aspect of God. This aspect of God is impersonal. The second aspect of divine emanations, however, is at least partially accessible to human thought. Kabbalists believe that these two aspects are not contradictory but, through the mechanism of progressive emanation, complement one another. See Divine simplicity; Tzimtzum. The structure of these emanations have been characterized in various ways: Four "worlds" (Azilut, Yitzirah, Beriyah, and Asiyah), Sefirot, or Partzufim ("faces"). Later systems harmonize these models.

Some Kabbalistic scholars, such as Moses ben Jacob Cordovero, believe that all things are linked to God through these emanations, making us all part of one great chain of being. Others, such as Schneur Zalman of Liadi (founder of Lubavitch [Chabad] Hasidism), hold that God is all that really exists; all else is completely undifferentiated from God's perspective.

Such views can be defined as monistic panentheism. According to this philosophy, God's existence is higher than anything that this world can express, yet he includes all things of this world down to the finest detail in such a perfect unity that his creation of the world effected no change in him whatsoever. This paradox is dealt with at length in Chabad Chassidic texts.[11]"

In Kabbalah every idea does not grow from the foundation of God. Depending upon the system under discussion the various ideas grow from various foundations. In the early Heichalot and later Prophetic schools(Abulafia for instance) the foundations is Devekut, achieving unity with the Divine. In the Lurianic school(the primary school found in Yeshivot in Israel today) the foundation is the rectification of a broken world for the sake of the final redemption. In the Kabbalah Maaseit schools the foundation is understanding the spiritual forces at work behind the world so that they may be manipulated to achieve the desired effects.

Secondly quoting the for a Kabbalistic understanding of God seems rather anachronistic as the Rambam wasn't a Kabbalist. So either it is necessary to say that traditional Kabbalists hold a classic Jewish veiw of God(which then negates some of the later criticisms mentioned) or the Prayer of Eliyahu HaNavi would be a better source, as that is the Zohar describing God.

Finally there needs to be a distinction made between Hasidism and Kabbalah. While Hasidism definitely has a foundation in Kabbalah many of its fundamental values and teachings are inherently different. For instance all branches of Hasidism view sadness and tears as a blockage between man and God, while classic Kabbalah believes that tears and contriteness before the creator opens all of the gates. Hasidism is a definitely a new and divergent movement hence the sharp criticism it recieved from the likes of the Vilna Gaon. (talk) 16:33, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

1. I have noticed Kabbalists citing the Rambam frequently. Why should they not? Kabbalists are Jews, and virtually all Jews cite the Rambam.
2. Shaar haYichud is Chassidic Kabbalah, and I do not recall any Kabbalist challenging that.
Lets try to use the talk page for developing the article, rather than as an e-forum. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:53, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

1 All Jews do cite the Rambam. However that does not make the Rambams understanding of God a Kabbalistic understanding, it makes it a classic Jewish understanding. For a Kabbalistic understanding you have to fall back to the Zohar and other Kabbalistic texts, the prayer of Eliyahu simply happens to be the most concise version of that. There is a large difference between the Rambams understanding of God, for instance as an Absolute one without division, and the opening lines of Petach Eliyahu, "You are one but not in number", there is a level of ambiguity there not found in the Rambam. These divergences are what has lead to the criticisms of Kabbalah by certain sects, it is also what distinguishes Kabbalah from classic Judaism.

2 "Shaar HaYichud" is certainly Hasidic Mysticism, but it is not classic Kabbalah, it is Hasidut. Add to that it is Lubavitch Hasidut, and most Kabbalists today are more apt to agree with Rav Shach, "Lubavitch is the religion most closely resembling Judaism." Whereas Bratslaver works may find a home in some Kabbalistic Yeshivot, Lubavitch works are almost universally banned. Hasidut developed its own form of Mysticism, centered around a Rebbe in which the individual could not attain Devekut or become a Tzadik, which differs greatly from Kabbalah. Hence Shneur Zalman called it "Shaar HaYichud", the name originally given to the Ari's work now referred to as Shaar HaRuach HaKodesh. Shneur Zalman saw himself writing a replacement work, as only a Rebbe needed to concern himself with the actual workings that went on in the books of Kabbalah. Therefore discussion of Hasidic mysticism should be kept to a page on Hasidut, not on Kabbalah, it will only detract from both by being joined together.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 01:08, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Are you sure we are talking about the same text? Shaar haYichud (Gate of Unity) [1]. Not that it is a point I have any interest in arguing over. What I would like to see is something done to improve the Kabbalah article, and I am not sure that I see how backhanding Chabads will help -- although I am well aware of the controversies surrounding their movement. (If you are interested in getting involved in that argument you could try doing some editing of Chabad messianism, or even the main Chabad article.) Malcolm Schosha (talk) 11:31, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
If you are talking about Shaar HaYichud that is included in the standard printing of Tanya, then yes. My point is that the Kabbalah article, in an attempt to be all inclusive has included too much. Hasidut really is its own branch of Jewish thought, and I respect it as such, but it differs night and day from Classic Kabbalah, and not simply in its presentation but in its basic ideology.
My point in bringing this section in general is to improve the Kabbalah article. Hence my comments. Sorry to say, but I wouldn't call the "For Dummies" books authoratative sources on anything. Yet its definition of what Kabblah does is quoted. While definitions from much better works are ignored, Aryeh Kaplans many works, or Rabbi Yaakov Hillel(two great works by him that should be consulted for any authoratative article on Kabbalah are "Ascending Jacobs Ladder" and "Faith and Folly". Both are english language works by one of the premier Kabbalists in the world.
If in talking about a Kabbalistic understanding of God, quoting the Ramabam is fine, you could also quote his 13 principles of faith, as all traditional Kabbalists also uphold those. However, Petach Eliyahu HaNavi also has to be quoted(and can even be found online in english)it is after all these other texts that lead R' Yihhyah Qafiyah to state, "The Christians have three gods, the Kabbalists 300."--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 12:04, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
If you want to include information in the article that is based on published sources you can do it. It you want to remove something just because it does not fit your concept of Kabbalah that is is not acceptable. There will always be content in Wikipedia articles, particularly a large article, that some editors do not like. If you can not live with that, then you need your own site, where there are no restrictions on what you can include or exclude. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:20, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
The statement that I have a problem with is this, "In Kabbalah every idea grows from the foundation of God [10], and the entire study is based on that central belief" It is a POV statement that is overly broad. All of Kabbalah cannot be encompassed within that one statement. The majority of Kabbalah cannot be encompassed within that one statement. Each school of Kabbalah is unique as to its view of foundation, its purpose and its course of study. This is one of several broad statements(see my response above to the Rambam and his students discussion)that cannot be backed up with authoritative sources or scholarship, but rather the vast majority of sources contradict, the statement. In English those sources would be Aryeh Kaplan, Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, Laibl Wolf, and David Waxleman. This is not about my preference, it is about accurate information.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 14:34, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
As far as I know, what you are objecting to coincides with the statement of the Rambam:

The foundation of all foundations, and the pillar of all wisdom is to know that there is God who brought into being all existence. All the beings of the heavens, and the earth, and what is between them came into existence only from the truth of God's being.

If there is anything in Kabbalah that is contrary to that, how can we call it Jewish Kabbalah? Since it involves a Judaism question, you could present the question here: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Judaism. If the view is that I am wrong, I am willing to listen.
As far as a source that supports the statement, that is found in Kabbala for Dummies (sorry about the undignified title), by Arthur Kurzweil (who is notable and knowledgable):

Kabbalah is the theology of the Jewish people; it is the way Judaism understands God and the relationship between God and the world. For Kabbalists, all the laws, customs, practices, holidays, and rituals of Judaism are best understood in light of Kabbalistic teachings about God and of what it is God wants from humans. Kabbalah for Dummies, p.1

In what way does this contradict the sources you mention? Malcolm Schosha (talk) 16:45, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually I have two objections and one suggestion
Objection #1 "In Kabbalah every idea grows from the foundation of God [10], and the entire study is based on that central belief" I find this to be too broad, and contradictory to explanations of the above mentioned sources. The quote that you mention from page 1 would actually suit much better. On a side note, quoting the same source to support itself is not the best scholarship. However, I will say that the quote you bring does clarify his opinion. Also it fits firmly within the Arizal camp of Kabbalah. Which should then be mentioned and then the other schools opinions also be mentioned.
Obejection #2 Incorporating Hasidic mysticism or Kabbalah into an article on classic Kabbalah, at the very least it should be a separate article if not incorporated into an article on Hasidut
Suggestion: I have no problem with the Rambam quote in fact I believe it fits very well as a starting point. I simply think that it needs to be expanded upon. I was suggesting that we possibly make use of the Ptach Eliyahu to do that.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 17:44, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
You know, I must agree with the Rabbi Alkohen on this one, with some modification. The Rambam reference really is quite pointless as it has little or nothing to do with Kabbalah's content or stated purposes. That 'the Rambam is Jewish, and so is Kabbalah' cannot alone justify its inclusion. All the more so when one realizes just how irreconcilable the Rambam's theology is with Kabbalah. That both systems have long been acceptable within Orthodoxy does not erase the sharp divisions.
As far as Hasidus goes, I think its adherents certaintly do believe they are following Kabbalah—and Jewish Kabbalah at that. Although it would be incorrect to equate Kabbalah and Hasidus, or even to fail to distinguish between classical and hasidic Kabbalah, still discussions of Hasidus' attitude toward Kabbalah and of hasidic Kabbalah are highly appropriate here. חנינא (talk) 02:53, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Quantum Mechanics, Big Bang and Kabbalah[edit]

I wish to cause no offence, but I have not been able to find ANY understanding of Kabbalah, other than pointless navel contemplation mumbo jumbo. People suggest that there are connections with Quantum Mechanics (often referred to as the "Jewish Science") and Big Bang Theory (the scientists' religion). I am a fan of Richard Feynman, and love the concepts of Quantum Mechanics, and its many contradictory and nonsensical theories. If Kabbalah goes back 1000 years and probably more (Pythagoras?) is there any direct similarities or relationship with these 20th century understanding of the universe. Has Kabbalah encompassed Quantum Mechanics and the Big Bang, or have some of these theories come from Kabbalah. Or am I just way off track. 1923 edition of Britannica, is just as daft as this reference, less the modern slant! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:07, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid I cannot understand what this comment has to do with the state of the article. Without a source directly addressing it, I see no reason to include information about the relationship between Kabbalah and quantum mechanics or the big bang theory. -Verdatum (talk) 14:36, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Sadly this entire article is jumble of facts taken generally out of context and synthesised together with no understanding of the subject. In fact the essence of the Kabbalah as a part in a process is evident by not being mentioned as such. The basis of method in methodology that requires progression from a Biblical source to Mishnaic, and Talmudic is completely absent. Waht shoudl be the opening statement

According to Kabbalistic tradition, knowledge was transmitted orally by the Patriarchs, prophets, and sages (Hakhamim in Hebrew), eventually to be "interwoven" into Jewish religious writings and culture. According to this tradition, Kabbalah was, in around the 10th century BCE, an open knowledge practiced by over a million people in ancient Israel,[4] although there is little objective historical evidence to support this thesis.

is hidden in a citation, but the Talmud represents far more then a "tradition", as do the Midrashim. It seems no one has realised the derivation of Kabbalah directly from the Torah, which is why there was a ludicrous statement that "The origins of the actual term Kabbalah are unknown and disputed"; it seems people will read all sorts of stuff, forgetting the primary sources--Meieimatai 04:09, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Just as the Education Department of the state of Kansas should not allow teaching religion as science, so science should not interfere with religion. The lack of quantum mechanical interpretation of Kabbalah is cause for rejoicing in the endeavour for the separation of church+mosque+temple+knesset from science. It would have been unfortunate for both science and religion had Feynman and Einstein made exegeses on Kabbalah.

