Kabballah Q & A

Kabballah Q & A
By Steve Stone

<-I have been asked to do a graduate level paper on the attitudes toward women studying the Kaballah. What I <want to look at in the paper are: The reasons that women were not allowed to study Kaballah in the past: Does it go beyond the fear that they <would go crazy and the belief that women were too valuable to "lose" in that way? Where did these beliefs come <from? I know men traditionally had to reach a certain age before they were traditionally allowed to study it as well).->

Actually the concept is from the much touted biblical passage.  In ancient times a "sorcerer" was a man learned in the torah.  A "sorceress" is a female that is learned in the torah.  The actual passage can be interpreted to read "sorceress no resurrect" which James later changed for political purposes.  In reality and practice, it was not that women could not study Kabballah, but  they could not study it "together with the men".  It is thought that the animal part of the soul is always in the forefront when members of the opposite gender are present.  For Kabballlic works and understanding to be effective, you must have the spiritual side of the soul in the forefront, not the animal part.  For that reason, men and women would habitually study and pray separately.

<- Were there cases where women studied it anyway? Who, when, where?->

Most women studied Kabballic thought.  Who do you think was responsible for a child’s first lessons in religion?  There is a reason that the religion is considered to follow the mother's line.  Mothers give the primary structure of belief to their kids as they grew up.   One of the reasons that the men have to be married to study Kabballah is so they can pass on the teachings to their family.    A married couple is considered as one both spiritually and emotionally.   Only the husband and wife together can bypass the problem of  the animal and spiritual soul  fighting for control.  Their familiarity creates a bond that fuses the 2 sides of the soul together.

<- It seems that attitudes are changing slowly? How and why things are they changing, and how that is viewed by <traditional teachers and practitioners?->

First you have to understand that I am not a traditional practitioner.  I am vehemently opposed to many "precepts' of traditional beliefs.  As far as the attitude, that is really not changed.  The bottom line is that people still always believe that they, and only they; are right.  The attitude that changed is how public people are about their beliefs.  People have recently been taught that if they enforce their beliefs, they are able to be sued or fired or punished in some way.  That is the only reason that people have become quieter about their opposition to new beliefs.  As far as traditional teachers and practitioners, they are still doing the exact same thing they always have.   Hassidic priests teach intro classes to get people to join their congregation, then the prayers are separated by gender and taught traditionally.  No real change has occurred.  Please understand that there are many teachers that do not use traditional teaching methods.  Most of the publicly available teachers are not really learned in old and traditional methods.

<-I was wondering if you knew anything about this, or could point me toward books, magazines, web sites, etc. where I could research it. ->

The best thing to do to learn traditional Kabballah is to understand the torah.   I am not saying to read the updated and reprocessed bible.  I am saying read the original manuscripts of torah and the Kabballic meanings and interpretations in the talmud.  You can try learning from a Hassidic Rabbi, but most likely any teachers you find will be 'New Age' or "Christian " Kabballists.  (Please note: some of the most important basic precepts of Kabballah makes the concept of G-d coming to earth as Jesus impractical and almost silly )

Ignore most of the "Kabballah " web pages.  They focus on the toys and icons used to teach the children  (IE: the tree of life, which is just a child toy called a dreidel) and reinterpreted and mistranslated hebrew passages from torah.  I have never found a book that is US published that does not have incorrect translations and simple errors in its basic precepts.  

Bottom line, Learn old Hebrew, and study old texts.   Figure out how the knowledge works for today and you have the form of Kabballah I practice,

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