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An Overview Of Kabbalah

Aug 17, 2007
Kabballa is an interpretation (exegesis, hermeneutic) key, "soul" of the Torah (Hebrew Bible), or the religious mystical system of Judaism claiming an insight into divine nature.

The term "Kabbalah" was originally used in Talmudic texts, among the Geonim, and by early Rishonim as a reference to the full body of publicly available Jewish teaching. In this sense Kabbalah was used in referring to all of known Oral Law. Over time it became a reference to doctrines of esoteric knowledge concerning God, God's creation of the universe and the laws of nature, and the path by which adult religious Jews can learn these secrets.

Kabbalah, according to the more recent use of the word, stresses the esoteric reasons and understanding of the commandments in the Torah, and the occult cause of events described in the Torah. Kabbalah includes the understanding of the spiritual spheres of creation, and the ways by which God administers the existence of the universe.

According to practitioners of Kabbalah, the human soul has three elements, the nefesh, ru'ach, and neshamah. The nefesh is the part of the soul found in all humans, and enters the physical body at birth. It is the source of one's physical and psychological nature. The next two portions of the soul are not included at birth, but can be developed over time; their development depends on the actions and beliefs of the individual. These higher developments are said to fully exist only in people who are fully awakened spiritually. A Kabbalah explanation of the three parts of the soul is as follows:

*Nefesh - the lower part, or "animal part", of the soul. It is linked to instincts and bodily cravings.

*Ruach - the middle soul, the "spirit". It contains the moral virtues and the ability to distinguish between good and evil.

*Neshamah - the higher soul, or "super-soul". This separates man from all other lifeforms. It is related to the intellect, and allows man to enjoy and benefit from the afterlife. This part of the soul is provided both to Jew and non-Jew alike at birth. It allows one to have some awareness of the existence and presence of God.

The Raaya Meheimna discusses the two other parts of the human soul, the chayyah and yehidah first mentioned in the Midrash Rabbah. Gershom Scholem writes that these "were considered to represent the sublimest levels of intuitive cognition, and to be within the grasp of only a few chosen individuals". The Chayyah and the Yechidah do not enter into the body like the other three.

Chayyah - The part of the soul that allows one to have an awareness of the divine life force itself.
Yehidah - the highest plane of the soul, in which one can achieve as full a union with God as is possible.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is a consultant for online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. .Get more information on Kabbalah at http://www.emerald-energies.com
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