Hence Jewish Anderstein (talk) 18:00, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Gravity is God. That's why being drunk is bad, we lose our sense of balance. Karma, what goes around comes around, orbit. Gravity is infinite division. Gravity makes sense of the "quantum mechanics" universe, where everything is everything, everywhere, and Tesseracts run rampant. Gravity projects that chaos, and focuses it into the "hologram" we know as our universe like light through a prism. Gravity seperates things so they can exist apart from everything else, while holding everything together at the same time. Gravity gives things weight, and structure. All things grow according to Gravity, all things are subject to it. Praise JEHOVAH! (talk) 23:58, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, nothing in this comment has anything to do with anything even approaching reality. We understand gravity (and alchohol, for that matter) pretty well- and it's nothing like these... ravings. --King Öomie 20:59, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

If you actually read the Zohar all you will find are circular arguments and statements of 'fact' plucked out of thin air! While there are some interesting philosphical arguments, most are childish nonsense. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

We don't take original research, talk pages are for article improvement and are not a general discussion forum. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:41, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Citing references[edit]

Whoever added the citation for

According to Kabbalistic tradition, knowledge was transmitted orally by the Patriarchs, prophets, and sages (Hakhamim in Hebrew), eventually to be "interwoven" into Jewish religious writings and culture. According to this tradition, Kabbalah was, in around the 10th century BCE, an open knowledge practised by over a million people in ancient Israel,Megillah 14a, Shir HaShirim Rabbah 4:22,Ruth Rabbah 1:2, Aryeh Kaplan “Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide” p.44 - p.48,

could they explain exactly where they found the reference to the Kabbalah being "in around the 10th century BCE, an open knowledge practised by over a million people in ancient Israel". Megillah mentions twice as many prophets as those who left Egypt, which would certainly be well over a million, but does not refer to Kabbalah--Meieimatai 04:16, 4 July 2008 (UTC)


Questions Concerning "Conservative and Reform Judaism"[edit]

In the section on Conservative and Reform Judaism and "Modern Era" under History, I'm left with questions. As a non-Jew, I want to know "when", I want to know "where", I want to know "which". What more can be told regarding this rather radical return to Kabbalah?Corjay (talk) 06:26, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

This article is about Kabbalah not about why Hinduism, Islam or any religious group rejects Kabbalah. To understand why Conservative and Reform Judaism had rejected Kabbalah and recently has allowed Kaballah is a study of the history of Conservative and Reform Judaism. The rejection and reabsorption of Kaballah by these denominations is not so much as about Kabbalah but more on their revisionistic and re-revisionistic ideals towards religious articles of which Kabbalah is only one. Hence Jewish Anderstein (talk) 18:19, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Questions Concerning Kabbalah's inclusion of various forms of magical arts[edit]

I am curious why no attention is given in the article about the particular forms of magic presented in the Kabbalah. In my flipping through the Kabbalah, there seemed to be much about numerology (only the numbers in relation letters is mentioned in the article), cursing, astrology, and even summoning angels. But the only place these things are mentioned is "Claims of Authority", which really has nothing to do with those subjects (at least nothing that the article makes clear). Is there something that can be added to illuminate this subject?Corjay (talk) 06:58, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Magic in kabbalah has a separate article, Kabbalah Ma'asit; the reason being that traditional Kabbalah is an integral part of Judaism, and magic is forbidden under Halakha (Jewish law). You might also want to take a look at the Hermetic Qabalah article, which deals with non-Jewish developments in Kabbalah. (talk) 12:29, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
(Kabbalah Ma'asit article now renamed Practical Kabbalah) I agree that magic in Kabbalah applies to that article, not Kabbalah main article. However - not quite for the reason given above "the reason being that traditional Kabbalah is an integral part of Judaism, and magic is forbidden under Halakha (Jewish law)." My point is that Practical Kabbalaists (and mainstream Kabbalists, who opposed use of Practical Kabbalah for reasons of contemporary unworthiness and lack of purity, not because of inherent opposition) held their esoteric lore to be permitted white magic from the side of holiness, not refered to in the Biblical-Halachic ban of forbidden magic from Kelipot. In essence this difference reduces to idolatry - Practical Kabbalah is nullified to absolute Monotheism, Impure Magic attributes power and receives lifeforce from spiritual powers other than God. See eg. What is Practical Kabbalah? (talk) 20:26, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Ten Sephirot as vowel sounds[edit]

The scholar and rabbi, Solomon Judah Leib Rappaport notes that according to the Masoretes there are ten vowel sounds. He suggests that the passage in Sefer Yetzirah, which discuss the manipulation of letters in the creation of the world, can be better understood if the Sefirot refer to vowel sounds. He posits that the word sefirah in this case is related to the Hebrew word sippur - to retell. His position is based on his belief that most Kabbalistic works written after (including the Zohar) are forgeries.[1]

I have moved this section of the article here to the talk page for discussion.

It seems to me that this view is rather a fringe view, in the since that it has no support from any leading Kabbalist that I know of. If, I am wrong and the Sephirot are commonly regarded as connected to the vowel sounds, please show some sources.

Also, the last sentence, calling the Zohar a forgery, has no support that I know of among respected Kabbalists. This also needs some very good supporting sources to justify being in the article. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 11:37, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Not sure what you are trying to get at here. The last sentance refers to Rappaport's beliefs. If Solomon Rappaport believed the Zohar to be a forgery that explains why his explanations regarding the Sephirot differ from that work. Rappaport himself was a respected scholar and student of Kabbalah. Please explain why you dislike this paragraph. I am not really concerned about whether or not it should be in the article, but rather at your reasons for removing this "sourced" paragraph. Looking forward to your repsonse.Guedalia D'Montenegro (talk) 03:45, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Certainly Solomon Rappaport is notable and has his own article. But his view is, as far as I can tell, a minority of one; and, because of that, does not belong in the Kabbalah article -- where it gives undue weight to the view to one writer who is a rather minor Kabbalist. I moved the paragraph to his own article (rather than delete it) because that is where it seems to belong. If his views have more support than I am aware of in the community of Kabbalists, please give some sources to support that. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 11:47, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
The Zohar Hadash, Shir HaShirim, page 90 states that the Sephirot are related to the different vowels. Based from here Yehuda Albotoni in "Sulam Aliyah" Rabbi Haim Vital in "Etz Haim" and "Shaare Kedusha" as well as Abulafia in numerous works make the same claim and base significant portions of their system on this. So I wouldn't exclude it from the article, but I would state that it is not solely the idea of the one Rav mentioned above. As far as the Zohar being a forgery, again in light of the other, quite respected sources that say the same things in regard to the sephirot but maintain faith in the Zohar, it seems superfluous and not based on the discussion at hand.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 08:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC).


The introduction of the article is very biased in its definition of what Kabbalah is. It favors the religious definition more than the purely Kabbalistic/Mystical or secular definitions. It needs to be revised. DAVIDY (talk) 19:16, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 19:35, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I must agreen with Malcolm. I believe the article makes it clear there are other interpretations of the term, and the article directs the reader with disambiguation notes to the appropriate topic. Keeping the interpretations in separate articles does a lot to improve organization. -Verdatum (talk) 16:37, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I must also agree with Malcolm here. One can call anything they want "Kabbalah" however what this article very clearly deals with is the mystical tradition of Judaism, which from its inception never saw itself as distinct or divergent from the religion. For that matter I am quite certain that in any of the Kabbalistic academies in the US or Israel that have a valid lineage of tradition, the thought of Kabbalah/Mysticism being divorced from the Religion of Judaism would be anathema. Just the thoughts of one who learns in one of those academies.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 20:06, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Although this article does deal with traditional Jewish Kabbalah, that does not mean that traditional Jewish Kabbalah needs to be limited to this definition: "a set of esoteric teachings meant to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and traditional Rabbinic literature, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.[1]" After all, many of those who we may consider as traditional Jewish Kabbalists were considered heretics. That includes Rabbi Moshe Haim Luzzato, whose many books on Kabbalah and Alchemy were banned by the religious authorities of the time. Avraham Abulafia is another such example. He was considered to be a heretic by conventional Rabbinic Judaism.

Moreover, In the Origins of Terms section of the article, it says "Originally, Kabbalistic knowledge was believed to be an integral part of the Judaism's oral law (see also, Aggadah), given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai around 13th century BCE, though there is a view that Kabbalah began with Adam." This contradicts the introduction where it says that Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings that define the inner meaning of Tanakh and Rabbinic literature. If there is a view that Kabbalah began with Adam, how can we then limit its origin to Tanakh(or Tanakh proper) and rabbinic literature?

Also, not all Rabbis would agree that Kabbalah is meant to define the inner meaning of the Tanakh. The article brings a significant amount of evidence for this. The current introduction is therefore contradictory and is limited. I would like to propose the following for the definition for Kabbalah: Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings that are meant to define the nature of the universe, the human being, the purpose of their existence, and various other ontological ideas. It presents theories and methods to assist in understanding these concepts and in attaining spiritual realization. Kabbalah is also meant to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and traditional Rabbinic literature, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.[1]" I am not proposing to have this definition verbatim, however, it is supposed to included some way or another in the definition. DAVIDY (talk) 02:06, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

DAVIDY, you seem to want to separate traditional Kabbalah from Tanach and religious observance, but there is no way of doing that. I am not saying this because it represents my personal belief (it does not), but because there is just no other way to present Kabbalah. For instance, the Zohar is in sections that generally connect to the weekly Torah portion. Kabbalah also integrates into the daily prayers, Shabbat observance, and the holidays. It exists completely integrated into the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cycle of traditional Jewish observance. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:32, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Malcolm Schosha, The Zohar is not the only notable work on Kabbalah. Many(if not most) traditional Jewish Kabbalists believe that the Sefer Yetzirah was written by Avraham. You don't think that Kabbalah existed before the Tanakh or the Rabbinic era? Do you have evidence to substantiate your claim? DAVIDY (talk) 00:50, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

DAVIDY, I wrote, "For instance, the Zohar..." A reader should understand that means one instance is being given.

As for "evidence" about the origins of Kabbalah, you need to understand that Wikipedia editors are concerned with reliable sources, not truth ("The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth"). In this case we are concerned particularly with the verifiable views held by traditional Jewish religious scholars, and also with the views of academic scholars who are notable for their knowledge of Kabbalah and its origins. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 11:52, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Malcolm I am going to agree with Davidy in part here, and say that the introduction could probably use some revision as not all that is traditional Kabbalah fits the current definition given in the introduction. For specific examples of works that clearly fall outside of that introduction, you have Abulafia's and Albotoni's writings, as well as Sefer Yetzirah, Brit Menuha, and Raziel HaMelekh to name but a few. Most speficially they would fit what Aryeh Kaplan in his work "Meditation and Kabbalah" and Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok in his Sefer Yikra B'Shmi call "Prophetic" and "Magical" branches of Kabbalah. So yes, I also believe that the introduction should be amended to come into agreement with the facts, which can be found in verifiable sources.

--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 18:28, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Shattering and Reunification of Sefirot[edit]

I would like to see included in the article the concept of creation/salvation through the shattering and reunification of Sefirot. It may be a difficult and controversial concept but its significance should require its inclusion in the article.

