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Chief Rabbi of Safed declares Kabbalah study by non-Jews a positive development.

Kosher Kabbalah for Non-Jews?

Kosher Kabbalah for Non-Jews?

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Kosher Kabbalah for Non-Jews?
Chief Rabbi of Safed declares Kabbalah study by non-Jews a positive development.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Safed, the city that was once the world center of Kabbala study, says that the study of Kabbala by non-Jews can be "positive", but only if done in the proper manner. Currently the chief rabbi of Safed for over a decade, Rabbi Shmuel is the son of the late Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, one of the most important living Sephardic Jewish legal authorities and kabbalists, and a former chief rabbi of Israel.

During an interview with the popular media resource, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu said, "I believe that the study of the Zohar by Gentiles, as in the common phenomenon we see today with non-Jewish musicians and entertainers studying Kabbala, is a positive phenomenon - as long as it is done in the right way." He explained that it should not just be a matter of curiosity, but of a genuine search for the "Torah of life".

To see people searching for spirituality is a positive and important development….

Rabbi Eliyahu addressed the matter in light of the jump in sales of books of Kabbala. According to Meir Bar-El, Deputy Director of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, exports of such books have tripled in recent years due to the world-wide awakening to the study of Kabbala. He reported that thirty-five million dollars worth of Kabbala texts were exported around the world from Israel in 2005, and that total exports of Jewish holy books in 2005 grew by 119% over the year before, and totaled 70% of all book exports from Israel. He even said that there are not enough professional printers now in Israel to meet the continuing demand for holy books from Israel and that more training courses are needed.

"This is exactly what Elijah the Prophet told Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Zohar author, circa 1st-century C.E.) and his group when they began writing the Zohar," Rabbi Eliyahu said, "that in the course of time, people will begin making a living from this work. Of course, Elijah was referring to the fact that it would have a spiritual effect on those who study it, but it can be understood this way as well."

"It is told about King David," the rabbi said, "that when he wanted to bring people closer to an authentic Torah life, he would teach them the secrets of Torah. In general, to see people searching for spirituality is a positive and important development."

[Adapted from an article by Hillel Fendel on Wed, 01 Mar 2006]

Yerachmiel Tilles is the co-founder of Ascent-of-Safed, and was its educational director for 18 years. He is the creator of and and currently the director of both sites. He is also a well-known storyteller, a columnist for numerous chassidic publications, and a staff rabbi on, as well as and the author of "Saturday Night, Full Moon": Intriguing Stories of Kabbalah Sages, Chasidic Masters and other Jewish Heroes.
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Discussion (18)
October 20, 2014
Kabbalah Learning for the non-Jew
Thank you for the article. Maybe if the reasoning for studying Kabbalah is for personal reasons ... or for control... or whatever it can give them, it is definitely WRONG!!! But... if it is for a deeper study of Torah... only in what is allowed for a non-Jew to study... is this a good thing? Please reply... It is important to do the right thing and to "sort thru" the wrong to speak...
Rock Island, WA
June 9, 2014
I've got a secret for you! What is required of Kabbalah study before you begin is a solid course of character development. But I have found that once I improved my relationship with my wife, my children, the people around me, controlled my anger, found humility, and seen all people as equals (and I am and will always be in that process of becoming) that those were the reasons for studying Kabbalah. One Hassidic master said once: "Sure, I could move a mountain, but why would I? Everything is already in it's place."
Paul Bourgeois
April 27, 2014
kabbalah for non jews
Rav Yitzchak Ginsburg has written a book on 'Kaballah and Mediations for the Nations of the world' and rabbi dovid sears of breslov has written a wonderful book, also, titled Compassion to Humanity the Jewish tradition. it also covers for us noahides.
November 1, 2013
Are women allowed?
I am confused... Are women permitted to study Kaballah?
June 21, 2013
I agree that Kabbalah chooses the person and it is up to this person to open as many doors as he wants to open. The weird part is that at first he is directed to the most accessible and easy door to open, next to a more difficult door, and then another higher door and so on, according to his pace and understanding. I find this so strange.
Estado de México, Estado de México
June 16, 2013
It is true that there needs to be an authentic source for Kabbalah study ,
because there are so many feel-good 'Kabbalah' texts out there sometimes written by non-Jews. I'm able to tell the difference now thanks to your Kabbalah site. I also appreciate how much I have begun to learn about the Torah, the depth of understanding the Jewish teachers and scholars can share is just amazing, you won't don't find this precious knowledge elsewhere. They also teach you how to apply the learning in your daily life , which makes it an authentic experience.
April 26, 2013
I love this site!...And what an interesting article. I am a non-Jew who studies the sheva mitzvos B'nei Noach. I also study (certain parts) of the Tanya and Kabbalah. I think the best/safest route for Jew or non-Jew is to first build a solid foundation of Torah learning (again sheva mitzvos for Noahides). This way one won't get caught up with cultish groups on the one-hand or self aggrandizing on the other. Further more, from what I understand, if one doesn't know what he is doing, the study and practice of Kabbalah can be psychically and spiritually dangerous. So, of course I agree with the article, but I advise caution. It's like electricity or radiation...very powerful and very useful, but to be handled with care by people who know what they are doing.
December 5, 2012
288 Sparks of Light
I just read your article. I know this is going to sound wierd, but I cannot be any wierder than you for posting this article. I am a hunter of Light. I am sure there are many. I think I have found the lost Sparks of Light that will help us raise the consciousness of the physical plane and signal the beginning of the new Messianic reality. Who do I speak with to confirm my finding? I am not Jewish but my family is.
Steve Crowl
Mt Shasta, CA / USA
November 3, 2012
A person seeking
I have just discovered your site. I am excited because of the abundance of good information and teaching about Kabbalah found here. I am seeking G-d more deeply than ever. I thirst of Torah knowledge and for a deeper prayer life and closer relationship with G-d.
October 15, 2012
I am a non Jew and I am very much attracted to Kabbalah. I have been studying for seven years. what is at the root of this? Is it possible that all people of the world will come one day under it?
México, Estado de México
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