Hence Jewish Anderstein (talk) 18:12, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Am I correct in thinking that you are referring to the "shattering of the vessels", first discussed by the Arizal? There is a mention of it there [2]. It might be possible to expand on that. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 18:22, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm slowly adding information on the Lurianic concepts, including Shattering-Shevirah and Rectification-Tikun, at Lurianic Kabbalah and its sub-pages: Tzimtzum, Tohu and Tikun, Partzufim and Gilgul pages (when I have available time!). These are briefly described/linked to from this Kabbalah main page concepts section "Tzimtzum, Shevirah and Tikun" or similar. April8 (talk) 22:25, 29 June 2011 (UTC)


QaBobAllah wrote on his edit summery revert "i'm afraid I disagree about removing the template, it looks fine for this article; perhaps the articles linked to need expansion and clarity?"

Actually I am trying to decide if I should nominate Template:Kabbalah for deletion.

The problem is that it arbitrarily synthesises Jewish Kabbalah with Hermetic Qabalah. For instance, if you look at the very first link in the template, Sephirot, you will see a very problematic article that combines traditional Jewish Kabbalah with a numerology section [3] which discusses such problematic subjects (from the standpoint of Judaism) as the major arcana and the Tarot deck. Perhaps even more problematic are the categories it links to; such as Category:Kabbalah [4] that includes many articles that that have content that has absolutely nothing to do with Jewish Kabbalah, and Category:Occult [5] which seems to include no articles that relate to or explain anything at all about Jewish Kabbalah.

I hope this clarifies my view that the Kabbalah template does not belong on the article that is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 22:09, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Uh, why nominate it for deletion? Templates can be edited as easily as articles. Bob (QaBob) 22:12, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I've taken Category:Occult off the template, which is as far as I can tell, your only valid objection. Sephirot are clearly part of traditional Kabbalah, so if you don't like the article, fix it. The fact that the article contains informations that applies to other systems derived from Kabbalah is not a valid reason to remove or delete the template. Neither is the content of Category:Kabbalah a problem with the template. If there are articles there which you think don't belong, go edit the article and remove Category:Kabbalah or change it to Category:Non-traditional Kabbalah or whatever is most appropriate! Bob (QaBob) 22:20, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
The Kabbalah template is inherently defective, because it unavoidably synthesizes Jewish Kabbalah with Hermetic Qabalah. (And, in fact, the problem of separating Jewish Kabbalah and Hermetic Qabalah in many articles has proven unsolvable.) Malcolm Schosha (talk) 22:29, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh really? Name one term on that template which is not used in Jewish Kabbalah and I will happily remove it that term from the template. Bob (QaBob) 22:32, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
That is why I said Template:Kabbalah involves synthesizing Jewish Kabbalah and Hermetic Qabalah. Both use many of the same terms, but with very different meanings and applications. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 22:48, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Then the problem seems to be systemic to the articles involved and not specific to the template. I personally think the idea of attempting to prevent easy navigation to articles which simply happens to discuss one or more of the derivatives of Kabbalah specifically for the reason that they aren't purely traditional Judaic Kabbalah smacks of blatant violation of Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. By all means, help work to clarify the contents of the articles to which you have objections, but please desist from this purity' campaign. Bob (QaBob) 22:53, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
No the problem is the template. In any case I am not asking your permission for anything, and am not particularly interested in what you think either. I have offered my explanation because you understanding is (in my view) incorrect, but if you get it, or not, is just not my concern. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 22:59, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I will strongly oppose removal or deletion of the template, because the problem is with the articles linked to, as you have freely admitted, and not in the template itself, which no longer contains links to anything not part of traditional Jewish Kabbalah. Perhaps the problem is the attempt to separate the derivatives from the source. Perhaps I will propose re-merging the articles. Bob (QaBob) 23:05, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
You have every right to oppose deletion of the template...although I have not yet done anything. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 23:39, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
The problem here is much bigger than the template. It is usurpation of the main article of a subject by a subtopic thereof. Bob (QaBob) 23:42, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

I propose moving this article to Traditional Jewish Kabbalah and replacing it with an overview of all systems derived from Kabbalah including Christian Kabbalah, Hermetic Qabalah, and Kabbalah Ma'asit and the related history of transmission and derivation. Bob (QaBob) 23:22, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Create a new article if you want, but if you move this article I will revert the move. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 23:33, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to support move. JPG-GR (talk) 22:36, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

KabbalahJewish Kabbalah — there are several forms of Kabbalah. Back in February the article was split without consensus, disambiguating the articles by prefixing the type of Kabbalah to every article but this one, which is not general. This leads to logical conflicts such as those expressed by Malcolm Schosha above under the heading #Template:Kabbalah as the use of the term is overloaded. Note the repeated necessary use by Malcolm of the phrase "Jewish Kabbalah" as well as its use in the disambiguation at the top of the article. Bob (QaBob) 13:14, 2 October 2008 (UTC) — Bob (QaBob) 13:14, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

  • QaBobAllah has the facts concerning the split wrong. In any case, this user wants to create a new Kabbalah article in which the only thing in common between the different subjects included in the article will be the pronunciation of the name, thus attempting to synthesise unrelated material. In addition he has created the RfC without following any normal process by allowing the various editors of the article to discuss his proposed move....and then he actually went ahead and moved the article, a move that was reverted by other editors. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:34, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
My apologies, Malcolm. I was unaware of the correct process. And I dispute that the different branches of Kabbalah are unrelated. Everyone knows that they are, at the very least, historically related.
Now that I am aware of the correct process, I have attempted to follow it.
Best regards,
Bob (QaBob) 13:54, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support as nominator. Bob (QaBob) 13:22, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Kabbalah is Jewish Kabbalah. The only time it needs a modifier is when you're talking about something other than Jewish Kabbalah. -LisaLiel (talk) 14:17, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Another problem is that this article doesn't even cover all of Jewish Kabbalah. It excludes Practical Kabbalah which is also Jewish in origin, excludes several Kabbalists of Jewish origin (namely, Philip Berg, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, Leo Schaya, Carlo Suarès and Sabbatai Zevi), restricting itself to what some editor or subset of editors considers "traditional Jewish" Kabbalah. The article title should reflect the actual scope of the article. Bob (QaBob) 14:25, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. This is like renaming Qur'an to Islamic Qur'an. There is only one Kabbalah - and that is Jewish. Regarding Philip Berg and friends: they are a small group of laughable idiots who are viewed by Judaism as a whole as being weird outcasts. This entire proposal is completely ridiculous. --Piz d'Es-Cha (talk) 15:08, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Comment, that last bit sounds like a serious neutrality issue. Even if it is the case, Berg should be included in the article along with any reliably sourced criticism. Bob (QaBob) 15:10, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
    Hi QaBob, Berg is more appropriately covered in an entire article devoted to his particular modern movement at Kabbalah Centre. --MPerel 19:51, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
QaBobAllah, it is my understanding that it is not good RfC etiquette for the user who initiated the RfC to argue with every comment that is not to his/her liking. Please let editors comment without arguing with them. You asked for the comments, and now is the time to listen. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:16, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I do not see sufficient factual support to justify this move yet. I'll add further discussion below. -Verdatum (talk) 16:05, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per arguments already given. The modifier is unnecessary, we don't say "Jewish" rabbi, or "Jewish" synagogue either. --MPerel 19:41, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
    • True, but those are bad examples in that there are not also Christian rabbis, Hermetic rabbis, Christian synagogues or Hermetic synagogues. That is , the words "rabbi" and "synagogue" are not ambiguous. Bob (QaBob) 19:53, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
QaBobAllah, try not to prove you are a bozo by arguing with every comment you do not like. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Malcolm, try not to engage in personal attacks. I'll refrain from saying what that makes you look like. You insisted on repeatedly moving comments out of the discussion section to a place they didn't belong, and I let you have your way. I will continue to comment as I will in this discussion, despite your objections. Bob (QaBob) 20:23, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • QaBobAllah, I returned my comments to where they belonged. On the other hand, you are insisting on arguing in the section intended for comments instead of putting them in the section for discussion. In the discussion section, it would be easy to say (for example): MPerel wrote, in the comment section, that: "white is white", but I disagree because..., and then make a reply. Personally, I think it is tacky to ask users for comments with an RfC, and then argue with every comment you don't like; but, if you must, at least reply in the correct place. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:37, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. Kabbalah, without a modifier, is the main topic. All else branches out from there. JFW | T@lk 21:55, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the others are derivative of the Jewish original. "Kabbalah", without qualification, means the Jewish study. Mangoe (talk) 22:46, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Proposed alternative: Broaden the scope of this article to cover types of Kabbalah/Qabalah/Cabbala that the Jewish camp might not consider "traditional". As described by me in Discussion below. Fuzzypeg 23:31, 6 October 2008 (UTC)


The problem here is much bigger than the template. It is usurpation of the main article of a subject by a subtopic thereof. Bob (QaBob) 23:42, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

As noted in the RfC, the reason for the placement of the unbalanced tag on the article is: article is much narrower than implied by the article title, should be an overview of the whole field with the narrower view moved with a title to correspond with its scope. Bob (QaBob) 00:05, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

  • By convention and established usage, the spelling Kabbalah is used for Jewish Kabbalah:

    Some pundits posit as a general guideline, i.e., not 100% of the cases, that whereas Jews spell it with a "K" (Kabbalah, etc.), Christians tend to use a "C" (Cabala, etc.) while the occultists tend towards the "Q" (Qabalah, etc.) [6]

Because of that established convention, it seems reasonable that the Wikipedia article on Jewish Kabbalah be called Kabbalah. The requested move seems pointless and contrary to the good of the article. There are other options available if QaBobAllah wishes to create a new article. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 00:26, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, such usage is not universal. They are used interchangeably in many contexts and should be disambiguated. Your source agreed that only 'some pundits propose such a distinction. Please restore the tag to generate wider discussion. Bob (QaBob) 00:36, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, I see from reading this talk page and archives that you were responsible for arbitrarily splitting the article over the objections of others. Haven't you heard that what goes around, comes around.... Bob (QaBob) 00:41, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
NB: Jayjg split the article. I supported his change, but the consensus was against it. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 11:53, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Bob, you have moved this page knowing that you did not have consensus. This is unscrupulous. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 07:28, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

And what was Malcolm Schosha's repeated removal of the {{unbalanced}} tag? I don't tag articles to make them look bad, but to attract the attention of editors who like looking into certain types of problems with articles. Bob (QaBob) 13:02, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I am a traditional Kabbalist, so my views are naturally skewed, however, I would argue that Kabbalah in the general view of the public is Jewish Kabbalah. If you go to Barnes and Noble or search Amazon for "Kabbalah" the vast majority of your return will be Jewish. Very little will be Occultic, and even half of that will be Jewish texts translated by people who may or may not be qualified to translate complex Hebrew and Aramaic. Perhaps you could find one or two historical references discussion Christian Kabbalah. In general however, I don't think when the average person searches wikipedia for Kabbalah they are looking for anything other than to find information on Jewish Kabbalah.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 09:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

The primary issue at hand is that of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. I see no reason to doubt that traditional Jewish Kabbalah is the primary topic. Bob, if you can write an article that gives a wide overview of the offshoots of kabbalah (or alternate spellings as appropriate) that shows through reliable sources how the topics relate to eachother, I suggest you do so within your user space (User:QaBobAllah/Kabbalah). If it serves to improve Wikipedia to have that page as the primary kabbalah page, then open it for discussion here, or in the appropriate wiki project. Personally, I'd love to see this, as this article is extremely complicated and suffers from some severe organization problems that are not easily repaired. Unfortunately, I suspect the creation of a decent overview article would be extremely difficult, and it is entirely possible, as I believe Malcolm Schosha believes, that it is innappropriate, depending on how the concepts relate. In any case, the article should be created first and then move pages around. There is no reason to have a perfectly good primary topic article on kabbalah moved to jewish kabbalah, if the article located at kabbalah is just a lousy stub or even worse organized hodge-podge of Original Research. -Verdatum (talk) 16:17, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I certainly agree with your sentiments. Moving the pages without consensus was a mistake and I freely admit it. Still, I am not sure the current article meets NPOV due to its complete exclusion of derivative of Kabbalah. It is also way too long. I'd like to see the current article split up, which I know is a different topic, but would allow room for the article to summarize the various systems with links to main articles, etc. One subject I believe warrants separate coverage is Lurianic Kabbalah. I am sure there are other topics which can be split out. Bob (QaBob) 16:21, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
The article does not exclude derivatives of Kabbalah. At the top of the page is an otheruses template explaining to the editor if this is not the topic desired, they can find related topics at the disambiguation page. If the linkage between other topics referred to as kabbalah (or whatever) can be shown through a reliable source, then a WP:SUMMARY style mention may be appropriate. But if it's just "btw, this thing is also called kabbalah", then it is inappropriate, and sufficiently covered by a disambiguation page. -Verdatum (talk) 16:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

If it is to be an article inclusive of all traditions using that name, the inclusive term used by cataloger librarians is Cabala (not Kabbalah). Malcolm Schosha (talk) 16:25, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, that's good to know. Could you please point me to where you found that? Bob (QaBob) 17:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
If, for instance, you go to the Brooklyn Public Library catalog [7], click "subject", and then enter "Kabbalah", you will get zero results. If you enter "Cabala" you will see what they have available in their circulating collection. Likewise if you have access to EBSCO Academic Search Premier. User DGG is an academic research librarian, and (in case I should be mistaken) I will see if I can get him to comment on this. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:46, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, that's quite interesting, as it indicates that Kabbalah (i.e. what you call "traditional Jewish Kabbalah") is not a subject that is considered separately from the other forms, at least with respect to library cataloging. It seems to support my position and undermine your own. Bob (QaBob) 18:10, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, certainly. But catalogers do not concern themselves with issues resulting from the synthesizing of primary sources, which in Wikipedia articles is of substantial importance. There is a big difference between an article and a disambiguation page, and catalog lists are more like disambiguation pages. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 18:30, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Can we agree to create a proper disambiguation page at Cabala then? Seems that would be an improvement. I had created one (in the wrong place it is now becoming clear), but as it has been deleted it would have to be recreated, unless you know who I could ask to recover it at the new location... Bob (QaBob) 18:38, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
No. Nothing is decided at this point. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 19:02, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Turns out there is already a diambiguation there. Not a very good one, but it pre-exists. I hope you don't have any objections to my expanding it, as I'm not asking you for permission on this one. Bob (QaBob) 19:08, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

(backdent) Hm....For some reason I thought there was already a Kabbalah (disambiguation) page...instead it redirects to this article. I think you may have a point, QaBob. I think adding the other articles to Cabala may be appropriate, further, it might be a good idea to change Kabbalah (disambiguation) to redirect to Cabala, and then change the otheruses template on top of this article to point to Kabbalah (disambiguation). Alternatively, we could create a disambiguation page at Kabbalah (disambiguation) and change Cabala to point to that page instead of here. I'd still wanna wait a day or three for comments, but if you were interested in undertaking this, be sure to read WP:DISAMBIG first, it has a lot of well-thought out guidelines. -Verdatum (talk) 20:39, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Comment: Kabbalah has been studied outside of the Jewish world for at least 500 years, and probably more like 700 years. In fact Hebrew mysticism has always filtered through to the non-Jewish world, as can be seen in the Greek magical papyri of late antiquity; Kabbalah, however, was not just picked up in dribs and drabs without care or understanding, but was and is revered as a divine science. Nonetheless there is a perception amongst some people that because Kabbalah was originally a Jewish preoccupation, those lines of teaching with Christian, Hermetic and Neoplatonic influences are not "valid". This is really a denominational argument, and the term "traditional" is by now more a value judgement than a meaningful distinction, since the hermetic streams have such a hoary old tradition, and draw on much the same traditional texts and ideas as the Jewish lines, which themselves have not remained unchanged since antiquity! I suspect denominational disdain is playing a large part in these RFC discussions; I have certainly felt it in the past, working on this article.
Whatever the outcome, the Kabbalah article should summarise the diverse approaches to Kabbalah, since this will be where most people look first. Currently there's not a single mention of Hermetic Qabalah in the article proper, despite its strong following. This article should mainly be concerned with Jewish Kabbalah, and where appropriate it should note important variant themes from other schools. (Fortunately there are huge areas of cross-over, so it shouldn't be too difficult to wordsmith cleanly and clearly.) If, on the other hand, the article is to remain exclusively about one stream of teaching, it should have a different and more specific title. Fuzzypeg 01:32, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a cataloger, and I'm a subject specialist in science, not religion or philosophy. But I do know that catalogers go by what the book says it's about, especially in the title; they are not supposed to read it and analyze what it actually is about. For anything like mysticism, where what the book title says it's about is sometimes not at all obvious, they will certainly tend to lump things together. (Unlike, say, an encyclopedia, whose writers are at least supposed to read the works they reference, which consequently can divide such subjects). When there are spelling variations, they always pick one and stay with it, & consequently tend to be quite conservative OED makes clear the Cabala is the older form in English--but looking at current books in WorldCat, it seems that more recent K titles are about Jewish Kabbalah, and C about both it and various related topics. I have the impression there is beginning to be a differentiation--but if there is, library catalog subject headings will be very long before they acknowledge it. DGG (talk) 01:52, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
A convention that is gaining ever-increasing acceptance is to spell the word with a K for Jewish forms, C for Christian forms and Q for Hermetic forms. I think this convention is most widely followed in Hermetic sources, and sorry, I don't have any books to hand at the moment to supply you with a citation. Fuzzypeg 23:08, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
On primary topic, I think among ordinary (Gentile) people Jewish Kabbalah is not the primary meaning. If they've heard of the term at all it's usually as yet another New Age movement.
However, we also need to look at what experts think. I haven't looked into this, but I think they'd use the term to refer to Jewish Kabbalah along with any other forms they regard as being essentially variants of the same thing. I'm not in a position to say what, if any, those might be. Peter jackson (talk) 10:54, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Bear in mind that most people haven't heard of Kabbalah, and those who have, have mostly read it in some women's magazine talking about Madonna's wristband. The experts on the subject will mostly be divided into neat camps of Jewish or Hermetic, with a few odd ones out. The Jewish camp are unlikely to make any reference to Hermetic Qabalah, since they consider it an abberation; the Hermeticists will happily refer to the Jewish literature though. Both camps have plenty of authors and plenty of books. Fuzzypeg 23:08, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
From WP:PRIMARY: "If there is extended discussion about which article truly is the primary topic, that may be a sign that there is in fact no primary topic, and that the disambiguation page should be located at the plain title with no "(disambiguation)"." Peter jackson (talk) 10:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Is there anyone who objects to removing the RfC tag? There seems to have been a consensus against the move? Malcolm Schosha (talk) 15:25, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd still like to see if anyone disagrees with my comments above about broadening the scope of this article to include other (non-Jewish, or not-"traditional") forms of Kabbalah/Qabalah/Cabbala. It's a fairly important proposed alternative, and no-one has yet expressed an opinion. If I don't get any bites, you know I'll have to take that as tacit approval! Fuzzypeg 23:25, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Suggested split: Lurianic Kabbalah[edit]

Learning from my mistakes here so opening this topic up for discussion first. The article is currently at 73KB, while WP:SIZE recommends that an article be limited to 30KB to 50KB. Lurianic Kabbalah seems a ripe topic for a separate article, though I am open to other suggestions for splitting the article into more manageable pieces. Bob (QaBob) 18:27, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

The issue of splitting the article was discussed previously, and rejected. There is, in any case, already an Isaac Luria article, which could be expanded. But The Arizal is too important to remove from the Kabbalah article. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 18:37, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, of course the subject could be summarize and the importance noted, along with a {{main}} article link. Given the length of the article, I think the issue should be revisited, even if my suggestion is not the best of the possibilities to consider. Bob (QaBob) 18:46, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Adding to the Arizal article is a great idea. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 19:01, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Qabob, the article should be split. Lurianic Kabbalah deserves its own article, with a stub indicating the importance and major trends in the main article. Here are my reasons.

1)The Arizal was a major innovator in the realm of Kabbalah, to the point where it seems that every Yeshiva in Israel now teaches(at least primarily if not exclusively) his system.
2)Lurianic Kabbalah as a system incorporates five hundred years of development including such luminaries as the Rashash, the Hida, and the Torat Hakham just within its first two hundred years.
3)The system of the Arizal, while definitely inclusive(at least on the periphery) of all that went before it, was and remains a very new direction for Kabbalah. In practice it is rather divorced from the prior system of Albotoni and Abulafia, and also from the Heikalot and early Kabbalah.
4)It gave birth to a number of subsystems. You have the initial break between the Shemen Sasson and Eipha Shlema which resulted in the split of the Original Beit El Yeshiva. Since then with further systems developing from it, most notably in recent times, Rabbi Getz and Rabbi Ashlag. As well in more classic times the birth of serveral Hasidic sects.

So in All I think that the wisest choice would be to split Lurianic Kabbalah into its own primary subject with a stub and a reference link in the overall topic of Jewish Kabbalah(or Kabbalah or whatever the final consensus is on that). We may even want to consider doing this for other systems providing that there are enough resources available to write significant articles about them. --הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 09:27, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Lurianic Kabbalah now has its own page. The developing summary of Lurianic concepts there now subdivides into particular pages Tzimtzum, Tohu and Tikun, Partzufim, Gilgul. Sephirot page also gives a brief overview of the Lurianic Shevirah and Tikun of the Sephirot (Shevirah/Shevirat HaKeilim etc. links to Tohu and Tikun page. All these pages are slowly taking shape! N.B. This article development was most urgent as Lurianism is the most important recasting of earlier interpretation of the Zohar, essentially into Theoretic Kabbalah's second of two systems. Other schools currently with their own academic term links are Cordoverian Kabbalah redirecting to Moshe Cordovero, and in Meditative Kabbalah (redirects to Jewish meditation page) Prophetic Kabbalah redirecting to Abraham Abulafia. Toledano Tradition, judging by its Talk page discussion, is not a recognised academic term for early Theoretic Kabbalistic schools, and the page itself may be a modern adaption of those early teachings? Merkabah and Heichalot direct to their own pages on Talmudic era Jewish mysticism, while Chassidei Ashkenaz directs to its own page on a pre-Kabbalistic Medieval Jewish mysticism. Hasidic thought forms its own subsequent topic in Jewish mysticism after classical Kabbalah. Practical Kabbalah has its own page. (Sabbatean mystical heresies have their own pages). Hope this helps. April8 (talk) 22:43, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Deletion of Removing the Ban[edit]

I have proposed the deletion of the section on removing the ban on studying Kabbalah. Primarily my reasons were that the existence of such a ban remains unverified. Azulai's comment which was quoted as such evidence, when read in the original, refers to public transmission outside of the traditional Yeshiva system, which constitutes at best, under the opinion of one person, the removal of restriction not an outright ban. Furthermore there are the likes of the Vilna, a contemporary of Azulai, that readily taught his students Kabbalah with few preconditions and saw no need to defend the practice. In the Shulhan Arukh, YD 246:4 where the issue of precondition is raised. The Siftei Kohen, states that there is a restriction regarding age, despite its lack in the text of the Shulhan Arukh. All other commentators take issue with him, namely the Bier Hetiv, the Pithei Teshuva, and the Vilna Gaon. The Vilna is the harshest criticism when he says, "Anyone who would propose that there ever has been such a ban or restriction has never studied Kabbalah or seen PaRDeS, and thus speaks as an ignoramous." In light of that I find it hard to openly state that there was a ban removed by Azulai.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 09:55, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

RavAlkohen, I suspect you are right about the so-called ban on studying Kabbalah. But, nevertheless, the section of the article can not be removed because there are reliable published sources that support the existance of the ban. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth" (see Wikipedia:Verifiability). The best that can be done is to add reliably sourced material to the article that explains that the ban did not actually exist. I am going to remove the tag you added, but you can restore it, if you can justify it according to Wikipedia editing guidelines. Sorry, I understand the frustration. I commented on my own frustration, on a different Kabbalah issue, just a day or two ago [8].Malcolm Schosha (talk) 11:54, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
By the way, the long quote that is there now, could certainly be shortened if you add any new material to the section. Feel free to edit it. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 12:00, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Malcolm, I have two proposals. 1) At the very least, unless other sources can be added verifying that there was a ban, it perhaps the title should be changed to "perceived ban." 2)Secondly concerning the long quote that is there, when I do the edit(adding the other sources I will wait for consensus before any editing is done to the title), I am going state that Azulai himself didn't understand there to be a ban, but rather a limitation on the transmission. Aside from that being his intention in the original work, it is also the meaning that is conveyed with the english quote. Interesting to note a generation before the Baal Shem said the same thing, so perhaps Azulai is quoting him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:59, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Make whatever changes you think will improve that section. There is always time for further adjustments, if anyone should think that necessary. It seems to me that there was other stuff in that section that was recently removed. It was more balanced. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 15:19, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Qabbalah : the correct spelling of this word[edit]

The word correctly begins with /Q/, not /K/. The two letters ought to be distinguished, and to substitute /K/ for /Q/ is most atrocious misspelling, inexcusable in any writing with even the slightest pretense to accuracy. 0XQ (talk) 03:22, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Speaking of pretense to accuracy, you'll find a number of spellings in the dictionary, some beginning with C or K. This is essentially a non-English word transliterated from the Hebrew קבלח. The Hermeticists use Q to differentiate Quph ק from Kaph כ or Cheth ח, and put an 'h' on the end to indicate the presence of the Heh ה, but they generally don't double the 'b' as you have, since the word contains only one Beth ב. This transliteration, "Qabalah", is probably much closer to the Hebrew in terms of historic alphabet development than any other (for instance, Kaph כ and the Greek Kappa κ were historically related and had the same numerical value, 20; the modern Latin K has no connection to Quph ק other than having a vaguely similar sound). However that doesn't mean that this transliteration is more "correct" than any other. Fuzzypeg 03:41, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
In fact, Quph ק and the very old Greek letter Qoppa ϙ (later used only for counting) had shared origins, and modern Latin Q, related to these, is thus a much more direct transliteration of Quph. I seem to be a fountain of trivialities today! Fuzzypeg 03:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually the 'b' is doubled (Kabbalah or Qabbalah); it parallels the dagesh hazak of קַבָּלָה. Contributor613 (talk) 20:11, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Normal Wikipedia namimg policy is to use whatever is the commonest name in English, regardless of whether it's "correct". Peter jackson (talk) 11:02, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

What is Kabbalah?[edit]

I am not Jewish which may be the reason I do not find this article helpful. I came here from the community portal, just looking for a place to contribute. I saw this article had a request of comments and when I went to read it, I got lost. The only thing I have heard about the kabbalah is that Madonna and a lot of people are into it and and some people think it is weird. I know that this article is about Jewish Kabbalah but even so it is very hard for me to read. I don't feel like I understand more. In fact I am more confused. Maybe it is me, I had the same experience on the Buddhism article. I would like to know more about the essence of what these things are and not have to sift through enormous amounts of detail. Here is a simple question-- Why are people who were not raised Jewish getting into Kabbalah? If anyone is willing, I would love to have someone share their thoughts on my talk page. :) Elmmapleoakpine (talk) 00:51, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree - this page is pretty difficult to decipher. When I came to this page, I was wondering about Kabbalistic numeralism, you know, with the words that add up to different numbers. There wasn't really a mention of how this originated. In addition, there was the chart with the 10 (11?) different "pieces" (I can't think of any other way to phrase it), and Daath was faded out. Why is this? Myerstudent2 (talk) 00:02, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps I can help. Yes, indeed Kabbalism is definitely confusing, because it was designed that way. We suppose that Hebrewism is monotheistic, with strict prohibition against any sort of heresy, bowing to paganism, blasphemies like divination, sorcery, etc. Now, let us remember that after the Hebrews were captured by the Babylonians and made slaves, the mystery religions-with the throne's strict direction-were busy abusing their chattel and swaying them to the many "blasphemies" over generations. Later, as the Judeans were "freed", it was undertood by the Babylonian oligarchs that the Jews had been totally corrupted from their original "covenant" by inculcating it with their corruption. I would think that the scholarly debates in the Torah and Talmud reflect a constant battle, sometimes becoming literally bloody for those who wanted to excise these heresies, as opposed to those within Judaism who have accepted it as part of the liturgy, albeit, with full knowledge that it is a mystery divination, and therefore blasphemous. There is another transmission of origin of this strain inculcating the Hebrew religion. This was through the constant influx and Influence of gentile heresies from all of Israel's enemies, i.e. anyone and all who were not Hebrew, surrounding the State. The old AND New Testament bespeak whole books of the acolytes of The Book even in the times of Moses, of those who compromised, or outright betrayed (treason ) against the covenant. In fact, it takes up the majority of the Old Testament. Thus, the confusion is totally a natural, organic reaction to what would seem chaos against the lack of any simple logic; the ubiquitous template-as it were-of any "speculative", "mystery religion". Just as Freemasonry is reputed. Now, as to the question of why do characters like "Madonna" and other salacious and questionable sorts are attracted to Kabbalahism when the world knows that these types are hostile to any kind of spiritual, repentant contemplation, the answer is obvious that the brand of "Hollywood Kabbalah" is part of Scientology! It is well known that many of these "synthetic" cults and the social engineers who founded them are inculcated into the entire infrastructure of the motion picture industry from it's inception in the early 1920s. The attraction to Aleister Crowley's "Order of the Golden Dawn", "Scientology" more narrowly, and one of its many off-shoots such as the "L5" society with Kabbalahism is that its ritualism is totally devoid of morals or the ethics of consequence that the Judeo-Christian liturgy teaches. One can take dubious and peculiar comfort in its rituals without giving up any of their hedonistic impulses. In fact these cults give vindication to the adherent's licentiousness. -- (talk) 03:29, 24 July 2013 (UTC)Veryverser

I agree to the point that, after reading twice, I have come to the conclusion that, if this article is really an encyclopaedic entry about 'Kabbalah', its proponents, advocates, adherents, whatever, really have no idea what it is at all other than a conglomeration of evasive meta-descriptions of meta-descriptions of... in short, a complete woolliness of no substance dressed up in so many layers of evasive words that some people are taken in to the extent that they believe that it really consists of *something*, rather than layers upon layers of nothing. Or perhaps there really is something to it, but everyone who has contributed to the article so far has failed to see the glaring emptiness that it currently consists of and has perpetrated the emptiness by piling on historical references to emptinesses.

A realistic summary of the article might be: The Emperor's New Clothes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Berg and the Kabbalah Centre[edit]

Is there any reason why Philip Berg's Kabbalah Centre isn't even mentioned in the article in the Modern era part? Of course, its teachings are quite different from the orthodox Kabbalah to the point of making it a completely separate new religious movement, but it does use the Zohar and it is notorious under the name Kabbalah. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 16:32, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you could do some work on the Kabbalah Centre article. It is in bad shape. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:18, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not an expert in Kabbalah of any kind, so i can't really improve any of them.
And what you just removed is not "Berg", as your edit summary says, but Ashlag. Berg is not mentioned there. I know that Berg loves quoting Ashlag, but is he the only one? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 20:16, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Yehuda Ashlag and Baruch Ashlag have their own articles [9] that this article links to. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:56, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Origins of Terms[edit]

Rebbe Nachman was not the person who coined the term Hitbodedut. This term comes from the Tanakh. There is a story of a female prophetess meditating in the field, and the word BDD is used, and not BNN. DAVIDY (talk) 06:04, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Kabbalah in Prayer Books[edit]

While some of the topics under Siddur briefly mention the influence of Kabbalah in prayer books, it seems to me that the centrality of Kabbalah in numerous versions of prayer books is overlooked almost completely. And this is not "original research". Anyone who goes into a variety of orthodox (mizrachi, persian, Sfaradi, hasidic) synagogues, can look at the prayer books and see the influence of Kabbalah. Or, alternatively, go into a large religious Hebrew bookstore and look through the various versions of the prayer books, or browse them online (eg. Often, the names of the sephirot (keter, chochma, etc) are written over certain words and blessings (especially in the amidah and shma), and there are numerous quotations from the Zohar in relation to prayer, shabbat, etc., as well as numerous kabbalistic prayers mentioning and hinting at the sephirot. The most obvious example of the influence of Kabbalah in Judaism, would be to mention the prayer books, the kavanot, the kabbalistic intentions, the quotations from the Zohar, etc., that are found in a multitude of traditional orthodox "sefardi" prayerbooks distributed across large sectors of Jewish communities throughout the world. Isn't the prayer book today the most widely-read book in traditional Judaism, anyway? In short, this Kabbalah article needs a section mentioning the obvious prevalence of Kabbalah in numerous traditional praybooks used in diverse Jewish communities (Persian, Sefardi, Bratslav, Chabad, Israeli, Morrocan, etc.) (talk) 11:40, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

It seems to be the Siddur Sfaradi that is most widely used by Kabbalists. That would be good to mention in this article, and in Siddur also...if you have a reliable source. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:10, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Last time I checked(this morning in minyan) Kabbalists standardly use the Siddur of the RaShaSh in one of its current printed versions. The siddur of the RaShaSh the siddur of the AR"I with the mystical intentions then written in. The Siddur of the AR"I was based around an early Sephardic Siddur, though with some fairly major changes in the liturgy in different places.--הרב המקובל אלכהן (talk) 13:24, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

OK, then put that in the article...if you have a source that can be cited. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:38, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
By the way, I notice in the Siddur article that the Chabads use a kabbalist siddur called Nusach Ari [10]. If you could add something to the siddur article, it would be helpful. I can't do it because I don't know what I am talking about when it comes to siddurim. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:40, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Kabbalah Centre[edit]

I have added a section on Kabbalah Centre. It is incredible that it is not already mentioned. Many people coming to this article will be interested in the Kabbalah Centre and there is not even a disambig link at the top of the page! Incredible. This shows how much of a double standard there is on Wikipedia, where editors can censor the hell out of articles like this one and yet the Scientology articles are fair game for all sorts of nonsense and ridicule and bias. Laval (talk) 07:38, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

So go clean up the "Scientology" articles if they offend you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
The Kabbalah Centre has its own links; Scientology and the wiki attacks thereon are such legend, even entering discussions over at Topix (website) where it seems the topix management supports the trolls and their troll feasts in a kind of new, web based Golden calf-style religion. A good set of unfairly persecuted types would include Royal Rife and Wilhelm Reich obvious victims of their local jealous medical & pharmaceutical organizations and their friends in government. (talk) 13:41, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Ein Sof or Ayn Sof[edit]

(I am moving this, slightly edited, from user pages to here so that other editors can give an opinion)

I would hesitate to say the change is unjustified; but making a change to an article's name so that the name of the article coincides with the name of your own web site, and then linking the Kabbalah article to your site, makes it appear that you are trying to spam WP. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:55, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Accuracy of transliteration is not spam. I transliterated the Hebrew to English for the Ayn Sof Kabbalah Community website to accurately reflect the closest approximation in English to the Hebrew. Adding the Ayn Sof site to a rare few sites listed is not spam: it is diversity. You will most likely have more time on your hands to change the spelling, if you believe that makes the most sense. However, it is a less accurate mistake that should be corrected rather than called spam.
All the best,
Rabbi Alyjah (talk) 14:13, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Ein Sof is very widely used, as on the Kabbalak Online site [11].
If you do not object, I will copy this discussion to the Kabbalah talk page so that other interested editors may comment. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:30, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Widespread use of something does not make it the most accurate or best choice. Feel free to post where ever seems best.
I believe it would be a linguistic improvement if Ayn Sof became the "very widely used" as well as most fitting transliteration. On a side note, you mentioned on your page that you are open to emailing. I'm new to Wiki and wondering how folks email each other? I didn't see your email listed. I will most likely only be able to return to Wiki periodically, with lots of other work to do.
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Alyjah (talk) 14:42, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Ein Sof is widely used, which in the context of WP give its use justification. Perhaps, as an interim agreement, using both (with Ein Sof remaining the name of the article) would resolve the issue. Article talk page discussion (not user page discussion) is important.
Savlanoot. I have been accused of being "heavy handed". Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:57, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Malcolm Schosha (talk) 15:08, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


Enoch and Kabbalah[edit]

There ought to be a more detailed explanation on the relationship between Enoch and Kabbalah, since some apparently believe that he is the founder of this special study. ADM (talk) 13:40, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Mystical doctrines in the Talmudic era[edit]

This material seems a little problematic, and so I am moving it here to the talk page till some supporting sources are found.

Eminent rabbinic teachers in the Land of Israel held the doctrine of the preexistence of matter (Midrash Genesis Rabbah i. 5; iv. 6), in spite of the protest of Gamaliel II. (ib. i. 9).

In dwelling upon the nature of God and the universe, the mystics of the Talmudic period asserted, in contrast to the transcendentalism evident in some parts of the Bible, that "God is the dwelling-place of the universe; but the universe is not the dwelling-place of God". Possibly the designation ("place") for God, so frequently found in Talmudic-Midrashic literature, is due to this conception, just as Philo, in commenting on Genesis 28:11 says, "God is called ha makom (המקום "the place") because God encloses the universe, but is Himself not enclosed by anything" (De Somniis, i. 11). This type of theology, in modern terms, is known as either pantheism or panentheism. Whether a text is truly pantheistic or panentheistic is often hard to understand; mainstream Judaism generally rejects pantheistic interpretations of Kabbalah, and instead accepts panentheistic interpretations.

Even in very early times in the Land of Israel, Jewish, as well as Jewish Alexandrian theology recognized the two attributes of God, middat hadin, the attribute of justice, and middat ha-rahamim, the attribute of mercy (see: Midrash Sifre, Deuteronomy 27); and so is the contrast between justice and mercy became a fundamental doctrine of the Kabbalah. Other hypostasizations are represented by the ten "agencies", (the Sephiroth) through which God created the world, namely: wisdom, insight, cognition, strength, power, inexorableness, justice, right, love, and mercy.

While the Sefirot are based on these ten creative "potentialities", it is especially the personification of wisdom which, in Philo, represents the totality of these primal ideas; and the Targ. Jerusalem Talmud i., agreeing with him, translates the first verse of the Bible as follows: "By wisdom God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis Rabbah equates "Wisdom" with "Torah."

So, also, the figure of the Sar Metatron passed into mystical texts from the Talmud. In the Heichalot literature Metatron sometimes approximates the role of the demiurgos (see Gnosticism), being expressly mentioned as a "lesser" God. One text, however, identifies Metatron as Enoch transubstantiated (see: Enoch, III).[citation needed] Mention may also be made of other pre-existent states enumerated in an old baraita (an extra-mishnaic teaching); namely, the Torah, repentance, paradise and hell, the throne of God, the Heavenly Temple, and the name of the Messiah (Talmud Pesahim 54a). Although the origin of this doctrine must be sought probably in certain mythological ideas, the Platonic doctrine of pre-existence has modified the older, simpler conception, and the pre-existence of the seven must therefore be understood as an "ideal" pre-existence, a conception that was later more fully developed in the Kabbalah.

The attempts of the mystics to bridge the gulf between God and the world are evident in the doctrine of the preexistence of the soul, and of its close relation to God before it enters the human body — a doctrine taught by the Hellenistic sages (Wisdom viii. 19) as well as by the Palestinian rabbis. The mystics also employ the phrase from (Isaiah 6:3), as expounded by the Rabbinic Sages, "The whole world is filled with His glory," to justify a panentheistic understanding of the universe.

Please do not return any of this to the article without adding WP:reliable sources. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:48, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Traditional Kabbalah vs Western Esoteric Kabbalah[edit]

From what little I understand I have heard theres some difference between how Kabbalah is interpreted and practiced between Jewish Tradional Kabbalah vs Western Esoteric Kabbalah (as practiced by various esoteric orders and occultists)?

Can someone kindly elaborate on this or write a section to clarify this. I get the impression that various Western esoteric orders & occultists have misinterpreted the original Jewish Traditional Kabbalah and that it would be misleading for readers to think that they are the same thing.

(I hope I make sense)

Henry123Ifa —Preceding unsigned comment added by Henry123ifa (talkcontribs) 23:11, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Hermetic Qabalah is quite different than traditional Jewish Kabbalah.
I think there are some Yahoo discussion groups for Kabbalah that might be better places to ask your question. Wikipedia talk pages are only for discussion related to developing WP articles. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 00:29, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I also commented because I think there are alot of misconceptions and confusion between Jewish Kabbalah and the Hermetic variety. I'm suggesting that a section be made to clarify that Jewish Kabbalah is not the same as the Western version. Or ill informed people are continue to think they are the same thing.

(espicially to those who are trying to recover their roots) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Henry123ifa (talkcontribs) 01:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC) Henry123Ifa —Preceding unsigned comment added by Henry123ifa (talkcontribs) 01:19, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


The writer needs to go through this and give publication data for all sources, e.g. the book about the Sufi doesn't have the publisher or ISBN data. Patrij (talk) 13:45, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

New section (yes, another one!)[edit]

Hi, looking thru the article & comments, one person above certainly has a point, current non-jewish "cult' interest in Kabbala, like Maddonna etc, is not really covered and is probably what most non-jews visiting the page would be interested in... All it needs is an explanation that "recent interest by famous personalities like Maddonna has raised its profile a bit but generally Judaism discourages non-jewish interest as part of its general policy on not encouraging converts etc" - How's that? (talk) 11:37, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Madonna seemed authentically interested for some moments at least; and the Kabbalah Centre movement from Yehuda Berg et al., ongoing, seems quite interested in universalizing, generalizing, kabbalistic principles. One of their ideas, that Zohar is a genesis document for all religion seems a stretch, since one believes the Chinese-Mongolian (?) I Ching is possibly quite a bit more ancient than anything Hebraic. Indeed, though, if you check the "Others" entry at Kabbalah Centre site you will find that there seems a greater celebrity publicity about the materials, than at any time since perhaps Jesus, John the Washer, or Enoch. The encoding aspects are kind of funny, since cross-encoding has happened in religions: Brahma & Saraswati probably became incarnated as Abraham and Sarah, and not vice versa -- just for an example. And the wheels of the ten Sefirot have more than keen, parallel resemblances to Chakra energy centers...and in a matter of some irony, Kabbalah Centre propagation activities seem to somewhat parallel or mirror Scientology and its Celebrity Centre organizations. (talk) 13:21, 14 September 2009 (UTC)


What is Kabbalah? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 22 March 2010 (UTC)


انا اسمي احمد محمد

انا فخور اني مسلم

انا من محاربين الماسونية

هم الان في قبضة يادي في مصر تبا لائسرئيل —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 22 March 2010 (UTC)


Its important to use the article lead to explain any distinctions between related concepts. Using just a hatnote as currently:

"This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. For other Kabbalistic traditions see Christian Kabbalah, Hermetic Qabalah, and Practical Kabbalah."

is insufficient. The question does arise however about where the proper place is to treat such disambiguation, to which the answer is always at the main/master article (ie. this one). Its not sufficient to just give the master article over to one definition and leave any ambiguities unexplained. I wont go so far as to say that it makes sense to create a separate article (Jewish Kabbalah), but devoting a paragraph in the lead to defining the differences should suffice to disambiguate what are currently noted only by terminology (in the above hatnote) and not explanation. Regards, Stevertigo (w | t | e) 03:46, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Grammar, please[edit]

" eternal/mysterious Creator and the mortal/finite universe..."

What's with the slashes? Slashes used someplace other than fractions are used to save space, as in filling out a form. They have no place in formal writing. In other words, someone who actually gives a crap about this subject and has the patience and KNOWS HOW TO WRITE PROPER, FORMAL ENGLISH please clean up this poorly written crap. Looks like it was done by someone too full of themselves to actually bother learning grammar.

Apparent contradiction regarding the human soul[edit]

In the discussion of the human soul, there is an introduction, which states in part, "The nefesh is found in all humans, and enters the physical body at birth...The next two parts of the soul are not implanted at birth, but can be developed over time;"

There is also an explanation of the three parts of the soul. In one part it says, "Neshamah (נשמה): the higher soul, or "super-soul". This separates man from all other life-forms. It is related to the intellect, and allows man to enjoy and benefit from the afterlife. This part of the soul is provided at birth and allows one to have some awareness of the existence and presence of God."

It seems that the first says the Neshamah would not be present at birth, while the second statement says it will be provided at birth. If this is a contradiction, it should be fixed. If not, a further explanation would be helpful for the uninitiated (like me). Does the difference hinge on "implanted" versus "provided", or some other subtlety that I am missing?

--Slipperyone (talk) 06:07, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Reincarnation should be included in the Concepts section[edit]

I am certainly no expert, but as I understand it, reincarnation (transmigration of souls?) is a fairly defining belief of Kabbalist teachings. In the section on Orthodox Criticism, it says, "Rabbi Saadia Gaon teaches in his book Emunot v'Deot that Jews who believe in reincarnation have adopted a non-Jewish belief," which implies that Kabbalah includes this belief. However, it's not until the reader gets to the Views of Non-Jews that it is even mentioned.

I think most readers that are not familiar with Kabbalah would get to this section and think, "whoa, what's this about reincarnation?" There's suddenly a discussion of whether non-Jewish souls are reincarnated, without any background given on the subject.

I understand that the article is already longer than Wiki suggested length, but it seems to me that before anything can be discussed in the criticism section, it needs to be established somewhere in the Concepts section. Perhaps all that is needed is a line or two in the section about human souls. --Slipperyone (talk) 10:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Rename section "Perception of non-Jews"[edit]

There is a section "Orthodox Jews" which contains criticism of Kabbalah from orthodox Jews, a section "Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism" which contains criticism from them, so naturally I thought "Perception of non-Jews" would contain criticism from gentiles. Of course, this section is not about that, but rather criticism of Kabbalistic perceptions of non-Jews versus Jews. The title is confusing because it can be read both ways, and because of the parallelism to the other headings, is most likely read the wrong way.

I think "Kabbalistic Perception of non-Jews" would be less misleading.--Slipperyone (talk) 10:30, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Perception of non-Jews section should be rethought[edit]

The main problem I have with this section is that it doesn't seem to have any criticism in it. Instead, if I understand it correctly, it deals with internal Kabbalistic struggles regarding the status of non-Jews, especially concerning their souls. While informative, I don't think that internal disputes within Kabbalah belong in the criticism section.

The section on Dualism begins with a sentence explaining the nature of the criticism. The first line of this section should do the same eg. "Traditional Kabbalistic texts propound that Jews have souls while non-Jews don't" (is this true?) or "Traditional Kabbalistic texts propound that Jewish souls are different than non-Jewish souls, and this view has been criticised as putting Jews in a class of there own" or whatever the criticism is, which I never did figure out from this section.

Another problem with this section(and the one on Dualism) is that critics are never cited, nor are authoritave works referencing such critics. You can't have criticism without critics. To be sure, Kabbalistic apologists are cited and quoted, but these are internal struggles. I think criticism (in the sense used in Wiki) comes from without, not within. Otherwise, every new school of thought would have to be in the criticism section.

The closest I saw to a criticism in this section was the paragraph based on David Halperin argument, "the collapse of Kabbalah's influence among Western European Jews over the course of the 17th and 18th Century was a result of the cognitive dissonance they experienced between the negative perception of gentiles found in some exponents of Kabbalah, and their own positive dealings with non-Jews." I'm not sure that "cognitive dissonance" = criticism. If there were specific critics of the time that expounded specific criticisms, they should be quoted and cited.

To summarize: From this section, I can't tell what the Kabbalah teaches about non-Jewish souls, since the teaching (or at least its interpretation) seems to have evolved over time, and I don't know who critized this view, whatever it is, or what the criticism is.--Slipperyone (talk) 11:40, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

  • I second the above. In addition, it contains propaganda: "Such theologically framed hostility may have been a response to some medieval demonization of Jews which developed in some parts of Western and Christian society and thought, starting with the Patristic writings."

    The statement in bold seems to be an add on, but this is unclear. Either way, this is "Holocaust Industry" type propaganda. Jews persecuted Christians first which in turn lead to their initial (and from any code of ethics standpoint, rightful) hostility against Jews. Later some of this "hostility," depending on your perspective, was codified by some of the early Church fathers.

    I recommend the bold be deleted. If it isn't deleted then make sure that the origin of conflict between Jews and Christians is rightfully assigned. History is clear- Jews started the fight. Anything afterwards was only a reaction to this.GegenIsrael (talk) 05:06, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

    • Ahem. With a lot of goodwill one could call this "original research", though there is little doubt one can find this nonsense on plenty of websites. But for our purposes this is anti-semitic trolling of the worst kind (and it has nothing to do with the subject of the article). Yeah, the Jews started it all, of course. Drmies (talk) 23:29, 18 May 2011 (UTC)


I reverted edits by Lchaim that violated NPOV, NOR and V. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:32, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Broken link[edit]

There is something wrong with the reference for the introduction paragraph. It says "The page you have requested could not be found." Can someone fix it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by HaKavanah (talkcontribs) 19:00, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Good catch. I've dug through the site and located the current address for it. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:07, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HaKavanah (talkcontribs) 19:09, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

No sense.[edit]

This article makes absolutely no sense. None. This article is supposed to be an encyclopedia article-- an initiates introduction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:48, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Development of Jewish mysticism article[edit]

The following is a long-term open and important discussion. Contributions/opinions are welcome to be added to the thread. Ideally it should avoid being archived as it is not a closed topic:

Jewish mysticism currently redirects here. It needs to be developed as an article, as Jewish mysticism is much broader than just Kabbalah. Editor2020 (talk) 01:50, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

That might be unnecessary article forking, as the history section of this page covers, and is renamed, the entire "History of Jewish mysticism": from mystical elements in the Torah and pre-Kabbalistic early Talmudic Merkabah mysticism, through pre-Kabbalistic Medieval Chassidei Ashkenaz mysticism, through the emergence of the Medieval Kabbalah (Provencial-Castillian, Zoharic, Abulafian), the Early-Modern Safed Kabbalah (Cordoverian-needs more mention, Lurianic), and the Modern-Era traditional Kabbalah (Luzzato, Mizrachi, Mitnagdic, Ashlag), to post-Kabbalistic Hasidic Judaism. Rather than a new Jewish mysticism article, I think this entire history of Jewish mysticism is better on this page, for 2 reasons: 1) In his book Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), Joseph Dan also covers the early, pre-Kabbalistic schools of Jewish mysticism, and the later development of Kabbalah in Hasidism; the full survey shedding light on the sources and applications of Kabbalah. 2) While the academic study of Jewish mysticism reserves the name "Kabbalah" to distinguish the particular emergent doctrinal system of the Medieval and Early-Modern eras, in traditional-religious Jewish Kabbalistic belief this doctrine was not a product of 12th century France and Spain, but was a continuation and disclosure of the same mysticism of the Talmudic era, and ultimately of the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, whether one subscribes to a critical academic view (and some recent academics have revised the origins of Kabbalah to earlier sources) or to the traditionalist Jewish Kabbalistic belief, I think Jewish mysticism and its full history is best on this page (which is also where a layman would look for it). The only caveat is that this full history should distinguish between the doctrinal system of Kabbalah, and the different conceptions of earlier Jewish mysticism, and Kabbalistic adaption in Hasidism - as it now does (needs fuller improvement, though). April8 (talk) 00:52, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand, this article should rather focus on Kabbalah itself than be an overview of Jewish mysticism. A Jewish mysticism article would make sense. As your argument is based on a book, we could as well refer to Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism by Scholem. --Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg, formerly active using the static IP adress 09:04, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I've redirected Jewish mysticism redirect page to link to Kabbalah#History of Jewish mysticism section. April8 (talk) 21:58, 19 February 2013 (UTC)....WAIT, see below:

Proposed solution: change Jewish mysticism to a dissambiguation page[edit]

See the discussion thread on this same topic on Talk:Jewish mysticism page. There a solution to the problem is proposed that I think is best: changing Jewish mysticism redirect link to a dissambiguation page. On further thought, I'll do it now - it can always be reverted if it is not liked. See if you like it. I think it will demonstrate that it is the best solution: making a whole article on just Jewish mysticism would split up the very helpful whole "History of Jewish mysticism" survey on this Kabbalah page. The new page "Jewish mysticism" would have the whole history survey, while its main part, Kabbalah and Hasidic Kabbalah, would be duplicated on the "Kabbalah" page - no sense. Nor is renaming this page to "Jewish mysticism" a good solution, I think, as "Kabbalah" is too important and well known a term to not be the headline title name. Besides, Moshe Idel's new historiography sees, revising Scholem, a historiographical continuity from early Merkabah mysticism to Medieval Kabbalism, while traditional Jewish Kabbalists believe that theirs is just a continuation and revelation of the "Origins of Judaic mysticism", "Mystic elements of the Torah", "Mystical doctrines in the Talmudic era" and "Pre-Kabbalistic schools" that begin the history survey listed here. Splitting the survey here would mangle the lovely flow! Nowadays, the only forms of Jewish mysticism that are followed are a) Kabbalah and b) Hasidic Judaism, and Hasidism is based on Kabbalah (it could be called "Hasidic Kabbalah"). So there would be no point in splitting Kabbalah history section from Hasidic history overview section in the survey, which both assimilated the earlier Merkabah and Chassidei Ashkenaz mysticisms. Best not to split/mangle the historical overview, which is best on Kabbalah page, where people would look. Therefore, I think the best solution is to change Jewish mysticism redirect into a dissambiguation page - which I'll do now. April8 (talk) 21:58, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
N.B. There is also a particular nuance to the reason why I think the whole survey of Jewish mysticism belongs here on the Kabbalah page: the definition of the term "Kabbalah". As Joseph Dan summarises in Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), definition of the term "Kabbalah" varies among different groups of people:
1. In academic Jewish studies, it is used restrictively to refer to the new doctrinal theosophical system of 1) Medieval/Zoharic/Classical Kabbalah and 2) Early-modern Lurianic Kabbalah. Abraham Abulafia's Medieval Prophetic/Meditative/Ecstatic Kabbalah is also included as a minority tradition, as is the syncretic magic known as "practical Kabbalah". Consequently, the Bahir is seen in academia as the first emergence of fully Kabbalistic doctrine, the earlier Sefer Yetzirah being excluded even though it describes 10 ptoto-"sephirot". After Scholem, Moshe Idel rejected his view that Medieval Kabbalism was an historically isolated system, replacing this theory with a phenomenological continuity of development.
2. In traditional Kabbalist circles, the whole history of Jewish mysticism is collectively seen as the gradual revelation of the term "Kabbalah" (hence the Medieval coining/appropriation of this term, translated as "tradition" - Medieval Kabbalists did not believe they were innovating anything, but disclosing earlier hidden teachings). They hold the Kabbalist Zohar to stem from 1000 years earlier than the academic definition, and the old Sefer Yetzirah to be the earliest revelation of Kabbalistic doctrine, ascribed to Rabbi Akiva and originating in an oral tradition from Abraham. While the Sefer Yetzirah received rationalist interpretations before Medieval Kabbalists commentated on it, after them it became exclusively seen in Kabbalistic terms; Kabbalists rejecting the rationalist interpretations of it. Whether one subscribes to the traditional Kabbalistic belief or not, their historiography of Kabbalah is much longer than the restricted academic one, and Wikipedia should reference both these Jewish interpretations of the term "Kabbalah".
3. Joseph Dan also lists other interpretations of how the term "Kabbalah" is defined. One is a blurred/confused/secular Jewish identification of theosophical Kabbalah with Practical Kabbalah magic. Hence stage magicians-conjurers in Israel are called by the same word "Kabbalists"! Wikipedia should mention this confusion on the Kabbalah page
4. The equation of "Kabbalah/Cabala" with magic is further interpreted so in non-Jewish culture, since the Renaissance/Early modern Christian Kabbalah and its continuing offshoot occult Hermetic Qabalah. Non-Jewish Qabalists today are syncretic Western esotericism occultists/adepts/initiates. To them Hermetic Qabalah is not just a part of Judaism, but even more a (the) universalist Western wisdom tradition fused with other religions' beliefs. They hold, or at least some hold, that Hermetic Qabalah predated Jewish Kabbalism in Greek/Gnostic etc. origins. To them early Jewish Merkabah mysticism is also Jewish Kabbalah. Wikipedia needs to describe their alternative interpretation of the term "Kabbalah", as it does on Hermetic Qabalah page. At any rate, their historiography of Jewish Kabbalah is long, like the Jewish Kabbalists' view, including early Jewish mysticism
Joseph Dan concludes that it is not the job of the historian (unlike the theologian) to determine which of the above meanings/uses is the "correct" definition of the term "Kabbalah". For example, "it is not their job to say that Pico della Mirandola was an 'authentic Kabbalist', while Jung was not" etc. At any rate from all the above, in my view, I think therefore the whole "History of Jewish mysticism" overview belongs here on the Kabbalah page (and not be split up/mangled/duplicated across 2 pages "Jewish mysticism" and "Kabbalah"), and that Jewish mysticism redirect page should be turned into a helpful, explanatory dissambiguation page - as I'll do. April8 (talk) 23:17, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
N.B. This is the way I presently see the issue - I may be wrong/change my mind in the future. In addition to the above question of alternative uses/definitions of the term "Kabbalah", the practical reason why, it seems to me, the "History of Jewish mysticism" survey is good on this page is that: if it were moved to a newly developed Jewish mysticism page, leaving this Kabbalah page only about Medieval Kabbalism, Safed/Lurianic Kabbalism and Hasidic adaptions of Kabbalah, then the Kabbalistic sections of the history would have to be duplicated, once on each page (more fully on the Kabbalah page). Cross-reference to each page would be awkward. The traditionalist Kabbalistic claim/belief that Medieval Kabbalism was (to whatever degree) the disclosure/publication/revelation of the concealed Talmudic era early mysticism teachings, discussed in the early History, known as "Maasei Bereishit"/"Maasei Merkabah"/Heichalot/Pardes (legend) would require awkward linking back and forward to the Jewish Mysticism article. Alternatively, the academic view that the Sefer Yetzirah's, Bahir's, Zohar's etc. attribution to early Talmudic-era Jewish mysticism times were later Pseudepigraph, would also require awkward linking back and forth between the two pages. April8 (talk) 20:14, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Please add opinions on the issue to this long-term important topic open thread.

Diagram is wrong[edit]

The picture is wrong.. In the middle "da'ath" seems to be spelt with a tzadik, it should be an 'ayin, no? Zargulon (talk) 13:38, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Yep, you are right. Don't know who could fix it?Jimhoward72 (talk) 19:26, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Sephirot > Sefirot[edit]

Originally, this article had 18 occurrences of Sephirot/Sephirah, 18 occurences Sefirot/Sefira, 4 occurences of Sefer Yetzirah, and 1 occurence of Sepher Yetzirah. So I have changed Sephirot to Sefirot and Sepher to Sefer. Please don't revert it. Permanent link here. -- (talk) 02:22, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, I just disambiguated your the article links, and it's tough for a goyisher like me to see Sefirot here in this article linked to Sephirot. If you're all worked about it, change that article too. Or go on notice, I'm reverting your changes. --Nemonoman (talk) 11:45, 4 August 2011 (UTC)


Can someone in a position to do so please attempt to add something about the "beirurim" concept as ref'd here:

Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:52, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

It's now done, approximately, in the "Concepts" section describing, and linking to, Lurianic Kabbalah (which links to Tohu and Tikun, which describes Birurim). Beirurim on the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil page now redirects to Tohu and Tikun. April8 (talk) 00:20, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Kabbalistic Alchemy[edit]

The article fails to describe the relationship between Kabbalah and Alchemy, even though the numerology of kabbalah is the algorythmical basis for the transmutational processes used in alchemy. (talk) 10:30, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

The pages you're looking for are the non-Jewish syncretic traditions of Cabala: Hermetic Qabalah and Christian Kabbalah (they should probably better include explanation of alchemy). Kabbalah/Cabala/Qabalah has been a substained non-Jewish tradition in Western esotericism, separate, derived from, and rather different, from Jewish religious Kabbalah. Maybe this page needs a special paragraph dedicated to distinguishing between the two, though there is now a more inclusive article introduction-heading section. Jewish magical Practical Kabbalah is now distinguished from Jewish theoretical Kabbalah and Jewish Meditative Kabbalah - within Judaism, in the Overview section. Maybe a similar distinguishment within the text, between Jewish and non-Jewish Kabbalah would be helpful. April8 (talk) 01:26, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Let's Take a Look at the External Linkies[edit]

The External Links section is way way WAY out of control. Can we discuss cleaning it up? Come on, let's not have a big shit storm over it, can we research Wikipedia standards and make some critical analysis about these linkies and then cull out the borderline / redundant / excessive linkies so that we are left with a REASONABLE number of only the best links? Maybe? Just a thought... =//= Johnny Squeaky 01:23, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi, I'm making an attempt to clean up the links section... I'll post the ones I remove here in case anyone still needs them, please see the comment above before reinserting links. --Eronfalbo (talk) 09:51, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Here are the links I removed, please help in properly labeling the ones that were left:

Specific, should be in references:

Should be in Hermetic Qabalah article

(Done: I added this to Hermetic Qabalah page. April8 (talk) 20:20, 20 February 2013 (UTC))

Sufism Article

--Eronfalbo (talk) 11:04, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

“revised early theories”[edit]

This edit states that “[s]cholars in the present generation have revised early theories including Scholem's, on such questions as Heichalot mysticism and a Jewish ‘gnosticism’, the origins of Kabbalah, and the sources of Hasidism”. Could anyone name some literature on this subject? I raised a question touching this subject here and would like to improve the German article (which has almost no references) myself if someone told me who revised which of Scholem′s theories. --Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg, formerly active using the static IP adress 10:35, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Moshe Idel's Kabbalah: New Perspectives is the best place to start, though its now over 20 years old. See also Moshe Idel's writings on Hasidism, Abraham Abulafia etc. April8 (talk) 01:36, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I still have to read that one. --Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg, formerly active using the static IP adress 09:04, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

General Observation regarding the Kabbalah diagram with cicles.[edit]

I am not university trained and I am just posting a posible connection regarding this article. Could someone check my thesis or observation please.

I noticed that the circles that are displayed are very similar to those used in Indian and Asian religions and medical texts used in the flow of energy or CHAKRA points. Perhaps these were taken from Indian Sanskrit or Buddhist texts as some of these may have pre dated the Kabbalah? Although Bud ism may have been younger some Indian scripts may have been a lot older? The similarity is uncanny however differs in some ways as there are more circles in the Kabbalah diagram. The energy flow points are based on human spiritual energy flow in relation to the physical body. From the top of the head to the bottom of the anal area. 7 in all from recollection. Crown of the head, Third eye/ Pineal gland, Neck /Voice, Heart. Solar Plexus, Tan Tien used by Tai Chi or Qui Gong, instructors in meditation, and the last at the bottom of the sexual organs or rectum area. There may be secondary points that I did not learn about or follow up on. The passing of sexual energy or transfer of it was described in some Taoist books. The fundamental basis for these is used in Martial Arts and Medicine like acupuncture as the energy flows in a 2 hour interval through the body effecting major organs that the energy flows through. Europeans have not as far as I know had as much to do with these things as the Asian and Indian cultures. Since there seems to be a link in most of the religious beliefs in history there may be a possible link. The other Possible link may be based on occult principles or Natural flow of energy in relation with the five elements and these principles are still thought today in some Martial arts and Chinese Medical teachings, in particular the Internal arts, regarding the five elements forming a pentagram. Earth, Water, Wood, Fire, Metal? Perhaps some one that has more information can check this and site references as I have researched and read some literature years ago regarding these topics through Martial Arts and alternate healing readings. There are New Age religion similarities as there is a common base. There is no malice intended and the observation is not intended to insult or envoke any agenda or support any occult theory. Thanks for understanding.

{{request quotation}}[edit]

@Contributor613: Greetings! I tagged a couple of Hebrew sources with {{request quotation}} tags. I hope it will be something like this here: [12]. I can't speak any Hebrew unfortunately so, perhaps someone here can :-) Besides, translations by Wikipedians are perfectly okay unless a better source can be found! Cheers! :-) Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 23:13, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

@Jayaguru-Shishya: I'm just letting you know that your request for an English quotation "need quotation to verify" is out of place. This is because the English you want is actually already in the actual Wikipedia article. The footnote is providing the source (a Hebrew encyclopedia) for the statement "He is credited with spearheading the Dor Deah movement". Accordingly, I suggest that you remove this particular request. Contributor613 (talk) 23:35, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
By the way, here you noted that you "Fixed a link" but you actually removed the link. No harm done though, I'll change it when I get the chance (if I don't get to it feel free to do so). Also, I just want to mention that I'm happy with your intent to know the sources of information presented on Wikipedia (and present this to readers). Too often correct information (and sometimes incorrect) is entered without any source to back it up. Citations make for credibility. Keep up the critical work! Contributor613 (talk) 23:35, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Contributor613 :-) I have two comments: 1) You said that: "This is because the English you want is actually already in the actual Wikipedia article.". Perhaps, but I bet that most of our readers don't know Hebrew, so we'd need a) a quote from the Hebrew source, and b), a (free) translation from that exact quote (to the footnote). Please have a look at this diff[13] from the Internet Watch Foundation and Wikipedia article, where a French user provided a a) French quote, and b) a translation, only one day after I placed the request. =P
This "Fixed a link" thing, it is now actually linking directly to the article instead of a redirect, so it's better that way. Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 00:21, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I think you're really going overboard on the first point so we'll have to agree to disagree on that.
Regarding the link ("the Dor Deah movement"), A) In this case the redirect was intentional: to allow usage of the term "Dor Deah" (used by the referenced source) instead of the term "Dor Daim." B) If you look carefully you'll see that you didn't change it to link directly; you completely removed the link. I just fixed this. Contributor613 (talk) 00:34, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh, it seems you are right. I accidentally removed the whole link even my Edit Summary stated that I fixed it. Thanks for your notice! When it comes to my first point, I am afraid that you don't have to "agree to disagree" with me, but WP:NONENG. It says that:

Citations to non-English sources are allowed. However, because this is the English-language Wikipedia, English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones whenever English sources of equal quality and relevance are available. As with sources in English, if a dispute arises involving a citation to a non-English source, editors may request that a quotation of relevant portions of the original source be provided [...] When quoting a non-English source (whether in the main text, in a footnote, or on the talk page), a translation into English should always accompany the quote. Translations published by reliable sources are preferred over translations by Wikipedians, but translations by Wikipedians are preferred over machine translations. [...] In articles, the original text is usually included with the translated text when translated by Wikipedians, and the translating editor is usually not cited.

I hope this helps! Contributor613, can you provide a Hebrew quotation and a translation to a footnote? =P Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 16:51, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
For the request about pardes and Maimonides, there is an online translation.[14] Here's a quote "The matters discussed in these four chapters concerning these five mitzvot are what the Sages of the early generations termed the Pardes, as they related: "Four entered the Pardes...." Even though they were great men of Israel and great Sages, not all of them had the potential to know and comprehend all these matters in their totality."(4:13)" But you'd have to know from context that "The matters" of the preceding are physics. So even with the quotation, more context may be needed. I'm not sure all this is necessary because the statement (about pardes and physics) is pretty well known about Maimonides. HG | Talk 02:41, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
That's very curious HG! Thanks for your input. I think what you just quoted is alone better than nothing. Perhaps there is some commentary work that'd explain these things? Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 16:58, 6 January 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Rapoport, Solomon Judah Leib; Solomon Joachim Halberstam, Samuel David Luzzatto, Eisig Gräber (1885). Igrot Shir: asher herits ha-Rav Shir zal el Rashdal zal mi-shenat 593 ʻad ... (in Hebrew). S.A. Graber.  Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonth= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)

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